BORDER BOWLING’S grand finale fell victim to the weather last weekend with slippy greens more conducive to curling than the summer outdoor sport.
The Border League Cup and Plate were due to take place on Saturday, hosted by the Wilton club, but overnight rain put a slippery film on the green. However, the Plate final went ahead on time at 11am.
The teams in the final were Gala B and Abbotsford B, and both teams made a solid start. With five ends completed, there were just four shots separating the two, but in the course of the next five ends, Gala forged ahead, increasing their overall lead by 14 shots.
Abbotsford’s efforts to come back proved to be not enough as Gala won by 71-48.
With more wet weather looking imminent, the final of the League Cup was started with Wilton A facing Abbotsford A.
The arrival of the rain, however, was making the surface more tricky and there were several instances of players slipping on the green. The weather eventually forced the players off and it was initially agreed to wait until 4pm to decide whether the match should continue or be abandoned.
The rain did stop and efforts were made to clear the green of surface water. After some debate it was decided that the match should continue, but a further, more serious, fall by one of the Abbotsford players was enough to convince everybody that the match should be abandoned until a later date.
At the end of the Plate final, trophies were presented to all the season’s winners by sponsor D. Lightbody, whose patronage is much appreciated.
The first division was a closely-fought contest at the halfway point where six teams had the potential to win the league. It was Melrose who performed best, winning five of their last six games to become Border League champions.
Abbotsford beat Waverley, champions in 2009 and 2010, for second place on shots difference. Ancrum had a tremendous run of six wins from the last seven weeks to finish in the top half in fourth spot. Earlston finished fifth, and Kelso, who were leading after six weeks, finished sixth. Wilton fell from a healthy mid-term position and ended seventh, with Gala propping up the table despite winning their last three games. There is no relegation this year as the first division will expand to 10 teams in 2012.
The second division was a two-horse race between the teams relegated from the first division in 2010, Hawick and Jedburgh.
It came down to the last game and Hawick beat Jedburgh to claim the league title. Jed, who had led all the way to the last week, had the consolation of promotion back into the top flight. St Ronans won the battle for third spot, closely followed by Lauder, Selkirk and Peebles. Buccleuch and Newtown ended in the bottom two places, but maintain their second division status due to a change in league structure.
Division three was won for the first time by Ettrick Forest with 24 points. They did not have it all their own way and were pushed right to the finish by Wilton B (20) and Stow (20).
Abbotsford B came third, followed by Kelso B, Waverley B and Gala B, with Hawick B struggling to field a team at times.
Ettrick Forest and Stow move up into the second dDivision with the B teams going into a league of their own with teams of four rinks. Hopefully this will ensure each club can field a full squad.