THE first full week of action brought mixed fortunes for Tweedbank indoor bowlers, starting with the seniors who entertained Midlothian last Wednesday.
With a number of players not available for the new season, the team was a very different one from the previous campaign and included three new skips out of the four required. Even so, they started well and, with five ends completed, led by 12 shots, and only one rink falling behind.
After 10 ends, however, Midlothian had become more used to the pace of the green and the hosts’ advantage was reduced to just a single. But two rinks remained ahead and a third was locked in a draw at 10 shots apiece.
In the second half, the visitors took control and with just eight ends to go across the four rinks they led by 20 shots, eventually winning by 19 shots.
Just one Tweedbank rink managed victory – Brian Idessane, Jack Jefferson, Tom Thorburn and David Weir. At one stage they led 12-0, and with a possible five ends left, they still were 10 shots in front.
But seven shots in two ends for Midlothian closed the gap at the end of the match to just three.
Skips and scores (Tweedbank first): David Weir 15, C. Cairns 12; Rob Fulton 12, A. Cox 15; Paul Butterfield 13, F. Gray 21; Hugh Clifton 15, A. Greig 26. Result: 55-74.
On Saturday, it was the turn of the gents, who started with a home fixture against Headwell.
They, too, were also without some players from last season, but managed to put together a reasonable team.
After five ends, the Borderers were 15 shots ahead – and another five ends saw the gap grow to 22.
Tweedbank continued to forge ahead in the second half, running out victors by a 50-shot margin.
Highest up rink for Tweedbank was Paul Butterfield, Clark Chalmers, David Miller and Neil McNally.
They lost four shots during the first two ends, but conceded only a single in reaching 16-5 after 10 ends. In the second half the quartet lost just four singles, while amassing another 13 shots to win 29-9.
Close behind were Mike Dillon, Dougie Wilson, Ralph Nicholson and Kenny Johnstone. This rink scored 11 shots without reply at the beginning of the match and led by 21 shots to six after 14 ends.
With one end left to play their score was also 29-9, but they dropped two on the last end.
Skips and scores (Tweedbank first): Robert Crawford 21, J.J. Watson 14; Kenny Johnstone 29, J. Roxburgh 11; Ross Nichol 20, I. Humble 15; Neil McNally 29, C. Martin 9. Result: 99-49.
The gents are away to Teviotdale on Saturday.
The ladies faced East Lothian at Meadowmill on Saturday.
The Bordeers did not have the best of days and lost by 35 shots, but they did manage one rink up by a margin of three.
Last Sunday saw the first of the national playdowns, this being the two-bowl pairs.
For the gents, Tweedbank was represented by Ross Nichol and Kenny Johnstone, who travelled to Meadowmill, where they met a Teviotdale entry at 9.30am. This first match in the preliminary round went to three sets, Teviotdale winning the first set and Tweedbank the second.
The decider proved to be a close affair. Tweedbank were a shot adrift playing the last end. They held the two shots needed to win the match, and the Teviotdale skip could not recover the situation with his final bowl.
In the first round match, their opponents were from Abbeyview and this turned out to be another tough encounter which also went to three sets.
Once again, the Borders duo were behind with one end left to play in the third set. This time the margin was two, and with one bowl left to play, Nichol and Johnstone held the three shots required.
For the second time the opposing skip could not recover the situation and the Tweedbank pair moved on to face Headwell opponents.
This was probably the easiest of the three games they played and only two sets were needed for victory to set up a meeting with Midlothian.
The first set went to the Midlothian men and in the second they looked to be heading for success. But with one end left, the score was level, and Tweedbank managed to gain the single needed to level the match.
The third set was very much in favour of the Midlothian pair who won through to reach the semi-final stages.
Meanwhile, the ladies were at Midlothian.
Tweedbank, represented by Ann Forsyth and Gail Lindores, were up against two ladies from Teviotdale and they won the match by 2-1. The pair were then tied with Abbeyview and suffered a 2-0 defeat.
At club level, members are reminded of the new Hat Game being organised at 6.30pm each Saturday. This venture is also open to non-members.
Enquires should be made to Paul Butterfield at the stadium on 01896 756396.