Bowls: Ireland take Scots' crown with 100 per cent record

DESPITE beating England and Wales, defending champions Scotland were disappointed at failing to retain the Home International Series title in Belfast yesterday.

They lost their opening match to Ireland, who took the title for the third time in five years.

The Scots went down on five of the six rinks 137-102, with defeats for John Aitken, Willie Wood, David Peacock, Grant Logan and Ian Campbell, with only Alex Marshall getting a face-saving draw with Jonathan Ross.

They bounced back to beat Wales 136-117, sharing three winning rinks apiece with success for Peacock, Logan and Wood.

At the same time, Ireland were beating England 117-105 to leave them unbeaten at the top of the standings and with 47 shots in credit, and with Ireland concluding the series against pointless Wales that effectively left Scotland and England going head-to-head for second spot.

Scotland took a 31-25 lead in the first quarter and squared at 60-60 at the halfway stage. With only six ends left across the board, Scotland led 88-87.

They then powered over the last quarter by 42 shots to England's 22 with wins from Peacock, Campbell, Aitken and Marhall.

Peacock (Danderhall) and his rink of Ian Humbler (Banchory), Tommy Man (Newbridge) and Gary Smith (Linlithgow) were the top performing Scottish rink. They won two matches and finished with four points and +17 shots, Gifford's Alex Marshall finished with a win and a draw, while the other four skips only managed one win from three outings.

Ireland chalked up a late 109-96 win over Wales.