Borders bowlers battle bravely at Northfield

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A large number of bowlers from the Borders travelled to the Ayr Northfield green for the national finals and were successful on several fronts.

Chirnside supplied two sets of finalists with their senior rink of Michael Morrison, Brydon Simpson, Dave Buglass and Dave Luggett making their way through, only to be defeated by Upper Cowal.

The ladies’ rink of Helen Kenny, Veronica Cockburn, Kay Purves and Sheila Douglas also made their final, in which they lost out to Townholm.

In the ladies’ pairs, Earlston’s Gail Moffat and Denise Kellett (skip) overcame teams from Crosshill, Eskmills and Currie to reach the semi-final on Sunday morning when they took on Lauren and Leanne Baillie, the Cockenzie & Port Seaton winners for the last two years, and lost out in a bruising encounter.

Jedburgh pair John Taylor and Greg Nagle outplayed a Hillington Estate duo, but were overcome by West Barns who went on to win the title.

Campbell McNeil from the Eyemouth club defeated Brian McVittie (Garlieston) before taking on five-times indoor champion Paul Foster and played tremendous bowls to win by 21-14. Unfortunately, in the afternoon, he lost out to Ian Murray from Turriff.

Other local teams to do well were the Waverley triple of Jimmy Hill, Davy Miller senior and junior who won against Banchory and Thornton, but were defeated by Castle Douglas. The mixed pair of Valerie and Ian Angus (Duns Park) won their first game, but were beaten in their second.

A new competition to the championships was the two-bowl triples, where the Borders was represented by Anne and Sandra Blacklock and Marie Todd (skip) from Newtown who won against Cambus, but lost to Colville Park. The Galashiels ladies’ senior four of Jill Butterfield, Naz Rutherford, Moira Blyth and Gail Lindores also won their first match, but were defeated by Newburgh.

Another first-day winner was Jojo Dougall, Andy Borthwick, Derick Pearce and Robert Crawford (St Ronan’s) who triumphed against the Kelvindale squad, but lost out to the Bathgate four. Also from St Ronan’s was Irene Bell, Elizabeth Currie and Hazel Dodds (skip) who were defeated in the first round of the triples.

Joyce Dickey (Hawick) was beaten by Anne Dunwoodie in the ladies’ singles, Helen Kenny (Chirnside) lost to Catherine Kinnear (Rattray) in the senior singles while Gordon Case (Berwick) was defeated by Stewart Banks (Dumbarton) in the men’s equivalent. Jamie Mitchell (Chirnside) lost to Jack Montgomerie (West Kilbride) in the junior singles.