Saturday 3rd July brought us some typically Scottish summer weather as we competed in the showers for the Sleigh Cup. Traditionally an Event for Rinks, 20 players were split into 5 teams who played each other in a round robin format. The pre-competition favourites, according to the bookies, were Jonathan Davidson, Leonard Moorehead, Margaret Scott and Conor Malcolm and they looked good as they started off with a comfortable 9-4 win against Alan Richards, Robert Clarke, Lesley Alexander & Avril Wilson. The Richards’ quartet’s chances were effectively over after 3 rounds, a 7-7 draw in Round 2 was followed by the biggest winning margin of the day as they fell 13-1 to Billy Nisbet, Robert Moorehead, Gwenda Ainslie & Greig McDonell.
The Davidson quartet lost their round three match to the all-Ladies team of Isabel MacRae, Sandra Shackleton, Anne Clarke & Carol Davidson, and with Dod Watson, Alex Weir, Christine Elrick and Neil Craig having lost their opening match, only the Nisbet rink held a 100% record. They sat out round four and the only quartet that could make the last round of matches have any relevance to the overall result was the Davidson quartet – they needed a Round 4 win against Dod Watson followed by a win against the undefeated Nisbet rink in their last match.
The Round 4 matches saw the Richards and MacRae rinks battle out a 5-5 draw before Watson, Weir, Elrick & Craig pulled off the biggest surprise of the day with a whopping 11-0 win over the Davidson rink – and with that defeat their chances of the title had gone. Going into the final round of matches, Nisbet, Moorehead, Ainslie and McDonell could not be caught – a good job in the end since they lost their last match – according to Greig they just wanted to get inside before the rain got heavier and didn’t want to dishearten the others with an undefeated day! Second place was still up for grabs in a winner takes all match between MacRae and Watson and in a disappointing finish for the ladies, it was the Watson rink that ran out 10-2 winners to secure the 2nd place finish. Courtesy of their win against the overall winners, the Davidson quartet sneaked in for third place ahead of the ladies with the Richards rink bringing up the rear.
Well done to Billy, Robert, Gwenda & Greig.
The next weekend (10th July) saw our Mixed pairs Competition take place – despite a dodgy weather forecast, the competition was played in gorgeous summer sunshine and saw 8 pairings split into 2 groups for our first “non-drawn” competition of the season. Defending champions Alan Gilchrist & Avril Wilson were in confident mood looking for their 3rd win in five years, but their competition was derailed somewhat in their first-round match against Greig McDonell & Isabel MacRae as they fell to an 11-4 defeat. The other first round match in Section 1 saw Dod Watson & Sandra Shackleton fall to 14-7 defeat to husband and wife pairing of Jonathan & Carol Davidson.
The two undefeated pairings then met in Round 2 and it looked like one way traffic as Greig & Isabel powered into a 9-3 lead with 3 ends left to play. Suddenly, however, the Davidsons picked up a four and when the scored a single on the penultimate end they trailed by just 1. In the final end, it was Greig & Isabel who looked like underdogs – 3 down with four bowls left – Greig can seemingly very occasionally play a good bowl and with his penultimate bowl he moved the jack to lie 2 – Jonathan couldn’t respond, and an 11-8 win brought a huge sigh of relief from Isabel. Meanwhile, Alan & Avril got their day back on track with an 11-4 win ending Dod and Sandra’s chances of reaching the final.
In the other section, Lee Wilson & Christine Elrick started out with a good 8-3 win against Jane Stevenson & Neil Craig. The other match saw Margaret Scott looking to pick up the trophy for the 4th time since her debut in 1942 (Jings you are wearing well Margaret)! Her problem was that she needed a new partner – glory hunting Alex Weir answered the call and they squeezed home against Ian Hogarth & Sandra Fullerton by an 8-6 score line despite losing a 4 on the last end!
