Team Scotland is guaranteed at least two medals in tomorrow’s Lawn Bowls finals after a superb day at Kelvingrove.
The Men’s Fours team of Paul Foster, Alex Marshall, Neil Spiers and David Peacock progressed to the final against England, guaranteeing themselves at least a Silver medal, after defeating Australia 15-10 in today’s semi-finals. In tricky, wet conditions the Scots won out and Men’s Doubles Gold medallist Marshall praised his team’s resilience: “It was only in the last three ends that the rain came in. The guys adapted fantastically.” Australian rival Matt Flapper also commended Team Scotland’s play saying: “They were too good for us, absolutely. Just too good for us. In those conditions, they were too consistent.”
Of the victory Foster said: “Sensational. The four of us were absolutely brilliant from the word go to the finish. You can’t ask for more than that.” Team-mate Neil Spiers added, “Since they picked the team, the four of us have got on great and it makes for a good team.”
There was also good news in the morning matches when Scotland’s Men’s Singles competitor, Darren Burnett staged a comeback in the quarter-finals to beat Northern Ireland’s Martin McHugh 21-20. Burnett, who in the same round last week was part of the Scottish Triples team which lost to Northern Ireland, had been 16-20 down today, with the winner being the first to reach 21.
“I got off to a bad start,” Burnett admitted afterwards. “Martin played well and dominated the early stages. But most folk know me in Singles and I’m renowned for battling away and never giving up. Towards the end when he got to 20 and I was still on 16, I did begin to worry because he only had to play one big bowl to win the game. But I battled on and to get there was superb.”
Burnett followed up by beating Australia’s Aron Sherriff 21-15 in the afternoon’s semi-final. “It was a great game against arguably one of the best players in the world,” said Burnett. “I knew it was going to be a really tough game and I’m quite glad his quarter-final was a long one with the Malaysian as well. We both went into it having two draining games and, right up to about 13 or 15 shots, there was nothing in the game. But I managed to find an extra gear and played a couple of good ends. I’m absolutely delighted.”
Burnett will face Canada’s Ryan Bester in the Gold medal match at 5.45pm tomorrow (Friday 1 August).
Scotland narrowly missed out on the Para Open Triples B6/B7/B8 Bronze medal, after England made an impressive comeback to win at Kelvingrove today.
The Scots – Billy Allan, Michael Simpson and Kevin Wallace – had been competing for the Lawn Bowls team’s third medal of the Glasgow Games. And, after what Scotland’s Michael Simpson described as ‘”nip and tuck” start, the Scots led 12-8, holding a two shot lead from mid-way through to the fourteenth end.
But England clawed back to 12-12 after the fifteenth end and, in the decider, produced the decisive blow by pushing the jack into the ditch. Scotland’s Kevin Wallace was unable to provide the solution to a very difficult problem and his final bowl joined the jack in the ditch.
“We were four up with two to play and we didn’t play bad; it was just the English skip played some absolutely cracking bowls,” said Michael Simpson afterwards. “We kept asking questions and England kept coming up with the answers. Every time we put them under pressure they kept delivering. We were unlucky in the end but all credit to England who played really well.”
Asked to describe what happened on the final two bowls of the game, when England took out the jack, he replied: “The England boy had played the same shot a few times before and it just so happened he played it well. It was an absolute cracker. That’s game over. If Kevin’s bowl had have sat I fancy we might have been lying, but he was actually looking to catch their bowl more solid.
“But he just got half the bowl unfortunately. If he’d have got a solid he’d have been putting their bowl in the ditch and we’d have laid the shot, but it fell in. It was very unlucky, but a very good effort on his last bowl. It was a very hard shot to play.”
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