Midlothian international star Colin Walker produced an outstanding performance in the final of the Jack High Insurance sponsored Scottish Masters to capture the coveted title with a tie-break win over Keiran Clinton of East Kilbride in the televised climax at the Dewars Centre, Perth.
Walker (43) came under early pressure with the loss of the opening set but bounced back from his 9-5 setback to keep himself in the title picture with a 10-5 capture of the second set, taking the final into a tension filled tie-break. (The veteran of 36 caps is no stranger to experiencing the pain of agonising defeat in the final of major events having played second fiddle in the national singles campaigns of 2008 and 2011 while 2013 saw him exit the World Championship at the semi finals stage).
Both players had impressed on their respective journeys to the showpiece occasion final but it was Walker that claimed his place in the history book of the event by dominating the scoring in the tie-break to win it 2-0. he newly crowned Scottish Master had lived dangerously to win by a tie-brake in his Last 16 match against Mike Stepney of Elgin then went on to beat Joe Mower (East Lothian) and Darren Weir of Prestwick.
Caroline Brown of Blantyre completed a successful defence of the Ladies Scottish Masters title with an 8-5; 8-5; victory over Carla Banks of Garioch in the final.
This weekends play on the national calendar is devoted to the National Fours Championship with the Alex Marshall Arena in East Lothian being one of the venues however the high profile Garden County rink of Jamie Higgins, Scott Kennedy, Billy Mellors, and Derek Oliver are headed for Inverclyde. The reigning champions face Cowal in the prelim round and for company on the same 9-30am session have their female counterparts Dee Hoggan, Mags Thomson, Yvonne Veitch, and Janet Fairnie who face East Kilbride.
The Balbardie ladies and gents also travel to Inverclyde with Betty Johnston, Kim Ross, Sharon Leitch, and Lorraine Craig tackling Allander in the first round while the unnamed gents rink face Falkirk.
The East Lothian venue hosts the Midlothian gents rink of Neil Melrose, Willie Melrose, Jimmy Cullen, and the celebrated Colin Walker who open against Fintry in the prelim round.
Also the West Lothian IBC rink of Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, James Speirs, and Neil Speirs with Mitchell replacing Thomas Mann in the line up that won the national title in 2011 and 2015.
WL have an unusual 9-30 am sart for their first round tie against Stirling however it is a 2pm start for Bainfield challengers Daniel Gormley, Craig Paterson, Paul ODonnell, and Robert Marshall who face Teviotdale.
The womens rinks involved at EL are, Heather Stoddart, Kate McVey, Anna Anderson, and Mandy Jenkin (Bainfield); Sandra Muir, Elle Borthwick, Stacey McDougall, and Shona Johnstone (Midlothian); Sandra Purdie, Alison Brown, Jean Brown, and Jennifer Sneddon (West Lothian).
The 40 strong line up for the Ladies International Trial at Arbroath on Sunday 2nd December includes 8 players across the Lothian clubs; they are, Dee Hoggan, Janet Fairnie, Yvonne Veitch, Emma Logan (East Lothian); Stacey McDougall, Megan Grantham (Midlothian); Lorraine Craig (Balbardie); Wendy Purdie (West Lothian).
Play in the Gents Premier League saw Midlothian suffer their first defeat I four having been the latest visiting team to be mauled (87-72) by the defending champions in the ferocious Lions Den at Blantyre.
Midlothian do retain top spot however In the B Division as they have six points to the five of Blantyre and East Lothian while Bainfield are another point adrift on the four mark.
East Lothian got back onto a winning track with a substantial 29 shot victory (89-60) at home to Bainfield with the outcome never in doubt following a 19 shot lead being built up from a strong opening spell. The major contribution of a 19 shot victory came from the rink of Aaron Betts, Alex Cormack, Jamie Higgins, and Scott Kenneday over their former colleague James Hogg. Billy Mellors weighed in with a 14 shot triumph over Robert Marshall while a double at the last saw Derek Oliver edge a single shot win over Paul ODonnell; Joe Mower though did lose out by 5 shots to John McDermott.
Meanwhile West Lothians revival in the A Division was cut short by their 14 shot defeat (88-74) at Lanarkshire and that leaves them with just 2 points languishing in the bottom three with Aberdeen (2) and Elgin (0) for company.
Balbardie are finding life tough in Division 1A albeit their heavy 88-56 defeat at Fraserburgh was from the current table toppers,
East Lothian Seniors lived extremely dangerously on away territory before escaping from Teviotdale with a single shot (60-59) victory; a result that keeps the garden county veterans top of the East B table- by 2 points from Midlothian. The other fixtures played this week resulted in West Lothian beating Bainfield (62-45) at Livingston and Balbardie defeating Tweedbank (81-53) at Bathgate.