Billy Mellors is no stranger to celebrating national title triumphs under both codes of his chosen sport and his latest victory salute signalled his capture of the Scottish indoor bowls Singles Crown at the Championship Finals staged at Fraserburgh IBC.
Yet it enters the realms of fantasy that the 40-year old star representing the East Lothian IBC banner emerged the fairy tale 21-20 victor from two epic battles having looked dead and buried at 18-11 down in his semi final and 19-12 down in the final.“My form was very patchy in the early stages of both matches and that brought me under very heavy pressures but thankfully I was able to step up several gears entering the business end and I am thrilled to bits with both my escapes to victory”, said Mellors later.Mellors – who learned his indoor trade as a member of the now sadly defunct Edinburgh IBC – has a good habit of getting over the line in top class events having in his time reigned as the Scottish Singles and Junior Singles champion under the outdoor code also the Scottish and British Isles Pairs title’s, while on the indoor scene the Scottish Triples title.
The challenge for the 2015 singles title was of the highest order with Mellors facing fellow cap Ronnie Duncan of Midlothian in his semi final while former title-holders Paul Foster MBE of Prestwick and Mike Stepney of Elgin clashed in the other.Scott Kennedy, himself a past winner of the national title was a keen observer and had this to say about his ‘garden county colleague “It was akin to a weekend of trench warfare for Billy or similar to a boxing match that saw him up against the ropes for long periods in both of his matches then bounce off the canvas to land spectacular knockout blows on the time bell of the last round”. “Of course we are all ecstatic at the Meadowmill Stadium as Billy’s achievement coming so soon after Tattie’s (Alex Marshall) record extending sixth world singles title makes it a fantastic start to the year for us all at East Lothian IBC”, he added.
Duncan is a class act and shaped up as the likeliest finalist when accelerating into an 18-11 lead with a run of 2, 2, 1; but time and score stood still for the Midlothian ace as Mellors stormed into a 19-18 lead with a whirlwind reply of 4, 3, 1.Mellors might well have become a spent force when Duncan carded two singles to regain the initiative at 20-19 but ‘the never say die’ quality in the East Lothian challengers makeup saw him edge successive singles to snatch a 21-20 win in 23-ends.Meanwhile what might be considered us an upset in the other semi final saw four times world champion Paul Foster recover from 5-12 to 16-13 then slip to a 21-18 defeat from his fellow cap, Stepney.