End to end tension as bowlers brave elements in district finals

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All roads led to Hawick on Sunday for Borders bowlers as the Bowls Scotland District Finals were played out at Hawick BC.

Fourteen ties took place and the green was in excellent condition after the work that had been carried out by the Hawick green staff. As usual the Scottish weather did not disappoint, with beautiful sunny spells followed by some heavy rain showers and a bit of a strong wind thrown in as well.

There was a good crowd throughout and those people who braved the elements witnessed some great bowling and some really close games.

Such were the fixtures to get through that three sessions had to be played with the morning one starting at 9.30am.

Going for their third consecutive win in the District Finals Earlston duo Gail Moffatt and Denise Kellett were not inspired by either the weather or the early start and trailed 6-1 after four ends against Selkirk pair Louise MacLennan and Hazel Scott. Winning a count of six on the fifth was enough to wake the defending champions up, however, and some steady bowling from there on in saw them come away 20-12 winners.

The girls are now looking forward to another trip to Ayr for the National Finals in July. Kellett told The Southern: “Neither of us particularly like playing in the rain and it took us a while to get into our game.

“Once we got the six though things started to go a bit better for us and we were able to keep it up from then on.”

Moffatt added: “We were knocked out in the opening round at Ayr last year and the second round the year before that, so it would be good to go a bit further this time.”

In the second session on Saturday, all eyes were on rink four for a showdown between Borders big guns Marie Todd (Newtown) and Joyce Dickey of the host club. Both ladies have won the Scottish title previously and were level 1-1 in previous ties played.

This time it was Hawick lass Dickey who won through after a long hard 30 ends with a final score of 21-17. Later on in the afternoon, Marie was joined by Anne Blacklock and Sandra Blacklock in the two-bowl triples where they met Selkirk BC trio Jean Hinchliffe, Jean Scott and Moira Weir. The first set was tied but the Newtown ladies took a 6-0 lead in the second and managed to stay in front to win the match.

In the final session of the day Gala were represented in the senior fours by Anne Forsyth, Naz Rutherford, Moira Blyth and Gail Lindores who came up against Abbotsford quartet Libby Simpson, Margeret Brown, Liz Waugh and Ella Brydon for a very tight tie indeed.

After a slow start a count of five enabled the Gala girls to recover and on the penultimate end Moira Blyth moved the jack through to lay four shots which put her team two shots ahead playing the last end.

Two very good bowls played by Liz Waugh then put Abbotsford in a winning position but one of these bowls was removed and with both teams level, an extra end was necessary. Forsyth played two superb bowls at lead and Abbotsford could not recover the situation.

All the winners will now go on to represent the Borders at the National finals which will be held at Ayr Northfield between July 23 and 28.

Results

Gents’ Junior Singles: Chirnside (Jamie Mitchell) 21 Abbotsford (Andrew Hancock) 9.

Gents’ Singles: Eyemouth (Campbell McNeil) 21 Abbotsford (Tommy Newall) 12.

Gents’ Senior Singles: Berwick (Gordon Case) 21 Wilton (Gordon McPherson) 18.

Gents’ Pairs: Jedburgh (John Taylor, Greg Nagle) 15 Melrose (Neil McNally, Kenny Johnstone) 10.

Gents’ Triples: Earlston (Steven Greer, Pat McNally, Neil Kellett) 8 Gala Waverley (Jimmy Hill, Dave Miller Snr, Dave Miller Jnr) 12.

Gents’ Fours: Earlston (Bob Beattie, Dave Benton, Stephen McNally, Peter Scott) 8 St Ronans (Jojo Dougal, Andrew Borthwick, Derick Pearce, Robert Crawford) 19.

Gents’ Senior Fours: Chirnsde (Mick Morrison, Brydon Simpson, Dave Buglass, Dave Lugget) 21 Gala (Hugh Clifton, Angus Tait, Jim Craig, Rob Fulton) 9.

Mixed Pairs: Duns Park ( Val Angus, Ian Angus) 23 Ettrick Forest (Sandra Oliver, Paul McVie) 4.

Ladies’ Singles: Newtown (Marie Todd) 17 Hawick (Joyce Dickey) 21

Ladies Pairs: Earlston (Gail Moffatt, Denise Kellett) 20 Selkirk (Louise MacLennan, Hazel Scott) 12.

Ladies’ Triples: St Ronans (Irene Bell, Elizabeth Currie, Hazel Dodds) 20 Melrose (Maureen Graham, Isabel Downie, Ellen Haldane) 12.

Ladies’ 2 Bowl Triples: Newtown (Anne Blacklock, Sandra Blacklock, Marie Todd) 1.5 Selkirk (Jean Scott, Moira Weir, Jean Hinchliffe) 0.5.

Ladies’ Fours: Chirnside (Helen Kenny, Veronica Cockburn, Kay Purves, Shiela Douglas)) 27 Jedburgh (Margaret Gray, Anne Michie, Ann Gilfillan, Irene Watters) 4.

Ladies’ Senior Fours: Gala (Anne Forsyth, Naz Rutherford, Moira Blyth, Gail Lindores) 15 Abbotsford (Libby Simpson, Margaret Brown, Liz Waugh, Ella Brydon) 14.

Ladies’ Senior Singles: Chirnside (Helen Kenny) walkover.