In the second round of matches Alex & Margaret continued their winning form squeezing home against Neil Craig & Jane Stevenson by a 6-5 score line. According to Neil, the match was stolen from him – Alex last bowl somehow ricocheting of about 6 other bowls to cut down Neil’s winning advantage to only a single! Lee & Christine looked unstoppable in their match against Ian & Sandra as they recorded the biggest win of the day, 16-4.
That set up a group winning decider and it was Lee & Christine who prevailed with a comfortable 6-3 win to see them into the final. In the 3rd fourth place play off, Neil & Jane recorded a 6-4 win leaving Ian & Sandra winless on the day.
Back in Section 1, Isabel and Greig were coasting in their last match – 9-0 up with 3 ends left to play against the winless pairing of Dod & Sandra, their final place all but secured – hang on a minute. Somehow, they managed to lose a 5 on the next end and a single on the penultimate end to lead by 3 going down the last – never mind though even a draw would be enough to see them into the final. Having never reached the head all game, suddenly Dod produced his best bowls of the day and remarkably the loss of a four on the last left Isabel & Greig shell shocked with a 10-9 defeat!
That opened the door for either the Davidsons or the defending champions Avril and Alan – with one end left to play Alan & Avril led 12-4 – they needed a 10-shot victory to progress to the final! Isabel & Greig couldn’t watch as the last end played out – a single by Jonathan & Carol saved their bacon as Alan and Avril just missed out on shot difference.
The final was a good match – the difference was Lee’s consistency, on several occasions turning losing positions into winning ones, no more so than in the second end – having picked up a single on the first end, Isabel and Greig were lying 4 as Lee’s last bowl brilliantly caused a 5 shot swing as he picked up a single – Christine played her part in the next and a 3 and a four followed. The match was effectively over but credit to Isabel and Greig for making the score respectable with 5 shots in the last two ends reducing the deficit to just 1 - a 9-8 victory for Lee & Christine – well done to them.
The Gents played their first competitive match since August 2019 as they welcomed Ancrum to the Club on Friday 25th June. The Top 10 is an enjoyable format with each team playing a singles, a pair, a triple and a rink. Our team comprised Jonathan Davidson (singles), Greig McDonell & Alan Gilchrist (Pairs), Robert Clarke, Conor Malcolm & Lee Wilson (Triple) and Chris Ainslie, Leonard Moorehead, Alex Weir & Ian Hogarth (Rink).
In drizzly conditions, Jonathan struggled against his opponent and after a poor start he was always chasing the game. At 8-0 down after 4 ends he was in big trouble. He fought hard though over the course of the next 7 ends to cut the deficit to 11-5 but the loss of a 4 and a 3 in consecutive ends saw his chances disappear as he ultimately fell to a 21-6 defeat.
In the pairs match, Greig & Alan got off to a great start and were 7-2 up after five ends. The Ancrum pair, however, then picked up 2s on the next 3 ends to take an 8-7 advantage. After 12 ends the scores were tied at 10-10 with the help of Alan’s accurate bowls burning a couple of ends where the Lauder pair were in trouble. Over the course of the final ends, Greig & Alan played some terrific stuff picking up a four, a single and a five to effectively end the contest running out 20-12 winners.
With the overall match tied (but with a good shot advantage in favour of Ancrum) Lauder knew that they needed wins in the triples and Rinks matches. And it looked good for the home side – the Rink were 13-8 up after 13 ends and with 3 ends to go in the triples match it was all square at 10-10. The Rink, however, lost a 3, a 2 and a single in the next three ends to suddenly be one down going down the last end. Meanwhile, Robert, Conor and Lee swapped 2’s with their opponents as they headed down the last all square at 12-12. The match couldn’t have been any tighter. A single in the last end for the Ancrum triple gave them a nervy 13-12 win whilst remarkably in the Rink, the final end was a non-scoring one with a measure being unable to split the teams, resulting in a one shot victory for the visitors.
So close for Lauder, and against a team that has been playing regular matches, this was a great effort by all. In the end it was terrific just to have some competitive inter club play again, not to mention some decent bar revenue for the first time in almost two years!!
