ALMOST four decades after his father Roy clinched the Scottish singles bowling title, Kelso’s Alastair White has repeated the feat.
Father-of-two White made his ninth visit to the National Finals at Ayr last week and achieved his dream of becoming a Scottish Champion with a convincing 21-10 victory over Kevin Bain of the Hyndland Club in Glasgow.
The 37-year-old production planner told TheSouthern: “This is my first national title and I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet. Dad won the singles title just after I was born and my wife Jen gave birth to my son Aaron three weeks ago, so I thought it was a massive omen.
White’s win also ensured he would deliver a special present to his two-year-old daughter Zoe.
“I told her that I was going to bring her a gold medal home so of course I had to do my best,” he said.
As it happened, White didn’t have to wait until he got home. Straight after his win he telephoned his wife to tell her the good news, only to be informed that she and the children had been watching the match from the Northfield clubrooms.
“I couldn’t believe that they were actually there,” he said. “It had been arranged as a surprise and it just topped off an incredible week. Dad was there too and the whole thing was very emotional.”
White took a step back from the national bowling circuit after Zoe was born to enable him to concentrate on his family, but keeping himself active on the Borders scene meant that he never lost the talent.
“I think having the kids has made me a lot more relaxed,” he added. “I have been involved in nine national finals before this, competing in various categories, and the best I have done is reach the quarter-finals. Winning on Sunday was a dream come true and the support from my family, the Kelso club and the rest of the Borders was amazing.
“Facebook was going crazy and there was a massive Borders support at Ayr, I think that helped a lot towards my success.”
White’s campaign began on Thursday when he beat Stephen Murray of Twechar Miners Wellfare Club, Glasgow, by 21-13.
He then disposed of Michael Black of Carnoustie West End 21-9 and Iain McLelland, Dumfries, 21-14, before facing his toughest challenge of the week.
White’s opponent in the semi-final was John Simpson from the Dalzell Club in Motherwell.
White led by 17-12 at one stage, but Simpson scored eight in five ends to be just a single away from victory.
Then, with one bowl each left, Simpson was lying game. Only he will know what he was attempting with the final bowl, however, as he gave the shot away. White had two bowls behind the jack and took his chance, playing a controlled shot which picked up the jack for the count of three that was required to put him into the final. The rest, as they say, is history.
Last week’s finals got off to a disastrous start for Borders representatives. Day one saw a total wipeout of local contenders with four qualifiers from five categories falling at the first hurdle.
Only the ladies’ senior four of Liz Clark, Janet Brown, Liz McKenzie and Marion Bower from Peebles made it through with a 17-shot victory over Wrangholm Hall, Motherwell, before being put out the following day by Kennoway (18-13).
Day two proved better with Ancrum’s triple, Gordon Scott, Stuart Skeldon and Colin Skeldon and the Melrose four of Craig Brown, Michael Patterson, Neil McNally and Kenny Johnstone making it through along with White.
Melrose progressed to the last eight with a 14-16 win over Glencarse before going down 17-16 to Bogleha.
Ancrum also made it to the quarter-finals with a victory over Port Glasgow (13-11), but were defeated by Kirkcaldy West End (20-9).