Best of Borders bowlers gather in Galashiels

Top bowling action was on view at Gala Waverley.
Top bowling action was on view at Gala Waverley.

Last Saturday, the semi-finals and finals of the Border Bowling Associationwere contested on the Gala Waverley green.

Six semis were played in the morning, with the same number following in the afternoon.

On rink one, the Ancrum quartet of Dan Spratt, Ronnie McCulloch, Scott Sinton and Jim Renwick (skip) took on Stuart Aitchison, T. Mann Snr, Jackie Hardie and John Manczak (skip) from the Abbotsford Club. After six of the 15 ends, the Ancrum seniors led by 8 shots to 3 and, by the end of the match, had recorded a win by 17 shots to 9.

The second semi-final of the Seniors Fours was played between Davy Forman, Sandy Renton, Wullie Kerr and Gordon Scott (skip) Gordon and the National Senior Fours winners Wullie Wells, Robin Bell, Les Clarkson and Bill Anderson (skip). The Scottish champions led by 14 shots to 9 after 12 of the scheduled 15 ends.

However, the Duns Park men fought back and added 1, 2, 2 to their tally to peel the match and take it into an extra end. This was won by the Duns squad 16-14.

In the junior singles, Zac Leifer (Kelso) played Liam Nicholson (Waverley) and, after a tight game, Nicholson won by 21 shots to 15. The other semi was between Calvert Allison (Chirnside) and Scott Morrison (Langholm New). The Langholm youth led by 11 shost to 5 but Allison fought back and ‘peeled’ the match at 12-12. The Chirnside youngsters then went on to record a win by 21 shots to 13.

The first semi of the pairs was between the Abbotsford duo of Alan Howlieson and Graham Prentice (skip), and Brian Robertson and Jamie Mitchell (skip) Chirnside.

On a tricky rink, it was the first named who caught the line and pace and ran out winners by 22 shots to 8. The youthful duo of Kirk Ford and Scott Clarkson (skip), Hawick, took on Robert Page and Craig Kirk (skip), Ancrum, in the second semi. Ford and Clarkson won by 18 shots to 10 to secure a place in the final.

In the afternoon session, contestants in the triples were Brian Holloway, Davy Kerr and Stuart Bebbington (skip), of Tweedmouth and Scott Hislop, Tommy Mann Jnr and Gordon Bowers (skip) from Abbotsford. The Tweedmouth trio controlled the game at 11-4 but their opponents hit back with scores of 1, 2, 4 to reduce the deficit and ‘peel’ game at 11-11. The Tweedmouth trio ran out winners by 12-11.

The second semi was contested by Alan Foster, Richard Leckie and Phillip Smith (skip), Greenlaw, and Selkirk’s Neil Ballantyne, Tom Yeomans and Colin McKinnon (skip). It was the McKinnon-led quartet which won, by 23 shots to 8.

In the single-hand competition, Aaron Kerr (Ayton) took on Neil Macaskill (Hawick). The Hawick player led 10-6 after 12 ends and continued to extend his lead to 18-6 after 18 ends. Three ends later, he had won by 21-8.

Former Scottish national single-hand champion Alastair White took on Brian Blackwood (Waverley) and, in a very hard-fought match, White who won by three shots (21-18) and secure a final place.

On rink five, the home Waverley squad of Jimmy Hill, Davy Miller, William Brownlee and Ryan Thorburn were involved in a tight match against the Gordon quartet of Davy Johnstone, Findlay and Callum Donaldson and Neil Kellett (skip). After 15 of the 17 ends, the score was 13-13 before the Kellett-led quartet added two shots to his opponents one to secure his team a place in the final.

The other rink semi-final was played between the Abbotsford squad of Davy Ormiston, Brian Anderson, Scott Thomson and Kenny Johnstone (skip) and Brian Gray, Grant Robson, John Taylor and David Lightbody (skip), from Jedburgh.

The Lightbody squad led by 11 shots to 5 after nine of the 17 ends. However, their opponents hit back to secure victory by 17 shots to 12.

On rink one in the finals, Alan Howlieson and Graham Prentice (skip), Abbotsford, took on Kirk Ford and Scott Clarkson (skip) of Hawick.

Kirk and Ford built up a good lead and, after 13 of the 17 ends, led by 15 shots to eight.

The Abbotsford duo was not to be denied and picked up scores of 3, 2 and 3 to snatch a dramatic win by 16-15 and secure custody of the Bennett Cup.

On rink two, Neil MacAskill (Hawick) and Alastair White (White) were the opponents in the final of the Border single hand competition. The Hawick player started well and led by 14-4 and 18-8 after 12 ends. White battled back to close the deficit to 19-16 but it was MacAskill who clinched the title with a score of 21-16, and the Herbert Potts Cup.

Duns Park took on Ancrum in the final of the Senior Fours championship and, in a one-sided contest, Foreman, Renton, Kerr and Scott defeated Spratt, McCulloch, Sinton and Renwick (skip) by 17 shots to 5 inside the distance.

In the fours, Johnstone, Findlay Donaldson and Callum Donaldson and Kellett (skip), started well and led by 10-0 against the Abbotsford quartet of Ormiston, Anderson, Thomson and Johnstone (skip) after six of the 17 ends.

The Gordon combination built on this advantage and ran out winners by 20 shots to 11 to win the Sir Thomson Henderson Shield.

Tweedmouth took on Selkirk in the final of the Arkle Irvine Trophy and, after six of the 15 ends, the trio of Holloway, Kerr and Bebbington were in front 10-4, restricting their Selkirk opponents of Ballantyne, Yeomans and McKinnon to single shots.

Eventually, the Tweedmouth side won 16-9.

After 14 ends of the junior singles final, the score was peeled at 13 shots each between Liam Nicholson and Calvert Allison.

Eight ends later, the game was over as Nicholson recorded a win by 21 shots to 16 to secure custody of the Ian Cook Trophy.