Bowls: O'Donnell makes full use of home green to take top title

BAINFIELD'S Mandy O'Donnell used her knowledge of her home green to the fullest when she captured the Women's Under-25 British Isles Championships Singles crown in the climax to the major bowls event.

The 22-year-old local hero carried the Scotland banner to glory with two sparkling performances to beat her rival challengers from Ireland and Wales.

O'Donnell played exceptionally well in her semi-final to dominate Cliodhna Eadie of Ireland and win 15-8 then kept her nerve under the pressure of the occasion to triumph 15-5 over Kelly Packwood of Wales in the final.

"It is a majestic moment when you realise that you have just become champion of the British Isles but I know that if I want to stay at the top I have to come back down to earth pretty quickly," said O'Donnell.

"I did have the obvious advantage of playing on my home green and in front of a largely Bainfield and Edinburgh support but that brings its own pressures as you are expected to win and no excuses," she added.

Scotland celebrated a second title success with Midlothian star Gaynor Blair skipping Natalie McWilliams to wins over Wales (30-3) and England (22-5) to capture the Pairs crown.

The international series was won by England, who topped the table with six points from Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

n HALLEY COCKBURN is celebrating a third championship title success at Parkside with the 41-year-old cab driver picking up the pace from 10-10 in the final and accelerating to a 21-11 win over Junior England cap John Bell, who is a student in the city.

Kevin McNab is champion of the Dean for a fifth time having been in form to score a 21-7 win over Charlie Skellett - Kevin's father, George, is club president so the McNab name will show across the honours board.

Derek McLean stole a march on 19-year-old challenger Jamie McIntosh to lead 10-0 in the final at Tanfield and the 53-year-old went on to win 21-7. It is McLean's second championship success at the club while a previous title at Postal led to him winning the Tait Trophy in 1986.

BJ Smith is the king pin at Hillside for a fourth time, having finished strong from 12-10 to triumph 21-10 and repeat a previous success over Kyle Newall in the final.

Tam Ebbs celebrated a title first at Queensberry where he tipped the scales with a 1, 1, finish to pip fourth-time losing finalist Alan Watson in a 21-19 thriller.