Richard Mark has made a major impression on the early season playdown action of the Scottish Indoor Bowls Singles Championship with the West Lothian IBC champion conjuring up four magic winning performances to reach the semi finals stage.Read More
Mark will next parade his range of skills in the full glare of the national finals showcase occasion at Blantyre IBC on the weekend of January 6/7 and shares the limelight with three giants of the sport in the shape of Paul Foster MBE, Stewart Anderson, and Billy Mellors.
His opening match at Perth IBC last weekend pitched the 60 year old WLIBC flag bearer into a prelim battle with Michael Stevenson of Inverclyde and having led all the way he answered menacing pressure at 19-17 with a double to 21 on the 21st end. Mark returned to the carpet to face a first round test from David Auld of Elgin and buoyed up by a whirlwind start to lead 10-3 then 17-6 the WL champ stormed to a 21-9 win in 17-ends.
Day 2 of the playdowns saw Mark line up against his West of Scotland IBC counterpart Graeme McDougall in the second round and having hit the lids to race into an 11-2 lead then 17-6 a pause for breath saw him closed to 18-15 before answering that pressure with a magnificent 3 to 21 on end 19. One major hurdle remained for Mark to negotiate and earn a place in the glamour stage of the national championships and it came in the shape of Galleon challenger John McCabe Jnr. Mark perked up his support with yet another strong started having registered a count of 3 on the opening end then making steady headway to lead 12-6 then 16-10 however anxious times lay ahead. A five end stumble cost Mark four counts of 2 to be crossed 18-17 but the WL champion was in no mood to be denied and thrilled his support with a grandstand style finish of 2, 1, 1 that swept him past the finishing post a glorious 21-18 winner in 24-ends.
Hopes that Balbardie IBC would also mount a strong challenge in the quest for national title glory were dashed in the very early stages with Mark Bonar failing to find his touch in a 21-5 first round defeat from Stuart Pagan of Abbeyview. The line up in the semi finals pitches Mark of West Lothian against Mellors of East Lothian and Foster of Prestwick against Anderson of Blantyre.
West Lothian IBC launch their Premier League Section B campaign this Saturday with a tough test against Falkirk at the Inveralmond Stadium while in Division 1B Balbardie also have home advantage with West of Scotland the visitors to the Bathgate venue.
Ian Drysdale and David Anderson are set to parade their skills for Balbardie and West Lothian respectively in this Sundays first round action of the Gents Seniors Singles.