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.
Our popular Club Pairs Event saw eleven pairs take part across 3 sections with the 3 group winners and the best runner-up moving on to the semi-finals.
Section 1 came down to a straight fight between Jimmy Gillie & Greig McDonell and Tom Ogilvie and Dod Wilson. In a tight match Tom and Dod came out on top by one shot to give them 3 wins out of 3 and the Group winners spot in the semi-finals.
In Section 2, Alan Richards and Isabel MacRae swept all before them with 3 wins out of 3, their closest match being a 1 shot win against Roddy McGeoch & Margaret Scott. Malcolm Cazaly and Jonathan Davidson were to finish runners-up after a draw against Roddy & Margaret was followed by a win v Christine Elrick and Sandra Shackleton.
Section 3 saw three pairs competing and by shot difference the winners were Avril Wilson & Kenny White who secured their place in the semi-finals. In the race for the best runners-up spot, Greig & Jimmy, primarily thanks to a 13-shot victory over Alex Weir and Carol Davidson, completed the last 4 line up.
The first semi was close all the way between Tom & Dod and Avril & Kenny. With Tom’s steady play and Dod’s excellent skipping, they made it over the line by 7 shots to 6. In the other semi-final, Jimmy & Greig were in complete control, 3 up and lying shot with one bowl left in the last end. There was no way Alan could make a three or better – oh my goodness or words to that effect were heard to leave Jimmy’s lips – a three and an extra end was needed – Alan played some great stuff in that final end to secure a place in the final.
The final saw Tom & Dod get off to a great start with two 2’s in the first two ends. Just when the watching crowd thought the match was going to be one sided, back came Isabel & Alan with a single and then a 2 to reduce the deficit to 4-3 with two ends to go. A single for Dod on the penultimate end made it difficult – could Alan repeat the trick of his semi-final wonder bowl? No was the answer as Dod & Tom deservedly won through by 6 shots to 3 to pick up the title for 2019.
The big event of August was the Club’s Gents Championship Final played on the 23rd of the month.
The Competition which runs throughout the season saw Defending Champion Chris Ainslie reach the final where he met first time finalist, Jonathan Davidson. Chris started as a heavy favourite to pick up the title, but Jonathan seemed to relish the “outsider tag” as he produced some excellent bowls.
When Jonathan took a 10-7 lead, Chris was under pressure. That lead was extended with 5 further unanswered shots to take him within 6 shots of victory at 15-7. Despite a brief comeback from Chris, Jonathan held his nerve and ran out a 21-12 victor. Well done to him.
Our Best of 3 Singles Competition was played on Saturday 17th August and attracted 24 entries.
Those who fell into the last 8 names out of the hat had a bye in to the 2nd Round. Amongst them was Ian Hogarth who then discovered following the withdrawal of Jimmy Gillie from the competition that he went straight through to the last 8! No such luck for others such as Lee Wilson & Greig McDonell who were pitted against each other in the first round. Needing two sets of 7 shots for a win, this should be a fairly quick format – try telling that to Greig and Lee who took some 26 ends to finish their match off – Greig is still kicking himself having let a 5-2 lead slip in the deciding set as Lee progressed. The first surprise of the day came when John Finlay made a rare appearance at a Club competition and proceeded to take out the in-form Dod Watson 7-1 in the deciding 3rd set. The match of the first round, however, was between Billy Nisbet and Gwenda Ainslie. When Billie took just 4 ends to whitewash Gwenda in the first set this looked like being a match which would get the timings back on track. But hold on a minute! Four ends later and Gwenda picked up the 2nd set by a 7-1 scoreline. Talk about topsy turvy! A 3 for Billy in the first end of the decider and the match once again swung in his favour. That, however, was followed by a 2 and a 4 for Gwenda – 6-3 and she was in control. In End 4 she was lying the match as Billy’s last bowl trundled down the rink a mile wide of the target. It seems, however, that Billy has been learning from Malcolm – according to Dod (he may be exaggerating a little) after half a dozen wicks and changes of direction, somehow Billy picked up a single to save the match. A two on the next brought the game level before Billy secured victory in the final sudden death end! What a great match.
