Our second finals day saw three competitions decided, the Senior Championship Final between Anne Clarke and Alan Gilchrist, the Presidents Final between Greig McDonell & Lee Wilson and the Gents Pairs Final between Roddy McGeoch & Lee Wilson and Alan Gilchrist & Jimmy Gillie.
The Senior Championship match looked extremely one-sided as Alan raced into a commanding 12-2 lead against Anne as he won 7 of the first 9 ends of the match. Anne then had a good spell of 3 consecutive ends where she picked up two 2’s and a single cutting the deficit in half as she trailed 12-7. Another 3 shots for the man in form, however, and at 15-7 down it looked like curtains for Anne. But hold on a minute, Anne hasn’t picked up the nickname of the comeback Queen for no reason! 9 of the next 11 shots went her way as she fought back to trail by only 17 shots to 16. After the match, Al claimed he was always in control – yeah right!! A 3 put him on the brink but a 2 from Anne and the match was in the balance again at 20-18, On the 23rdend of the day, however, Al picked up the single he needed to creep over the line for a 21-18 win.
In the Presidents Final, Lee started on -4 whilst Greig started on +4. When Greig picked up a 3 and a single in the first two ends he effectively held a 12-shot lead. Lee, however, fought hard and when he won the next 7 ends without interruption, the pressure looked like it might get to Greig who saw the margin cut to just 3 as he led 8-5. He didn’t panic though and when he then matched Lee by winning the next 7 ends the match was effectively over as a contest – 9 unanswered shots and the lead stretched out again to 17-5. Although Lee then won the next 4 ends, Greig managed to avoid losing any big scores and when 3 of the last 4 ends went his way, he secured the win by 21 shots to 11.
The closest match of the day was left for last as the Gents Pairs final went all the way to a deciding final end. At 6-3 up, Alan and Jimmy looked like they had the match under control, but they then lost two 3s and a 2 over the next three ends to suddenly see a three shot advantage turn into a 5 shot deficit at 11-6 down with 4 ends left to play. It was in the bag for the Defending Pairs Champions. End 12 made the match interesting - a 5 for Jimmy and Al and suddenly the scores were tied at 11-11. Roddy and Lee recovered, however with a 2 on the 13thend and they lay at least one and a measure for 2 as Al faced his last bowl in the penultimate end. He knew that going up the last needing 3 or 4 to tie was improbable so had a go at burning the end – and lo and behold that’s exactly what he did. With confidence at a high, Al & jimmy picked up a 2 on the replayed end to level the scores at 13-13 going into the last end. Jimmy got in near the jack first and despite their best efforts, Lee & Roddy were unable to displace it as they fell to a 14-13 defeat. A cracking match to end the day. Well done to all who took part on a gorgeous afternoon.
Our first finals day saw two competitions decided, the Ladies Championship Final between Anne Clarke and Chevonne Ainslie and the Cant Medal Final between Jonathan Davidson & Greig McDonell.
Defending Champion Chevonne started as favourite, despite having played very little over the summer, and when she led 4-1 after 4 ends it looked like being a long afternoon for Anne. Three singles over the next three ends, however, saw Anne pull the match level at 4-4 before a 3 on the next end saw her take the lead for the first time. The loss of a single on end 9 was the only end Anne lost between ends 5 and 11. At 10-5 up the match had swung firmly in her favour. But Chevonne wasn’t going to give up her title that easily – 4 shots across the next two ends and the match was back in the balance again at 10-9. The turning point in this match turned out to be three 2’s and a 3 in the space of five ends for Anne. Suddenly she led 19-13 and the title was within her grasp. Two singles in the next three ends and she was over the line with a terrific 21-14 win. Well done to Anne.
Jonathan, buoyed by his Gents Championship win, was out to prove that he was the man to beat in the other final. The way the match started it looked as if it was going to be over in a flash – 10-9 to Greig after 7 ends and it seemed that neither player could stop the other from scoring heavily. When Jonathan picked up a three on the 8thend he took the lead for the first time in the match. The game then became cagey - Jonathan was never behind until end 14 when Greig took a 16-14 advantage and when that was followed up by a single on the next, Greig was within 4 shots of victory. Back came Jonathan, however, with a 2 to reduce the deficit to 17-16. Greig picked up a crucial single with his last bowl on the next end when Jonathan had been lying a pair and a 2 on end 18 put him one shot away from victory. Jonathan gave himself a chance with a single to get him within a full house of victory but on end 20, Greig picked up the shot he required for a 21-17 win.
Ten Pairs took part in a 9 end per match knockout looking to pick up the 2019 trophy.
At the top of the draw, there was a win for husband and wife duo, Jonathan & Carol Davidson as they swept aside Sandra Shackleton & Malcolm Cazaly. They would face Alex Weir and Mary Sked in the next round after they defeated the Clarke husband and wife outfit – Anne was still recovering from a good night celebrating her Ladies Championship win apparently!
Fresh from her win two nights before in the floodlit Pairs, Isabel MacRae joined forces with Greig McDonell as they defeated yet another husband and wife duo in Brian & Amanda Ogilvie. One of the best matches of the day saw Lee Wilson & Christine Elrick go into an extra end against Roddy McGeoch and Margaret Scott. In that final end, Margaret’s last bowl took an almighty Malcolm style wick, cannoned of another couple of bowls and rolled into the head just missing out on the shot to win the match by a matter of a few millimetres!
