Bowls: Bonnyrigg fight back for Top Ten title

BONNYRIGG lifted the Roofline Scotland-sponsored Inter-County Top Ten title with two magnificent performances in the final day's play of the tournament at Eddlewood in Lanarkshire.

The Midlothian champions produced a last-bowl victory over title favourites Carrick Knowe in the semi-final then came from well off the pace to score a dramatic win over Lockerbie (Dumfriesshire) in the final.

"This is the first time the men have brought a national title to the club and we showed great tenacity and character to win both games," said Bonnyrigg captain Drew Pearson.

An epic semi-final battle saw Bonnyrigg strike an early blow against Carrick Knowe when Kevin McDougall and John Stevenson blitzed Craig Aitken and Darren Hush 18-0 over the first eight ends then carried on to triumph 24-8.

But the Edinburgh champions saw their hopes raised when Colin Mitchell beat fellow internationalist Ronnie Duncan 21-18 in the Singles.

Carrick Knowe then held the edge in both the Triples and Fours. James Hogg triumphed 15-10 over Scott Matthews, Calum Redpath and Lindsay Plenderleith while Richard Tough had skipped Kevin Tennant, Graham Pringle and John Mitchell into a 14-8 lead over David Bryce, Scott Lees, Drew Pearson and Ian Brown.

But Brown, a former Bainfield player, led a 1, 2, 2, fight-back that closed the score to 14-13 playing the last.

Bonnyrigg needed two shots to win the match and their prospects looked bleak as Carrick Knowe built up the better head. But Brown aggressively charged into the head with a well-directed strike that left him holding two shots.

Tough's final bowl was a thunderbolt in search of an edge on any one of the two shot bowls but there was a narrow gap and to the sheer agony of Carrick Knowe his bowl whizzed through it without touching anything.

In the final, Ronnie Duncan was 14-10 down to Gary Robertson in the Singles but he recovered to win 21-15.

In the Triples, Plenderleith and Co were toiling from start to finish and lost 19-7.

The Pairs looked to be dead and buried at 14-6 down, however, McDougall and Stevenson staged a miraculous fight-back to win 18-14 win over Andrew Lauder and Rae Graham.

Brown and his rink then battled on from 11-10 to triumph 17-10 over Richard Thomson for Bonnyrigg's 6-2 overall score.