ROBERT MARSHALL emerged victorious against Colin Mitchell in the second round of the District 12 national bowls singles championship at Sighthill last night.
Both players are acknowledged singles experts and an epic confrontation was produced with the ding-dong battle for supremacy ended by an explosive 2, 3 finish from Marshall, who won 21-18.
Marshall, 45, made the early pace to lead 9-1 but the Slateford champion came under pressure as his 36-year old Carrick Knowe counterpart came storming back to look the likely winner at 17-14 up.
Mitchell lay 4 for game at the next end but Marshall thrilled the watching crowd with a last bowl draw for a life-saving single to 15 then went on to peel the game at 18-18.
Marshall was back under pressure with two shots against him at the next but he expertly drove both out of the head for a two-shot conversion then added a third with his final delivery to win the battle of the big guns.
Andrew McKendrick carried the Currie banner forward with a 21-10 win over Stuart Isbister of Sighthill at Mayfield having stepped up a gear from 7-5 to accelerate into a 20-7 lead.
Alan Brown is a past course and distance winner and the 47-year old champion of Gorgie Mills came racing off a 7-11 pace with an unbroken run of ten ends that dealt a 21-11 exit to Gilbert Stuart of Caledonian at Carrick Knowe.
Merchiston champion Colin Cochrane crushed the luckless Mark Inglis of Colinton Mains, 21-2 in just 12 ends at Corstorphine.
Play in the Junior Singles saw Craig Edgar of Slateford conjure up a magic finish of 2, 2, 3, 2 to clinch a 21-11 win over Nick Priestley of Gorgie Mills at West End while Russell Wilson of Juniper Green beat Darren Munro of Caledonian, 21-5 at Slateford.
John Wright of Whitehouse and Grange lived extremely dangerously at Coltbridge where he led David McNeil of Balerno 17-8 but collapsed to 20-17 down before escaping from jail with a spectacular count of four.
Murray Baillie of West End always held the edge over his Mayfield opponent at Caledonian to lead 20-17 but lost three singles on the trot then faced game against until producing a last-bowl draw to win 21-20.
The Carrick Knowe partnership of Darren Hush and Richard Tough made a great start to lead Davy Ross and Grant Wilson of Juniper Green 7-0 at Braid in the Pairs and went on to triumph 18-10.
Their next opposition will come from Ray Dorans and Donnie Gilbertson of West End who soon led 14-2 and went to beat Lawrie Atkins and Colin Wood of Lutton Place, 21-12 at Parkside.
Parkside duo Darren Grant and Willie Watson crushed Jimmy Ross and Gary Purdie of Bainfield 17-1 in tricky conditions at Merchiston and they next play Alan Trotter and Alan Scott of Sighthill.
Bowls legend David McGill – the national singles champion back in 1976 – still likes to create a stir and he did just that by skipping Eric Melvin and Ron Fenton to a 19-13 win over Parkside stars Derek Smith, Paul Veitch and Robert Donaldson at Ardmillan.
Slateford trio Dougie Martin Bill Herd and Gordon Ramsay were 23-7 winners over Tipperlinn at Mayfield. And a highlight from the Fours saw Archie Drummond, Bob Goodall, Jim Boyle and Jim McNiven of Coltbridge convert a 10-1 lead into a 17-12 win over Merchiston at West End.