There had of course been the possibility of a mother and son pairing but there was no way Avril was playing with Lee – instead she went glory hunting with the man of the moment, Alan Gilchrist, fresh from his floodlit pairs win. They comfortably saw off the challenge of Dod Watson and Anne Rooney.
When Jonathan & Carol saw off the challenge of Alex and Mary in the last end of their match, the semi-final line-up was completed. They would face Isabel and Greig whilst Lee and Christine faced mum Avril and Alan. It wasn’t long in the first semi-final before Isabel started wishing she had her floodlit pairs partner back! Having clawed their way back into the match, end 6 saw Greig, one down, try and play his last bowl with some weight to trail the jack for a big count – oops! He only managed to remove Isabel’s bowl which was lying second and with the loss of a three the match got away from them.
In the other semi-final, mother v son rivalry was on show and it was Avril who emerged victorious after a high-quality match. Jonathan and Carol looked determined to pick up the trophy in the final but skip Al was in terrific form. He was consistent throughout and on too many occasions to remember turned losing or average positions into big winning ends – ultimately he made the difference as he and Avril comfortably put paid to Jonathan and Carol’s chances. Two pairs wins in the space of a weekend – we’ll never hear the end of it!
Rain, wind and freezing temperatures normally greet us at some point in our Annual Floodlit Pairs Competition - but not this year! A great week saw some excellent matches under the floodlights which made some of us think that we should just play all year round - that would definitely be the end for Greenkeeper Rob!
The match of the first round saw Margaret Scott and John Finlay take on Sandra Fullerton and Alex Weir. It took until the very last bowl of the night before the match was decided - with the match lying against him, Alex's last bowl picked up the jack to spoil John & Margaret's week. Alex and Sandra didn't make it past the next round, however, as they lost out to Lee Wilson & Jimmy Gillie who had a first round win against Brian Ogilvie and Anne Rooney.
There was also a first round win for Greig McDonell and Avril Wilson who came from behind to defeat our oldest, sorry, our most senior pairing of Dod Watson & Malcolm Cazaly. Their week was cut short, however, by Alan Gilchrist and Isabel MacRae in the Quarter finals on Wednesday night. No one believes that Greig didn't want to get through because he was busy for the rest of the week!!
The Quarter final stage also saw the end of the road for Billy Nisbet and Rob Clarke as pre-competition favourites Christine Elrick and Gwenda Ainslie strolled to a victory to back up their favourite status.
One half of last year's winning duo, Keith Atkinson also left the competition at the quarter final stage as he and Kenny White lost out to Anne Clarke & Tom Ogilvie.
The semi-finals on the Thursday evening saw Lee & Jimmy take on Alan & Isabel whilst Christine & Gwenda faced Anne & Tom.
Alan & Isabel were in top form as they coasted through to the final. It looked like a certainty that they would be joined there by Christine and Gwenda - with 3 ends to go they led by 20 shots to 7. The loss of a six on end 13 caused no concern for the watching crowd - at least Tom & Anne were trying to make it respectable. The loss of a further two shots on the penultimate end left Tom and Anne five behind. Ah well - a good effort by the underdogs but there was no way they could recover from that deficit on the last end? What a horror story that last end turned out to be for Gwenda and Christine. With only Gwenda's last bowl to come they were 5 down! Suddenly an extra end looked on the cards. Gwenda then decided to mix up the head a bit by going at it with some weight - only one bowl moved and it wasn't one of the five shots that were against - remarkably a 6 on the last end saw Tom and Anne reach the final with a 21-20 win! 14 shots picked up in the last 3 ends - that must go down as the comeback of the season.
The final was also a great match. Al was proudly pointing out the number of times he had won the competition in the past but it was his partner Isabel who played a blinder in the final. With the final end reached, the match was still in the balance. As Tom and Al played their last four bowls the lead changed hands twice. But in the end it was Al's last bowl that made the difference as he and Isabel crept over the line - well done to them.
Our last Open Competition of the season saw a terrific turnout as 24 triples took to the green in beautiful sunny conditions. Only the four group winners would proceed to the semi-final stage, so the pressure was on from the start for all the triples in action.
Section 1 saw two teams finish on 7 points but thanks to two wins by 14 and 11 shots respectively, shot difference went in favour of the triple skipped by Gordon’s Mark Redpath which included our own Lee Wilson. They took the group win away from the Lauder triple of Jimmy Gillie, Greig McDonell and Alex Weir. A win for them would have seen them make the semi-final line up with 8 points but a 1 shot win for Redpath saw him through.
In Section 2, there was significant Lauder interest with 3 pairings but in the end D Hunter secured 4 wins out of 5 which was enough to win the group.
Section 3 looked like a one-horse race and so it proved as the Aberlady triple including Scottish Singles Champion Gordon White progressed with an undefeated record.
And finally, Section 4 saw Lauder’s interest end as Avril Wilson couldn’t make an impression on F Donaldson who progressed with 4 wins and a draw.
The first semi pitted the Aberlady triple against Section 2 winner D Hunter. The East Lothian outfit were looking stronger and stronger as they made it comfortably into the final. In the other semi-final, Gordon’s duo and Lauder’s Wilson proved too strong for their opponents as they set up a mouth-watering final.
The final was a terrific match. Going into the last end the scores were all square. It was left to the aforementioned Scottish champion to make the difference as he ditched the jack to secure a 6-5 win for the East Lothian triple – Well done to them and to all who took part in a fantastic day at the Club.