Scotland wrapped up a successful British Isles campaign in Llandrindod Wells in Wales last night. After taking the pairs and triples titles, they celebrated retaining the Nat West Trophy as the best nation over the championships.
The Scots took their first title thanks to Wellington Park’s Mark McLees and Stephen McLelland, when they turned in a battling second half performance to beat England’s Dean Hemming and Rob Stanley from Worcester 22-11. Then, in a delayed match because Paul Daly from Ireland was doubly involved, the Craigentinny trio of Darren Smith, Gary Nisbet and Andy Caldwell added the triples title. They always had the edge and ran out worthy winners against Ireland’s Daly, Stephen McKinlay and Brendan Thomson 19-15.
Earlier, Daly had won the principal singles title beating Guernsey’s Matt le Ber 21-7. In the morning semi-final exchange, the Channel Islander had nipped the hopes of Rutherglen’s Mark Kelsey with a double on the 22nd end to win 21-19.
Going into the title decider last night, Ireland had a score of seven points on the overall ladder while Scotland had six, and, with four points on offer to the winner of the triples title, there was added pressure on both teams to deliver the goods.
In the other finals, Paul Taylor from Wales won the junior singles title 21-9 against England’s Jamie Walker, and there was further disappointment for England’s Barnard Byles, Matt Hyde, Simon Jones and Alan Price, from Desborough, when they were edged out in the fours by Jersey’s Ian partridge, Darren Clark, Kevin le Long and Didier le Falher 17-15.
Today, meanwhile, the Home International Series gets under way at the same venue, with the Scots, like their female counterparts last week, out to retain the title. Today they open against England, followed by Wales and them wrap up against Ireland tomorrow. Because of the retirement of Willie Wood and Jim Meikle. There were two additions 24-player line-up, with Alex Marshall skipping the recalled Mark Kelsey, from Rutherglen, and new cap James Hogg from Carrick Know. Bainfield’s Paul O’Donnell is reserve.