Alex Hurry Jnr survived a 27-end marathon Singles tie against Donald Brown of Merchiston in dramatic fashion for the 37-year old Parkside champion to reach the District 15 semi finals of the national championship.
Hurry – a previous District champion in 2004 and going on to lose a 21-19 thriller to subsequent title winner Paul Foster in the semi finals at Ayr Northfield – lined up against Brown at West End BC and making a strong start breezed into a 9-2 lead. The killer instinct of the 2003 City of Edinburgh Open Champion looked set to kick in as he maintained his supremacy at 15-8 however the sustained pressure didn’t happen and six ends later the outcome was in the melting pot at 17-17. Brown had recovered to 12 with a run of 1, 1, 2, then the experienced Merchiston champion answered the loss of a double with a 3, 2 reply that brought Hurry under unexpected pressure. Hurry edged three singles on the trot to seem back in charge at 20-17 however Brown not only put the cat among the pigeons with a three singles fight back to 20-20 but then lay for game on end 27. A high quality game deserved an exceptional climax and it was Hurrry that delivered the exciting match-winner in the shape of a perfectly judged ‘chap and lie’ to trigger the victory salute. The path to the national finals stage at Ayr is of course strewn with challenging obstacles and Hurrry’s next one in the semi finals comes in the shape of high profile Carrick Knowe champion Darren Hush.
Hush – who brought the first ever-national crown to Carrick Knowe when partnering James Hogg to the Pairs title in 2008 – was in cracking form to convert a 12-3 lead into a 21-6 victory over Dean Fleming of Currie in 16-ends at Sighthill. Keith Gellaitry was the underdog at Carrick Knowe against Sighthill ace John McDermott but the West End’s memorable 150th Anniversary champion upset the apple cart with a strong performance to edge a 21-19 thriller in 25-ends. Gellaitry made the early running to race into a 9-3 lead then continued to dominate McDermott with leads of 17-8 and 18-10 however the next three ends saw the Sighthill champion back in business having crossed to 19-18. McDermott’s revival came with an explosive run of 3, 3, 3 but Gellaitry took these stunning blows to the chin then counterpunched with a hat trick of singles to 21.
Gorgie Mills champion Colin Hay also packed a strong finishing punch at Parkside where he was under real pressure at 16-13 down and found an explosive 1, 4, 1, 1, 1 answer to celebrate a 21-16 win over Derek Mitchell of Fountain Brewery.
Meanwhile the District 14 quarterfinals of the Singles saw Postal champion Christian Berra continue to impress as he delivered a 21-7 victory from a strong performance against Gordon Clark of Maitland at Northerrn.
George Johnston carried the Brunstane banners into semi finals with a 21-17 win over Euan Craig of Pilrig at Goldenacre having looked a goner at 17-14 down but escaping to victory with a big 3, 1, 2, 1 finsih.
Scott Mackintosh – national finalist in 2009 – picked up from 1-4 to 11-5 then from 11-11 the champion of London Road Foundry kicked on to score a 21-14 win over Mark Hogg of Goldenacre.
Willowbrae champion Craig Duffus settled to the pace of Leith much better than his opponent and scored an unexpected runaway 21-4 victory over Fred O’Reilly of Queensberry.
Two legends of the West Lothian Masters in the shape of four times winner Grant Logan (Kirkliston) and two times Andrew Dunnett (Queensferry) are set to clash in the District Final of the Scottish Singles Championship. Logan’s passage into the final was full of drama and excitement as the Scotland cap found himself trapped in the jaws of defeat before managing to escape to a 21-20 victory over Glenn King of Bankton Mains. An epic 26-end confrontation at Queensferry saw King wipe out a 5-1 deficit to cross 8-5 then continue to hold the edge with leads of 14-11, 17-12, and 20-16 leaving Logan no more margin of error. Having earlier produced a take-out conversion for 3 shots that kept his hopes alive at 17-15 Logan conjured up another magic moment in the shape of last bowl trail that yielded him 4 shots to 20-20.
“It was do or die on the next end so I introduced a short mat tactic for the first time but it shaped up as a bad call when Glenn drew a corker 2 inch front- jack however I managed to ‘chap and lie’ on it for the winner”, described Logan later. Dunnett faced Sandy McDougall of Glenmavis at Harrysmuir and picking up from 10-9 pressed on strongly to score an impressive 21-10 victory in 19-ends.