Relatively speaking, the Bowls Scotland District Finals, held at Abbotsford Bowling Club in Galashiels on Sunday, were a rip-roaring success.
Husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, brothers, fathers and sons from the Borders will head to Ayr at the end of July to contest the National Finals on the Northfield greens, following a fast and furious days’ bowling.
Temperatures soared as 30 teams from east to west of the region turned out to contest 15 sizzling finals, with the Douglas family from Chirnside BC coming out tops in three of them.
It was mother and daughter Sheila (skip) and Lauren, who set the ball rolling with a convincing victory in the Ladies Fours, playing with Kay and Lauren Purves, also mother and daughter, against a Hawick Wilton rink skipped by Irene Bennett.
Patriarch of the clan, Gavin, then put Abbotsford’s Alan Howlieson to the sword in the Gents Senior Singles, before Lauren capped a tremendous day for the Douglases by beating Eyemouth’s Leigh Calder in the Ladies Junior Singles.
Having won a National title with the Chirnside Gents Triple in 2001, father Douglas was delighted that his wife and daughter will have a chance to experience the buzz of Northfield this time around. He said: “There is absolutely nothing like the atmosphere you get at the National Finals, and to have three members of the family going up this year in three separate events is tremendous.”
Hawick Bowling Club also provided some good family entertainment. Alison Clarkson skipped a Ladies Triple to victory against Gordon, ably supported by Suzanne Spalding and Pat Brady, while husband Les notched a double in both the Gents Seniors, alongside Willie Wells, Robin Bell and Bill
Anderson (skip), and Gents Fours, with Anderson (skip), Simon Spalding and Neil MacAskill.
Hawick BC president Colin Spalding, husband of Suzanne and father of Simon, said: “That was just brilliant. Three teams here and three teams won, with my wife and son involved in two. I’m really chuffed for both the club and the family – and I just can’t wait to get to Ayr.
“The club hasn’t been doing too well in the league this season but getting three teams to the National Finals is a huge thing and I’m really proud of the players who made that happen.”
Former National Singles winner Alistair White, skipping older brother Stuart, from Kelso BC ,is eyeing up another title at Ayr, having defeated Melrose BC duo Lee Haldane and Ian Crawford in the Gents Pairs.
Among the many other unrelated but notable performances on the day were that of Gordon Triple, Neil Kellett (skip) Dave Johnston and Arthur Cossar, who beat the Gala Waverley trio skipped by Dave Miller Jnr, while Lauder’s Carol Davidson is delighted to be making her first trip to Ayr this summer following victory in the Ladies Pairs, with seasoned skip Isabel MaCrae, against the Buccleuch BC duo skipped by Mary Martin.
Double victory came the way of Gala Waverley in the final session of the day when Gary Thorburn and Liam Nicholson won their Gents Singles and Gents Junior Singles finals respectively.
Alan Bennie, Bowls Scotland district secretary, thanked all the players and supporters for turning out to support the event, which was the pinnacle of the Borders calendar for many local clubs.
He said: “It’s tremendous to see this event being so well supported. The standard of bowls on offer was exceptional and I wish all the winners the best of luck when they go to Ayr next month.”
Mr Bennie also thanked Abbotsford Bowling Club for hosting the event and for keeping everybody refreshed throughout. Results:
Ladies Senior Fours: Spittal BC (Susan Lee, Isobel Dixon, Linda Renton and Margaret Douglas) beat Berwick BC (Norma Renton, Cath Cochrane, Mary McCann and Dilys Todrick) 19-7.
Ladies Fours: Chirnside BC (Lauren Douglas, Laura Purves, Kay Purves and Sheila Douglas) beat Wilton BC (June Robertson, Lynn Nichol, Betty Gibson and Irene Bennett) 18-10.
Gents Senior Fours: Hawick BC (Willie Wells, Robin Bell, Les Clarkson and Bill Anderson) beat Kelso BC (Dave Soutar, Jack Utterson, Ronnie Paxton and Dennis Poloczek) 12-10.
Mixed Pairs: Eyemouth BC (Liz Dickson and Campbell McNeil) beat Gala Waverley BC (Abi Thorburn and Gary Thorburn) 17-11.
Gents Triples: Gordon BC (Dave Johnston, Arthur Cossar and Neil Kellett) beat Gala Waverley BC (Liam Nicholson, Ralph Nicholson and Dave Miller Jnr) 16-6.
Ladies Senior Singles: Spittal BC (Sandra McLeish) beat Chirnside BC (Jane Carruthers) 21-12.
Gents Senior Singles: Chirnside BC (Gavin Douglas) beat Abbotsford BC (Alan Howlieson) 21-11.
Ladies Pairs: Lauder BC (Carol Davidson and Isabel MaCrae) beat Buccleuch BC (Frances Spalding and Mary Martin) 17-13.
Ladies Triples: Hawick BC (Suzanne Spalding, Pat Brady and Alison Clarkson) beat Gordon BC (Rena Donaldson, Heather Donaldson and Denise Kellett) 15-11.
Gents Pairs: Kelso BC (Stuart White and Alistair White) beat Melrose BC (Lee Haldane and Ian Crawford) 19-12.
Ladies Junior Singles: Chirnside BC (Lauren Douglas) beat Eyemouth BC (Leigh Calder) 21-16.
Gents Fours: Hawick BC (Simon Spalding, Neil McCaskill, Les Clarkson and Bill Anderson) beat Gordon BC (Mark Redpath, Dave Hunter, Billy Donaldson and Alan Redpath) 21-18.
Gents Singles: Gala Waveley BC (Gary Thorburn) beat Chirnside BC (Jamie Mitchell) 21.18.
Ladies Singles: Berwick BC (Margaret Robertson) beat Newtown St Boswells BC (Marie Todd) 21-18.
Gents Junior Singles: Gala Waverley BC (Liam Nicholson beat Chirnside BC (Joe Condy) 21-10.