Our first singles competition of 2021 took place on Sunday 20th June 2021 and despite the forecast, we were blessed with some lovely summer sunshine.
When the draw was made, it was fair to say that the top half of the draw looked the slightly easier section and with that in mind glory hunter Ian Hogarth took up a late reserve place in the top half after an unavoidable withdrawal on Saturday! He, however, faced a tough opening match against the in-form Isabel MacRae fresh from her pairs win in the Lauder 500 Trophy with Avril. In a match time limited to 30 minutes, Isabel got off to the worst possible start losing six shots in the first three ends. She fought back to be in contention though with a 3 and a single in the next two ends to bring her within 2. Loss of a 3 in end 6 though put paid to her chances and according to Isabel the last three ends were played at snails’ pace by Ian.
In the other top half first round matches, Leonard Moorehead led 5-2 and 7-5 against Avril Wilson but a two on end 6 brought the scores level and as the hooter sounded the winner of End 7 would progress – a single for Avril left Lenny disconsolate. Had he progressed he may have played his brother Robert in the next round, but Neil Craig made it a miserable day for the Moorhead family with an 8-4 victory. George Watson progressed with a walkover over Alan Richards.
In the bottom half of the draw, the match of the first round looked like Alan Gilchrist v Conor Malcolm. Conor was in confident mood and a 4 in end 3 gave him a 5-1 lead. Maybe if the match had only lasted for 15 minutes he might have held on, but the experience of Alan shone through as he rattled off 5 ends in a row for a somewhat anti-climactic and comfortable 12-7 win. The best match of the first round turned out to be Anne Clarke v Lee Wilson – Anne looked in excellent form – three singles and a 3 in the first four ends gave her a 6-0 advantage. The problem for Anne is that she plays too quick, and no one is quicker than Lee – they rattled through end after end – at 8-3 up after 7 ends Lee looked out of it. The turning point came in ends 8 and 9 – a 3 followed by a 4 and suddenly Lee was ahead 10-8. They somehow still had time to fit in another two ends and to her credit, Anne recovered with two singles for a 10-10 draw. Extra end required and it was Lee who took it – a terrific match.
The Clarke’s day was, like the Moorehead’s, not a successful one as husband Robert went down to an 8- 4 defeat to Greig McDonell whilst the final match of the first round saw a topsy turvy and tight affair between Jimmy Gillie and Sandra Fullerton. Singles were scored on 7 of the 9 ends played and Jimmy was one up when the hooter sounded. A rare two on the last end by Sandra, however, saw her advance by 6 shots to 5.
3 of the four quarter finals were extremely one sided – Avril seemed to run out of energy as she fell to an 11-1 defeat at the hands of Neil, Ian romped home by 12 shots to 3 against Dod whilst Alan whitewashed Sandra 15-0 – don’t worry though Sandra - our current President still holds the record for a Beat the Clock Defeat when he lost 19-2 in half an hour three years or so ago – Sandra Shackleton still reminds him of it every time she sees him – Come on Sandra the time has arrived to stop going on about it! The fourth quarter final saw Lee take on Greig and after 6 ends this looked like going the same way as the other quarter finals – extremely one sided, with Lee holding a 7-1 advantage. Greig, however, had other ideas and a 3 followed by a two brought him within 1 shot. In the middle of End 9 the hooter sounded with Greig lying one and a couple of chances to add to the count – he didn’t manage to add to the single and for the second match in a row Lee faced yet another extra end. His play under pressure proved to be better than Greig’s as he advanced to the semi-final.
In that semi-final he faced Alan who looked favourite after a 4 in the fourth end gave him a 5-3 lead. But Lee seemed to be destined for the final – after a single on the next end he then just got the final end started before the hooter sounded and picked up a single in that to force yet another Extra End – 3 matches played – 3 extra ends required and like his previous two he held his nerve to come out on top.
