In the race for a top 4 finish our Gents Team knew that a win at home against Wilton B on Monday night was crucial. The Hawick side started the night 4 points behind their hosts in the knowledge that a victory at Lauder would give them a good chance of taking the top 4 race down to the wire.
Three of our four rinks on the night all had to battle hard - From 8-4 down after 7 ends, Guthrie, Moorhead, Nisbet & Ainslie won 8 of the last 10 ends for an excellent 19-12 victory. It looked like being a comfortable night for Landells, McDonell, Hogarth & Hutton as they stormed into a 9-1 lead after 7 ends but they lost 7 of the last 10 ends as the Hawick side battled back to secure a 12-12 draw.
Our 3rd Rink of Clarke, Gillie, B. Ogilvie & Gilchrist had a nightmare start to their match and trailed 7-0 after 5 ends. They however did well to rally and in the end only lost out by 12 shots to 11. A tight match across the board at that point - that was until our best rink on the night had their say - T. Ogilvie, Atkinson, Weir & Wilson were never in trouble as they won emphatically by 29 shots to 8 thus giving the home team a terrific 71-44 win.
Following that crucial Monday night win against Wilton B our Gents travelled to top of the table Selkirk on Wednesday knowing that a win would all but guarantee a top 4 finish and retain their Division 2 status for next season.
The visitors task was made more difficult as they faced Selkirk with one triple - Davidson, Weir & Ainslie however got off to a great start which they were never to reliquish - an 18-7 victory, but a quarter chalked off as a result of not fielding a full side.
Elsewhere Clarke, Gillie, B. Ogilvie & Gilchrist looked to be cruising to a good victory at 14-6 up after 9 ends but their Selkirk opponents clawed their way back into the match and in the end nearly pulled off a great comeback - 17-16 courtesy of a shot on the last end for Lauder.
T. Ogilvie, Moorhead, McDonell & Wilson never really recovered from lying 3 on the first end only for the Selkirk skip's last bowl to trail the jack into the ditch for 4. They lost out by 18 shots to 12.
So only a couple of shots separated the teams across those three rinks. As with the win on Monday night, however, one of our rinks played a blinder - on this ocassion it was Landells, Atkinson, Young & Hutton who stormed to a 21-8 victory thus securing an overall 63.5-49 win.
A terrific result for the Gents who are now 6 points clear of 5th placed Wilton B and only 2 points behind league leaders Selkirk. Whilst mathematically Lauder still need a point to ensure a top 4 finish, they have a far superior shot difference and are virtually there! This coming week sees an away match v Gala A with whom they share second spot in the Division.
The Centenary Pairs Club Competition took place on Sunday 22nd July 2018. In "Section A" Lee & Danny and Ian & Roddy looked like strong pairings, whilst in "Section B" Anne & Rab and Al & Jimmy started as favourites.
Going into the last round of matches in Section A it looked as if any of 4 teams could progress to the final. A draw between Ian & Roddy and Greig & Alex ended both teams hopes. Undefeated going into their match Lee & Danny would surely progress to the final but a heavy defeat to Lenny & Tom saw the latter pair progress to the final on shot difference. In Section B Anne & Rab were in terrific form and progressed as the only side on the day to remain undefeated.
The final saw some terrific bowls and Anne in particular led brilliantly - a couple of big ends for the Clarkes saw them win a fairly one-sided final and lift the 2018 Centenary Pairs Cup - well done to them.
Our Gents Team faced an away match on Monday evening against Gala Bowling Club and the summer again palyed havoc with team selection with various regulars unavailable - this resulted in the Gents travelling to Gala with only 14 players rather than the 16 required. At the midway point of the evening it was a worrying score across the Board with one of our Triples on the wrong end of a big deficit and the Club at one stage were a dozen or so shots behind. In fairness to the Gilchrist rink, they steadied the ship and recovered from a 20-3 deficit to lose 20-9 - with a qurter deducted, however, due to playing as a triple the victory margin was effectively 14 shots. Having made a brilliant start, the Wilson rink let a 10-2 advantage disapper and ended up somehow losing out by 13 shots to 12. Fortunately our two other rinks had terrific wins - Hutton's rink were pulled back at one point but a terrific finish saw them defeat their Gala opponents by a 21-10 scoreline - they too, however, had to put up with a quarter deduction resulting in their being a 9 / 10 shot lead for Galashiels going into the last rink. That rink was skipped by Chris Ainslie and they had a resounding 23-9 victory meaning the overall score resulted in a narrow 4 shot win for Lauder by a 56-52 scoreline.
This was a match which could have gone badly wrong for the visitors - Gala B were bottom of the table and with the fight for the top 4 being so close it could have been a costly slip up. As it is, the Gents now have a short break from league action and sit in 3rd place in the League but importantly 4 points ahead of 5th place Wilton - next match for Lauder - Home v Wilton!