Gourlay's just too hot to handle for Burnett

MAGIC was the word on the lips of the capacity crowd that witnessed David Gourlay land the H J Hall Scottish Masters title with a victory in straight sets over Darren Burnett in yesterday’s final at the Richard Corsie Leisure stadium.

The World No.1 conjured up a conveyor belt of stunning deliveries to defeat the defending champion 6-4; 10-2; in 87 minutes of live action captured by BBC television.

"I have ran out of superlatives," was the comment of lead commentator David Rhys Jones as he attempted to describe the flow of play that swept the 36-year old Ayrshireman to his first ever title success in the event.

Gourlay lined up the 8-11 favourite and in proceeding to justify the odds made Burnett look ordinary when in fact the 26-year old Policeman from Tayside counts the Scottish, British, and World (WIBC version) singles and junior singles titles among his captures.

"I have been driven all week by an ambition to break my duck in the Scottish Masters and my focus was sharpened in the final by the fact that I had lost out to Darren in the previous two years," reflected Gourlay.

"I take off for Australia on Sunday for a six-month stint in their Super League and my stock out there will have increased having won the BUPA International Open last month and now this one," he added.

Burnett had hoped to complete a title treble in the Masters but became a sporting loser by paying tribute to the style and panache displayed by his opponent.

"David kept me under constant pressure with the excellence of his lead bowl and generally didn’t offer me much opportunity to come off the back foot and when I did he produced something extra special."

Gourlay launched the final with a hat-trick of singles and Burnett had to land one on the nose to get off the mark with a single at the fourth end then pick one off the nose to add a second single at the next.

A double to 5-2 made Gourlay telling space then more poetry in motion from the ‘Land of Burns’ saw him nudge the jack into a cluster of three bowls at the next.

Burnett clattered the head but the jack rebounded to leave Gourlay counting a single to 6-2 and he went on to clinch the set 6-4.

End 2 of the second set saw Gourlay sandwich the jack for a double to 3-0 then leading 5-2 going into the 6th he faced two cracking shots against before showing fantastic finesse to move the jack slightly for a single.

"I found the pace of the carpet a touch faster than in the semi-final and my adjustment wasn’t spot on but I felt that I produced lots of good deliveries that David more than matched to make the score look a bit grim," said Burnett later.

Julie Forrest the 34-year old Border lass from Hawick completed a successful defence of the Women’s title at the Masters when she defeated Alison Merrien of the Channel Islands 11-2; 9-7; in yesterday’s final.

"The sport could do with more young woman playing it so I hope seeing my success on the TV flags up the opportunity to others, I practise yoga every morning as an aid to my fitness and concentration," said the champion.

The spotlight switches to the domestic scene tomorrow with defending champions East Lothian clashing with West Lothian in the final of the Team Championship event at Headwell (Dunfermline). 2pm.

The play-down action of the Scottish 2-Bowl Pairs also takes place tomorrow.

Scottish Masters: Final: David Gourlay (S) beat Darren Burnett (S) 6-4; 10-2.

Women’s Event: Final: Julie Forrest (S) beat Alison Merrien (CI), 11-2; 9-7.

A SPECIAL general meeting of members of Edinburgh Indoor Bowling Club will be held in the Richard Corsie Leisure Centre on Wednesday, December 18 (7pm).