Scotland lost their grip on The Hilton Trophy despite the defending champions ending the indoor bowls Home International campaign with a commendable victory over England at the Stanley IBC in County Durham.
The Scots took to the carpet knowing they needed to beat the Auld Enemy by 18 shots to win the series and they performed impressively as a team for 16 of the 21 ends to have England at their 99-70 mercy – all looking good at 29 shots up. Sadly the heroics came to an end on the short run in with the hard earned supremacy over their rivals damagingly reduced by a 37-13 collapse that still saw the Scots celebrate a 112-107 victory – but rob them of retaining the championship title.
The major damage coming from a 10-1, 10-3 fight back from England on ends 17 and 18.
The heartbroken Scots – who had defeated Wales by 30 shots but then damaged their cause with a shock 4 shot defeat from Ireland – will reflect with great frustration their failure to hold England in a tension filled climax.
The net loss of 24 shots from Ends 17 to 21 unfolded as follows.
Mike Stepney and his rink of Paul Boyd Graeme Sloan, and Colin Hutchison conceded 1, 3, (1), 2, 5 to be outscored 11-1 while Ronnie Duncan, John Fleming Jnr, Billy Mellors and Derek Oliver (skip) shipped 6, 1, 1 ( two ends unplayed) to be outgunned 8-0. Colin Walker and his rink of Jamie Higgins, Willie Wood MBE, and Iain McLean lost their rub in 6-3 while Bryan Cooper, Martin Williamson, Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs (skip) were edged out 5-4. Darren Burnett and his front three of Martin McCalley, Colin Taggart, and Mark Allison were 1-0 victins (with four ends unplayed) while Gary Hutchison, Calum Logan, Scott Kennedy, and Stewart Anderson (skip) lost 6-5. Final Scores. S Anderson 23 N Brett 13; D Burnett 21 G Shadwell 13; N Speirs 18 G Harlow 18; M Stepney 20 S Tolchard 22; D Oliver 16 R Paxton 19; C Walker 14 A Thomson 22. Final Table. England 4 (+56), Scotland 4 (31), Ireland 4 +12), Wales 0 (-99).