2nd August 2014

Bowls Conclude on Golden High

Scotland’s Darren Burnett completed a golden day for Team Scotland after beating Canada’s Ryan Bester 21-9 to win the Men’s Singles Lawn Bowls. Earlier in the day Alex Marshall, Paul Foster, David Peacock and Neil Speirs beat England 16-8 in the Fours final, meaning that Scotland have taken Gold in all bar one of the Men’s disciplines at the Games.

Combined with Marshall and Foster’s Pairs Gold and the Para-Sport Mixed Pairs Silver, Scotland’s Lawn Bowls medal haul from the Glasgow Games is an above expected four. “It feels great to have won this title,” said Burnett. “It’s been a whirlwind year after winning the indoor championship too. It’s not sunk in yet. Sure I know I’ve won the Gold medal but after winning the World Championships and then coming here and leaving with the Singles Golds medal it’s hard to take in, it’s a great feeling.”

Burnett had to fight back after Bester took a 3-0 lead. He pulled back in the fourth end, before a four in the fifth and a three in the next put him in control. At 14-7 down Bester won two shots but Burnett took three in the sixteenth before completing the win with four shots in the last three ends.
Burnett was feeling the pressure of trying to follow in the footsteps of his Gold medal winning team-mates: “They got a great win and it adds to the pressure, coming behind them, to try to double up the Golds but it was great, the crowd were obviously on a high from the Fours win and they kept the atmosphere going for my game.
“Hopefully it’s done a lot for Bowls, you know to get three medals in the gents disciplines, three Gold medals is incredible. That’s what we tried to do when we came here, hopefully that’s inspired a few others who aren’t bowlers that have come and watched this.”
In the Men’s Fours Scotland had been quick to establish the lead. After the third end the hosts were up 4-1 before England produced a four to edge ahead. Scotland responded by bringing the score level to 5-5 and, with the momentum now firmly on its side, extended the margin with every end. Knowing it was impossible to bridge the gap England declared after the fourteenth end.

“It’s a fantastic feeling, especially to do it with such great friendships,” said Paul Foster who with Marshall won the Pairs final last weekend. Before the game started we were all excited about it and we were sometimes trying too hard because we wanted to do so well. But to come away with a medal in the home Games is phenomenal. Fortunately Alex and I came away with two but today is all about the four guys, and to do it in front of this crowd is fantastic. I’m really pleased for David and Neil who have played fantastic through the whole tournament.”

An intensive training programme, led by Head Coach David Gourlay to ensure the team was the best prepared ever, played a huge part in the team’s success. “We’ve had a few (training) trips away due to the efforts of David Gourlay and we’ve blended together as a team very well,” said Marshall. “We’re a fantastic team and we get on well together, that’s why we are Commonwealth Gold medallists.”

Another significant factor in the team’s success was the support of the home crowd. “I said after the Pairs this crowd is worth one or two shots extra for us and they certainly played a part today,” said Foster. “All four of us thank them very much. We could now have asked for more.”

Photo Credit: Jeff Holmes

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