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.