Fife bowlers fall just short of medal wins on national green

In the main bowls competitions in the National Championships at Northfield, Ayr, last week, there were several good performances from the local district qualifiers but none got to the stage of winning a medal.

By Ralph Mellon
Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 1:24 pm
Fife bowlers improved their green credentials
Fife bowlers improved their green credentials

Several entries did reach the last eight, the round before a medal is awarded.

The Newburgh ladies senior fours team of Margaret Colville, Rita and Joan Melville, and Wilma Lennie, defeated Thurso 16-8 and Dalbeattie 13-8 before losing 15-12 to Chirnside, who went on to win the title.

Julie Sword and Christopher Stein, in the mixed pairs, had two 15-14 victories against Moray and Jedburgh respectively, before losing 17-14 against Fife neighbours Kelty.

In the men’s pairs, Robert Page and Michael Simpson (Strathmiglo) also won two matches against Huntly (21-20) and Golspie (15-7) before succumbing 19-11 to Carluke.

In the men’s junior singles, Robbie Wilson (Windygates) did well to defeat Ryan Langdon (Crookston) 21-20 and Jamie Noon (Ayr Craigie) 21-17 before his form dipped as he lost 21-7 to Lee Trotter (Turriff), who ended up as beaten finalist.

Another one of Fife top young bowlers, Havana Clark (Markinch), also performed extremely well in the opening two rounds of the ladies U25 singles.

A tight 21-20 win against Beth Riva (Gifford) was followed with a 21-11 victory over one of the favourites for the title, Carla Banks (Inverurie).

Sadly for Clark, she lost in the next round against Beth Isbister (Sighthill) by 21-14.

In the men’s triple, the Buckhaven team of Harry Cairns, Gaz Reilly and Charlie Smith just failed to get over the medal-winning hurdle, defeating Rothienorman 14-9 and Colgrain 19-9 before falling to Polmaise 13-9.

In other men’s competitions, Scott Hassan (Buckhaven), in the singles, went down 21-12 against one of Scotland’s top singles players, Mark Kelsey (Rutherglen), who lost in the final, while the Windygates four, Shaun Wilson, Robbie Wilson, Bruce McCall and Christopher Stein, went down 18-14 against the holders, Craigentinny, from Edinburgh, who once again ended up on the winner’s rostrum.

In the final, they defeated Inverkeithing with the big help of a seven at one end to put them 13-12 ahead.

In the other men’s competitions, Roy Sime (Buckhaven) lost 21-20 in the senior singles, while Canmore, from Forfar, who defeated Duffus Park in the first round of the senior fours, went all the way to win the competition.

In other ladies’ contests, there was a big disappointment for Ruth Stewart (Guardbridge).

She is a regular qualifier and normally competes to a high level but, this season, she fell in the first round 21-14 against Tina Rogerson (Dreghorn).

Nickii Cormack skipped the Cupar pair to a 16-15 win over Dumfries before losing 19-11 against Winchburgh.

The Windygates triple lost 19-15 against Cumnock, as did the Leven four, who lost 15-10 against Highland (Inverness).

For medals, however, the district had to rely on the Disability Sport Section. Apart from singles, because of insufficient numbers within clubs, pairs are an amalgam of clubs.

The winners of a new event, the open three bowls pairs, were Michael Simpson from Strathmiglo, partnered by Danny Porter (Galashiels), who defeated Billy Allan (Cowdenbeath) and Glen Livingston, who himself is a former Fife bowler but now plays at Friockheim. The final score was 15-11.

Livingston, however, was not to be denied because he edged out Porter 21-20 in the B7/B8 singles final.

The beaten finalist had a difficult semi-final match against Brian Crombie (Balgonie), edging out the Fifer 21-18.

There was to be no joy for Billy Allan, losing his second final, this time in the B6 singles, to his great friend, Mike Nicoll (Jedburgh) by 21-14.

The final day’s play featured the youth competitions for singles, pairs and triples, and were formerly organised by the Scottish Young Bowlers Association.

From the former SYBA (Fife) area, two teams, Leslie and Strathmiglo, qualified in the pairs.

Leslie, represented by Connor Moyles and Kyle Dalrymple won their first four games against Dufftown (11-4), Prestwick (8-2), Causewayhead (4-3) and Glencarse (6-5), before losing to the section winner, Carrick Knowe (11-3) and Yoker (7-4).

The other pair, Robbie and Becky Sinclair (Strathmiglo), defeated Harrysmuir (9-5) and Creetown (7-6) but lost against Colgrain, Bogleha’ and Newmains.

Strathmiglo (Alex and Drew Sinclair and Zak Watson) also qualified in the triples but the luckless team managed only one win against Creetown (3-2).

In the singles, Amy Blyth (Markinch) had three wins and three losses.

She defeated Yoker (16-5), Dunblane (12-7) and Caledonian (13-9) but suffered two narrow defeats against Shettlestone (11-10) and Newhills (13-11).

In her remaining fixture, she lost against Cardonald (11-6).