The West Lothian father and son partnership of Alan and Jack Murphy will carry the Bellsburn-Linlithgow banner into the national finals stage of the Bowls Scotland Championships at Ayr Northfield next month having upset the odds in the District Finals played at East Calder on Tuesday night.Read More
Making their first ever appearance in the District Finals showpiece occasion it was a great thrill for 52 year old Alan to skip his 21 year old son to a commanding 14-8 victory in the Pairs, and in underdog circumstances as their opposition came in the shape of Hamilton Trophy stalwarts Drew Paterson and Alec Allan of Newbridge. Paterson and Allan both have national title success on their CV’s – and in Allan’s case a British Isles one as well – so expectation of a Newbridge triumph was high, and looked likely to be delivered when making a strong start to lead 6-1. “We don’t do panic” said Murphy Senior later and the one time teenage cricketer of exciting promise, not fulfilled, went on the offensive to great effect skipping his son on a extended run of 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, (1), 3, 1 that turned the tables 13-7 in their favour. The trading of a single was the signal for an explosion of joy from the Bellsburn support as they cheered a memorable victory that gives them a hoped for but unexpected trip to Ayr.
The final of the Singles featured two top class exponents in the shape of Peter Lynch (Whitburn) and Bryan Cooper (Bathgate); but the expected cracker failed to ignite with 47 year old Lynch dominating the scoring to win 21-9 in 17-ends. “I caught the green a treat to establish a 14-9 lead then hit 21 with a run of 1, 3, 2, 1” described Lynch. Lynch – winner of the WL Masters title in 2003 – is a previous District Champion having at the age of 20 reached the historical ‘last finals occasion’ at Queens Park in 1989 where he lost in the first round to emerging Lanarkshire star Ian Campbell.
The final of The Junior Singles was a last chance saloon scenario for 25 year old Calum Black of Uphall Station who was returning to the venue of his learning years and knowing East Calder like the back of his hand inspired him to a 21-15 win over Jamie Aitken of Newbridge.
Queensferry looked set to sink at 11-7 down in the Triples but their crew of Gary Grant, Neil McLean, and Iain McLean created a finishing wave of 1, 3, 3, 1, 5 that capsized Kirkliston stars Scott Logan, John Aitken, and Calum Logan, 20-11.
Linlithgow looked to be home and dry at 13-6 up in the Fours but Blackburns, Willie Clark, Jock Graham, Tommy Lee, and George Reynolds stormed to a 20-15 victory with a 3, (2), 3, 5, 3 finish against Andrew Grimshaw Jnr, David Alexander, Scott Mushet, and Gary Smith.