Round 2 was fairly uneventful before the drama of the quarter finals. Lee forced his tie with Sandra Shackleton into a deciding set, recovering from a 7-2 first set loss. Sandra, however, was not to be beaten as she recorded a 7-0 win in that deciding set. She would face the winner of Avril Wilson v Rab Clarke. Avril lost the first set 7-3 before picking up the second 7-2. The decider was quick! Conserving energy, Rab scored a 4 and a 3 and just like that the match was over! In the other half of the draw, Ian woke up from his lazy day and recorded a straight sets win against Malcolm Cazaly to set up a tie with Billy in the semi-final after his straight sets win over Anne Clarke.
Rab was unable to get going against Sandra in the first semi-final – a 2, a 4 and a single and the first set was over in a flash. The second set wasn’t much better for him as Sandra’s good form continued as she reached the final with a 7-4 second set win. There she would meet Ian who progressed in a much more straightforward manner than most had predicted with a 2-0 victory over Billy.
So the scene was set for an easy victory for Ian – he was much the fresher player having worked his way through the bottom half of the draw with the help of a bye and a walkover whilst Sandra seemed to be struggling a little after 54 ends of bowls had seen her reach the final. Ian looked relaxed and confident as he picked up a three in the first end - slowly but surely, however, Sandra played her way back into the match and a three on end 8 saw her take the first set 7-5. Ian was in trouble! 3 ends later though and the match was all square after a 7-0 whitewash in set 2. With the momentum all in Ian’s favour he was surely back in control. Sandra showed real grit as she took a 5-4 advantage in the deciding set. In what turned out to be the final end of the match, however, she was a bit wayward and Ian with his last bowl drew in beautifully for a 3 to win a great final by 7 shots to 5.
The Sleigh Cup took place in the sweltering heat of Sunday 28th July and saw 8 teams divided into two sections.
Section 1 saw three rinks and 1 triple take part. Isabel MacRae, Mary Sked, Greig McDonell and Lee Wilson looked like being the team to beat – hang on a minute – fast forward to the first end of the day and they lost a 5 to Anne Clarke, Jonathan Davidson, Margaret Scott and Alan Ainslie! It didn’t get much better as the Ainslie rink won the match at a canter 16-4 and the day was virtually over there and then for the Wilson rink! In the other match in the section, Avril Wilson, Rab Clarke and Sandra Shackleton defeated Alan Richards, Jimmy Gillie, Christine Elrick & Alan Gilchrist by 8 shots to 4. In the next round of matches, the Wilson mother v son match was close and ended up in a 7-7 tie. Meanwhile, the Gilchrist rink came back into contention as they defeated Ainslie by 9 shots to 3 and their chances remained high as in their final match, they strolled to a 12-2 win v Lee. 4 points and a +12 shot difference would have been enough had it not been for a resounding win for Avril, Rab and Sandra who hammered the Ainslie rink by 16 shots to 1 to secure their place in the final.
Section 2 was filled by 4 triples. According to Roddy, he, Anne Rooney and Gwenda Ainslie were going to stroll through to the final and they got off to a cracking start with a 10-4 win v Dod Watson, Malcolm Cazaly and Carol Davidson. In the other match in round 1, Lenny Moorhead, Keith Atkinson and Ian Hogarth started with an 8-5 victory against Sandra Fullerton, Duncan MacRae and Alex Weir. The second round of matches saw a setback for the Hogarth triple as they lost by a single shot to Malcolm, Dod and Carol. The favourites breezed through their match v Alex, Duncan and Sandra by a 7-2 scoreline. With a +11 shot difference going into the last match, Roddy, Anne & Gwenda could afford to lose but needed to keep within 4 shots of Keith, Lenny and Ian. 4-0 up after 3 ends and they were coasting but then disaster struck! The loss of a 6 was followed by a 2 and two singles as the Hogarth triple remarkably won 10-4 to reach the final on shot difference. In the battle for 3rd place, Dod, Malcolm and Carol recorded a 3 shot victory.
The final was a terrific match which went down to the wire. At 2-1 down after three ends, Avril, Rab and Sandra went on a three-end run picking up 4 shots along the way to lead 5-2 with one end to play. On that final end the match looked in the balance again. Lying 3, Ian’s last bowl was drawing in nicely for a four and the match but somewhat cruelly he just moved the jack a couple of inches and after a measure a three forced the match into an extra end. With Avril lying the shot, it once again came down to Ian’s last bowl which came up just short – an excellent 6-5 win for Avril, Rab & Sandra.