He would face the winner of Ian v Neil in the final – Although the match score shows a tight 5-4 win for Ian, had the result not gone in his favour with a single in the final end, we would have had our first controversy of the day as, according to Ian, the marker must have gone wrong somewhere – he felt he was far more comfortably ahead going into the final end – fortunately perhaps, that single on the last gave him victory without any drama!
After a cracking day’s bowling the final (15 minutes) flew by. Although it didn’t go to an extra end, given Lee’s Day we all knew it was going to come down to the wire – with time running out Ian held a 4-2 lead. Lee was lying 3 and with Ian’s final two bowls, under pressure, he tried some controlled weight to disrupt the head – his first missed on the tight side and his last flew into the ditch on the other side – remarkably a three for Lee and the hooter sounded before they were able to get another end started!
Well done to Lee – four matches played – 3 extra ends and a one-shot victory in the final!
Our third Club competition of 2021 took place on Saturday 5th June 2021 in glorious sunshine and with various visitors watching from the side-lines, it was our busiest day of the season so far.
Section 1 looked tough with Alex Weir & Carol Davidson tipped by the bookies to make it all the way to the final. They started with a draw against Alan Gilchrist and Jimmy Gillie before picking up a comfortable win against Sandra Fullerton, Kevin Guthrie & Lee Wilson. In their third match they then faced Neil Craig, Lesley Alexander and Connor Malcolm – they wouldn’t pose any problem, would they? The triple recorded a resounding 13-1 win which brought others back into the mix. They finished their 4 group matches with a big win over Robert Moorhead and Greig McDonell to leave them with a record of two wins, one draw and one defeat (5 points).
With Alex and Carol sitting out the last round of group matches, Robert & Greig needed a big win against the Lee Wilson triple to stand any chance of getting ahead of them. That chance disappeared quickly as the rampant triple run away with it 12-2. That left Lesley, Neil & Connor needing a victory against Alan & Jimmy to take the group win – who would have thought that after their first round 10-0 loss to Robert & Greig. Alan & Jimmy were never at the races and a big 13-3 win saw the triple progress to the final.
Section 2, according to the bookies, was wide open. Anne Clarke and Sandra Shackleton looked a promising pairing but when they lost their opening match to Avril Wilson & Isabel MacRae by the narrowest of margins (6-5) they looked to be struggling. Three wins followed, however, against Malcolm Cazaly & Dod Watson, Jonathan Davidson & Lenny Moorehead and bragging rights were firmly with Anne as she defeated husband Robert & Margaret Scott to give them 6 points out of a possible 8. Despite their almost 200 combined years of experience, it wasn’t to be for Malcolm and Dod
as they lost out in 3 of their four matches whilst Jonathan and Lenny were left to rue a bizarre final end in their match against Avril and Isabel. It could have been them in the final had they held on to their 6-2 lead going down the last end. Surely they would restrict their opponents to less than 4. Maybe not – but surely the ladies wouldn’t be able to pick up a 5 for the win? They went one better and a count of SIX on the last put paid to Jonathan and Lenny’s chances as they fell to an 8-6 defeat.
That win put Isabel and Avril in command of the group as they played their final match against the winless pairing of Robert Clarke and Margaret Scott. A huge win was required for Robert and Margaret to give Anne and Sandra a chance of advancing. A winless pairing against an undefeated pairing? No chance. Hold on a minute – two 2s and a 3 in the first four ends gave Robert and Margaret a 7-1 lead! Suddenly, Anne and Sandra were interested again. A further 2 in the penultimate end was followed by a single in the last as remarkably Isabel and Avril fell to a 10- 1 defeat! Had they blown it? With both teams on 6 points the calculators were required and even that couldn’t split them - both teams finishing with a +2 shot difference. With 26 shots scored compared to 22, however, Avril and Isabel advanced to the final.
