After a really difficult few months when it looked like we might not get on the green at all, and due to a lot of work behind the scenes, the Club held its first competition of the season at the beginning of August.
Our Two Bowl pairs Event saw two of the pre-tournament favourites meet in the first match of the Competition as Gwenda Ainslie & Alan Gilchrist took on Carol Davidson & Lee Wilson. And it turned out to be a bit of a controversial start as Gwenda and Alan initially claimed an 8-7 victory on their scorecard, disputed by Lee & Carol who had the match scored as a 7-7 draw - Committee Adjudication needed from the outset! With the purported winners a little unsure if they were correct, a 7-7 draw was recorded.
Meanwhile there was no controversy as Anne Clarke and Alex Weir recorded a big win in their first match and when they followed that up with a 13-4-win v Carol & Lee (ending their hopes of progression) they looked like they were the team to beat. It all came down to a final match shoot out following Gwenda and Alan’s victory over Leonard Moorhead and Alan Richards – no dispute on the scorecard on this occasion after a mammoth 17-1 win. That final match saw Gwenda and Alan sneak into the final after a tense 10-8 win, Alex and Anne ruing some missed opportunities in the last few ends.
The bottom half of the draw had no clear favourites although the most experienced pairing saw George (Dod) Watson and Malcolm Cazaly drawn together – 180 years of bowling between them and according to Dod he isn’t even 80 yet – surely Malcolm can’t be 100?? This also came down to the final matches. A win for Neil Craig and Allan Ainslie put paid to Dod and Malcolm’s chances of making the final. They needed Greig McDonell & Jonathan Davidson to defeat or draw with Robert Clarke and John Finlay to put them through – in the end it wasn`t even close and a comfortable win put Robert & John into the final.
Gwenda and Alan started the final as firm favourites and after a good start they looked in complete control. 7-2 up after five ends and no one gave the underdogs a chance but when the next 3 ends all went the way of John & Robert suddenly the match was in the balance, 7-6 with two ends to go. Two singles on the last two ends, however, saw Gwenda drag her playing partner over the line to a 9-6 victory. Well done to them.
Our second Competition of this reduced season was the Lauder 500 Trophy. After a dodgy draw, it looked like the favourites had to be Lee Wilson & Alan Gilchrist – Alan managed to prove, however, that it truly was Gwenda who had pulled him through the previous week as they bit the dust after a 14-7 loss in their second match of the day. That left the door open for Greig McDonell & Alex Weir to progress after two huge wins (17-4 & 16-3). They would surely meet Anne Clarke & Jonathan Davidson in the final - they went into their final match against Carol Davidson & Malcolm Cazaly in the knowledge that anything other than a big loss would see them through. With calculators at hand, Jonathan had worked out that even a 7-shot loss would be enough for them to get through. After seven ends, however, Anne & Jonathan had only picked up a pair and had lost a remarkable 15 shots over that period. 13 shots adrift they needed to find 6 shots in the last 3 ends – a single and a pair brought them within 3 of their target going down the last but they only managed another single and a 9 shot victory remarkably saw Malcolm and Carol progress.
The final saw Greig & Alex hold a five shot lead going into the last end – only a major nervous breakdown would prevent them picking up the trophy – hold on – 4 bowls to go and Carol & Malcolm held 3……… No improvement with Alex`s penultimate bowl – Carol had a chance to put real pressure on but when she failed to make it 4 the match was effectively over. Well done to Alex & Greig.
Even though we’re still far away from normal, it’s good to be back playing.