Borders bowlers end Hamilton Trophy series with defeat

THE last of the Hamilton Trophy series of matches at Newtown Bowling Club on Saturday saw the Borders narrowly defeated by Fife by just two shots (118-120).

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:47 pm

Following their disappointing match against Midlothian the previous Saturday the Borders had slipped to fifth place in the league and although there was no chance of a quarter-final place for either team a win for the Borders would likely have moved them back up to fourth in the final table.

The Borders team started well as might be expected at home and with five ends completed they had a lead of 13 shots.

Two of the six rinks had at this point not conceded a single shot and the prospects of a win in this final match of the series looked good.

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During the course of the next five ends Fife mounted a recovery and reduced the deficit to just three shots.

At this stage two Borders rinks were showing healthy leads but the other four were all behind and it was hoped these rinks would be able to pick up shots in the second half of the match.

In the third quarter of the match this did happen and the Borders team widened the gap between the two teams, however, at around 10 shots this was never enough to ensure safety.

Fife battled on and always kept the Borders in sight leading to a very tight finish.

As the available ends ran out the difference between the two teams was reduced to single figures. Matters were not helped by drama of a different kind when one of the Fife players collapsed leading to the need for an ambulance.

With such a small gap between the teams this distraction was enough to ensure a tight finish with Fife pinching the match on the very last end.

It was a good day for Ross Nichol, Craig Elliot, Neil McNally and Malcolm Thin.

In the first eight ends they scored 12 shots without reply and a count of five put them 17-1 ahead.

Unfortunately they dropped a count of six on the 11th and followed this dropping another five shots in two ends, however, six shots in two ends restored an 11 shot lead.

The last six ends were reasonably even and they finished eight shots in front.

The rink of Ben McGregor, David Miller Snr, Kevin Donaldson and Stuart White also had a great start with 11 shots in the first six ends.

They continued to score steadily and on completion of 16 ends they had only dropped six shots altogether.

In the final ends Fife came back well reducing the final deficit to just six shots.

Skips and scores as follows (Borders skips first): Malcolm Thin 26 Colin Falconer 18, Stuart White 21 Alan Pearson 15, Graeme Forsyth 22 Raymond White 20, Kenny Johnstone 18 Gary Mackie 21, Robert Crawford 18 James Forbes 31, Ian Crawford 13 David Comrie 15.

Overall the Borders finished fifth in the league which after the excellent start is disappointing, however, it is still an improvement on last year.

For the first time ever victory was gained against East Lothian and the team came back to inflict a heavy defeat on Edinburgh and Leith.

The under 25 players used also performed very well.