And what a terrific final it was. Neil, Lesley and Connor picked up a 2 on the first but were rocked by conceding a 4 on the next. The battled back however with a single and a pair before losing a single on the penultimate end. 5-5 going into the final end of the day. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, we have posted a video on our FB page of the final two bowls of the day. With one against her, Avril played an absolute beauty with her final bowl to lie the shot. Connor had the final bowl and as it made its way into the head it looked like it was going to win it – had it fallen inwards rather than outwards the title was theirs but it wasn’t to be and in fairness Avril’s last bowl was worthy of the win. What a great performance by the ladies and what a great day of bowls played in beautiful summer sunshine.
Saturday 29th May saw us bask in sunshine for our second Club competition of the season, the LBC Triples. 21 players were drawn into 7 triples in a round robin format. The first controversy of the weekend came well before a Jack was thrown as on the eve of the Competition, after a rather long-winded committee meeting there was some debate about how many ends should be played in each match. 6 was proposed as well as 8. A compromise of 7 was decided although that was to turn out to be a mistake! Then, at just after 10.30pm, a late withdrawal left us scrambling to find a replacement. Fortunately, Ewan was still awake at just before midnight and stepped in as replacement!
And so to competition day. The green was cut and was looking great as the first round of matches got underway. The tie of the round looked to be Alex, Jimmy & Alan R v Alan G, Neil and Robert C – and so it proved as the match went to the final end, Alex, Jimmy & Alan just holding on for a 5-3 win. Anne C, Isabel and Robert M produced the biggest win of round 1 v Dod, Sandra S and Lee whilst Ewan, Kev & Billy tied 8-8 with the all ladies’ team of Anne R, Sandra F and Carol.
Round 2 saw wins for Alex, Jimmy & Alan R, Alan G, Neil & Robert and Malcolm, Jonathan & Greig. By the completion of Round 3, however, there was only one undefeated team following another win for the Alex Weir triple. As the halfway point was reached the decision to play 6 matches of 7 ends was starting to look decidedly dodgy and so it was decided to drop an end from each match.
The next two rounds of matches produced some surprising results. It looked like the main challengers to the undefeated Weir triple were Alan G, Neil and Robert but they needed help from others – their chances disappeared though after a loss to Dod, Sandra S and Lee. The overall victory for the Weir triple was then guaranteed after a win in their penultimate match, which controversially was played out of order. It appears that the all female triple of Sandra F, Anne R and Carol were not keen on sitting out the penultimate round of matches and wanted their day over quick. Of course, they blame Alex for not saying anything and by the time it was noticed they had already started their match. The quote from the match secretary was that it had “nowt to do with me”. With the event falling into chaos, it might have been better had the Alan G triple owned up to the fact that they had already suffered two losses (something else unnoticed at that point) – a decision may then have been taken to not bother playing the final round of matches – ah what fun!
The unfortunate outcome of the Alex v Sandra match being played out of order was that Ewan, Billy and Kev ended up sitting out two matches in a row – huge apologies to them from the Alex and Sandra trios!
The final round of matches saw the ultimate winners lose their only match of the day against Malcolm, Jonathan and Greig but Jimmy was quoted afterwards as saying he wasn’t even trying – he just wanted the day over so he could get on with celebrating at the Lauderdale. The battle for second place was to be decided on shot difference and a big win for Anne C, Isabel and Robert in their last match saw them take the runners up spot by the narrowest of margins from Alan, Neil and Robert. The final positions were as follows:
Winners - Alex, Jimmy & Alan R
Runners-Up - Anne C, Isabel & Robert M
Third - Alan G, Neil & Robert C
Fourth - Dod, Sandra S & Lee
Fifth - Jonathan, Malcolm & Greig
Sixth - Ewan, Billy & Kevin
Seventh, Sandra F, Anne R & Carol
Well done to Alex, Jimmy and Alan for the win and to all players who took part, and apologies to those who got in trouble for the late finish! This is what competitive play is all about though, controversial moments, arguments and disagreements, frustration and annoyance and some good old-fashioned fun – ah there’s nothing better on a sunny Saturday afternoon!
They say that all experience is good experience so that will be put into practice this coming weekend with the Lauder 500 Trophy – it will run like a dream according to our Club President!