Scottish success in the indoor bowls British Isles Championships at the Stanley IBC in Durham was limited to one title and it was delivered by one-time East Lothian star Paul Foster, who skipped Prestwick colleague Alex Adrain to the 4-bowl Pairs crown.
The Scottish champions recovered from a 5-2 deficit to cross into a 10-8 lead against Owain Dando and John Tomlinson of Wales in yesterday’s final before zipping away to win 27-17. Coatbridge trio Derek Taggart, Chris Bryden and Gordon McKenzie carried the Scotland banner into the final of the Triples, but slipping from 7-8 to 8-15 went on to lose 16-14 against Ross Tomlinson (skip) of Wales. In the Gents disciplines, Scotland suffered an early setback as national champion Thomas Mann of West Lothian made a 21-15 exit to Perry Martin of England in the prelim round of the Singles.
Mann had looked the real deal when leading all the way from 2-1 to 13-9, but he became trapped in the dreaded bowlers’ graveyard for the next six ends and the price he paid was an 18-13 deficit. Martin Williamson of Ardrossan – conqueror of West Lothian star Calum Logan in the national final – was another prelim victim making a 21-11 exit to Todd Priaulx of Channel Islands in the Junior Singles. And more prelim pain came in the Seniors Fours with the Newton Stewart rink of Ian McColm, John Paterson, William McWhirter and James Sproat crushed 24-7 by Seamus Elliam (Skip) of Ireland. More grief for Scotland came in the Fours with Sam Watson, Francis Leitch, Steven Rankin and Derek McClue slipping from 14-12 up to a 20-15 defeat from John Roberts (skip) of Wales in the semi-final stage.
Scotland managed to reach two finals of the Ladies championships but lost out to English opposition in both the Singles and the Triples. Julie Forrest of Teviotdale – a record six-times winner of the national singles crown – looked well set to add to her previous title successes in the event when the 44-year-old picked up the pace from 8-7 to lead Rebecca Field, 15-7.
But the next seven ends proved to be barren for the Scottish champion and she conceded 2, 1, 3, 1, 2, 3 2 to lose 21-15. Arbroath represented Scotland in the Triples where their trio of Leanne Furye, Trixie McKay and Caroline Ruxton found themselves against the collar from 7-6 down after eight ends and suffered a 22-9 beat from Wendy King (skip) of England.
Hopes were high that the exciting Midlothian partnership of young internationalists Gaynor Blair and Stacey Laidlaw would deliver for Scotland in the Pairs but they couldn’t cope with Carol Ingrouille and Alison Merrien MBE of Channel Islands in the prelim round.
The game changer was a three-end hiccup at 9-9 with the loss of 3, 2, 3 bringing the Scotltish challengers under pressure at 17-9 before they lost 19-15. Channel Islands went on to win the title with further wins over Ireland and England.