Marvellous Melrose

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MELROSE Bowling Club will represent the Borders in the Scottish Top-10 next year following a solid victory over Kelso at Earlston on Saturday.

Prior to the finals, the semis of the regional tournament were played out on the Newtown and Lauder greens in the morning.

At Newtown, Melrose took on Selkirk, but the Division Two runaway leaders were no match for the Melrose men, who had a comfortable 8-0 victory.

It was a different story at Lauder where Chirnside, the champions for the last two years, faced Kelso.

The singles was a very close affair with the score reaching 16-15 in favour of Chirnside. In the next end, disaster fell on Chirnside with Stuart White of Kelso picking up a full house of four to be within two shots of victory. Two singles secured the win and the first points to Kelso.

As the other categories reached the last few ends, Kelso were well ahead in the fours while Chirnside led in the pairs by a similar margin.

This left the triples, which could have gone either way. A win for Kelso would give them an unbeatable six points, while a victory for Chirnside would mean that both teams would share the points, leaving the result to be decided on shot difference. In the event, Chirnside took the triples by the narrowest of margins, but lost the match by four shots.

The final was very closely contested and in the singles it looked as though Kelso would be the winners when White built up a lead of 16-6. Melrose’s Kenny Johnstone fought back and in seven ends scored 11 shots to take the lead at 17-16. It remained tight, but at 18-18, Kelso lost a count of three, which gave victory to Melrose.

The other categories were all very close, with Kelso sneaking a win in the triples and Melrose edging it in the pairs and fours.

Winning three of the four categories gave Melrose six points with just two points going the way of the Tweedsiders.

The triumphant Melrose 10 consisted of Kenny Johnstone, Ian Crawford, Lee Haldane, Neil McNally, Mike Patterson, Craig Brown, Bill Swanston, Ian Renton, Malcolm Thin and Ross Graham.