A last hurdle fall cost Scotland gents the indoor bowl British Isles Home International title over in Belfast and the pain of that costly defeat was heightened by its delivery coming at the hands of England in an epic do or die battle for the capture of a most coveted crown.Read More
Scotlands opening match against Ireland was a hard fought affair that saw their 110-99 victory heavily influenced by Midlothian star Colin Walker skipping his rink of Andrew Thomson, Steven Allan and Robert Grant to a magnificent 20-6 triumph over Stephen Coleman. East Lothians Derek Oliver conjured up a magic 2, 1, finish under pressure to skip his Lothian rink mates Jamie Higgins, Thomas Mann and Billy Mellors to a 19-16 win over Barry Kane while Paul Foster stole a 22-19 win with a 2, 4 finish against Andrew Kyle. Iain McLean held on from 17-12 to pip Ian McClure 17-16 however Alex Marshall MBE suffered a 22-16 defeat at the hands of Andy Duncan and Stewart Anderson lost 20-16 to Gary Kelly.
Wales had been softened up by a 35 shot defeat from England (128-93) and Scotland stepped up a gear to match that margin with a 123-88 supremacy that was led by Oliver skipping his rink to a 27-13 win over Dai Prosser; that included a count of 7 and a 5. Marshall lost 19-17 to Steve Harris; but otherwise wins for Paul Foster (19-11 over Jason Greenslade); Iain McLean (19-12 over Jarrad Breen); Stewart Anderson (22-16 over David Harding); and Colin Walker (19-17 over David Kingdon); made it an encouraging team performance.
Englands 137-90 demolition of Ireland won on all six rinks set the scene for a winner takes all clash with Scotland and the opening exchanges suggested that team captain Scott Kennedy (East Lothian) and his band of men were in the mood to deliver a title winning performance. A 10 0 clean-sweep on end four swept Scotland into a 35-26 lead and the Scots still had their nose in front at 49-38 after eight ends; but England rallied with a sequence of 11-5; 8-1; 5-3; and 10-5 that rewarded them with a 72-63 advantage. Scotland did show a glimpse of menace at 78-72 after 14 ends and again at 107-101 with just two to play; but an 11-11 share sentenced them to a six shot defeat (118-112). Oliver was aiming for a hat trick of wins; but captured the wrong end of the headlines with a damaging 32-18 defeat from Robert Paxton and further setbacks for Scotland saw leading lights Alex Marshall, Paul Foster, and Stewart Anderson all unable to deliver. Marshall lost 22-16 to Jamie Chestney; Foster 21-16 to Greg Harlow, and Anderson, 20-16 to Sam Tolchard. Colin Walker did complete a hat trick of wins; scoring a 19-12 win over Nicky Brett and Iain McLean was another hat trick hero with a strong 3, (1), 2, 1, 5 finish to beat Andy Thomson, 27-11. The final table read; England 6 (+88); Scotland 4 (+40); Ireland 1 (-58); Wales 1 (-70). Englands successful defence of the title moved them onto the 37 mark followed by Scotland 32, Wales 4; Ireland 0.