“This is beyond our wildest dreams” was the comment from 55 year old Andy Wilton having skipped his Kirkhill rink of Alistair Robb, Jim Watson, and Sam Wilkie to the gents Seniors Fours title in the Bowls Scotland National Championships being played at The Ayr Northfield Complex.
The Midlothian champions climaxed their most memorable ‘day of days’ with a magnificent performance in the final and their spectacular 21-5 victory over Kennoway (Fife) brought the only Seniors title from the championships back to Edinburgh and The Lothians.
Wilton and Co had kick started their day with a battling semi final win over Winchburgh having faced late pressure from their West Lothian counterparts at 11-9 up and two to play and answering with a 2, 2 finish to end the dreams of David Gemmell, Joe Arthurs (sub), Ian Cruickshanks, and Drew Reid.“We were highly chuffed at winning the District 16 title and were thrilled at winning our first game here at Ayr but to go all the way and etch our names on the silverware is just a fantastic achievement in our eyes” added Wilton.
Expectation’s of a second title coming to the Evening News area were high after East Lothian’s Mixed Pairs niece/uncle partnership of Dee Hoggan and John McCrorie from Tranent conjured up a magic hat-trick of singles to snatch a 12-11 win over Carron & Carronshore in their morning semi final. Sadly the final brought a big anti climax for the 2009 Junior Singles and 2000 Singles champions who having made an encouraging start to lead 11-3 after six ends failed to score again and suffered a 20-11 defeat from Alastair Nimmo and Ruth Stewart of Cupar in Fife.
It was also a day that the mainstream events swung into action and a shock first round result in the Ladies Pairs saw holders and three times champions Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station bite the dust. It had looked all over for the last years champions when they trailed 14-7 but a 3, 4 fight back gave them a lifeline at 14-14 but the winning single on the last end went to Laura Agnew and Jen McKie of Kirkcowan.
Mixed fortunes for the Edinburgh challenge in the event saw Sandra Slater and Cathy Stark of Colinton hold their nerve fro 7-10 down to clinch a 13-12 win over Lochore however Zandra Kinnear and Bunty Williamson of Goldenacre made a 15-9 exit to Lochwinnoch.
Sisters Emma and Lauren McNaughtan of Gilmerton Private progressed with a good 20-12 win over Kingswood.
Bainfield chalked up a double success yesterday at the Bowls Scotland Championships being played at The Ayr Northfield complex with their Gents and Ladies rinks both making comfortable progress into the second round of the Fours. But it was a disappointing day for the other side of the capital city with District 14 champions Hillside (Gents) and Willowbrae (Ladies) both crashing out on day one of the mainstream events. Craig Paterson skipped his Bainfield front three of Stuart Clark, David McNair, and Steven Pilley to a 21-9 win over St Fergus (Wick) having hit the ground running in the shape of a spectacular run of 1, 2, 3, 6, 3 to lead 15-0.
In direct contrast the start made by Susan Allan, June Fairgrieve, Anne Watson, and Alison Ross was a worrying one as the Bainfield rink trailed 7-2 after five ends however they rallied with a run of 1, 2, 5 to cross Cults (Aberdeen) 10-7. Cults added a single to 8 but Ross and Co imposed their supremacy with a purple patch spell of 1, 1, 3, 4 to lead 19-8 and won 21-9.
Hillside gents made a great start to lead 8-2 but the roof caved in on the rink of John Simpson, John Newall, BJ Smith, and Colin Bell ad they collapsed to a heavy 22-9 defeat from Airdrie Central.
Sadly Franes Wood and her Willowbrae rink failed to spark and made a 21-16 exit to a high profile Kennoway rink skipped by Lynn Stein.
Gary Smith skipped his Linlithgow rink to a 20-5 win over Overtown & Waterloo while Alister Kennedy traded on an a 9-1 lead to skip West Barns to a 16-11 win over Thornton.
Wardie duo Frank Clelland and John Duncan survived a 14-13 thriller against Denny in the Pairs whie Jom Boner and Brian Young of Tranent beat Ronnie Duncan and Kevin McDougall of Bonnyrigg, 17-13.
Postal’s challenger for the upcoming Tait Trophy is down for decision tonight with the final of the club championship featuring their 2010 winner Billy Sandilands against first season member Alan Ewart – formerly of Summerside. Sandiland’s bid for a second title success is also driven by his desire to have his name spread across the Honours Board as he is the serving President of the club. The recent semi finals action saw Sandilands under great pressure at 12-6 down to Rowland Young but a dramatic change to the landscape saw Sandiland’s storm to a 21-12 victory having whipped up a whirlwind run of 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 1, 3, 1. Ewart gained early supremacy in his tussle with another of the Young clan in the shape of brother Elliot and a 14-3 lead was converted into a 21-10 victory.
The Tait Trophy –Champion of Champions – swings into action on Monday night with Postal drawn against Ardmillan at Brunstane.