There was no birthday bonanza for Tweedmouth bowler Stuart Bebbington on Sunday, as his hard-fought campaign in the National Finals at Ayr came to an end.
After beating Stuart Roseburgh (Loanhead) 21-11, Fraser Mitchell (Scone Recreation) 21-9, Stephen Scott (Upper Cowal) 21-20 and 2010 champion Jonathan Ross (Priorscroft) 21-14, the 2004 junior champion, who represents Ayton, faced a title decider against Blackwood Victoria’s Iain McLean.
The Borderer made the early running, taking a 6-2, seven-end lead, but McLean turned in a ruthless performance where he counted a total of five trebles, two doubles and a single for the loss of just two singles to power home 21-8 in just over an hour.
Success did come the Borders’ way in Ayr, however, via Fife, when former Galashiels man Mark Neil claimed the triples crown after he, and his Inverkeithing team mates Gary Tait and David Junor, held off a late challenge from Hyndland to win 15-12.
Neil competes regularly on the Borders circuit and recently won the Abbotsford triples.
“We played 10 games overall and in the five we played over the weekend we were never behind, so we were pretty pleased with our performance,” said Neil, who will now play in the British Isles Championship in June 2016.
Elsewhere at Northfield, there were mixed results for local bowlers.
Gala Waverley’s Lauren Upton put on a fine display in her first National Finals, making it through the opening two rounds before falling to tournament runner-up Lorna Smith of Linlithgow 21-10 in the quarter-finals.
Also making the final eight was Hawick Bowling Club’s senior singles entry Alison Clarkson, who was knocked out by Helen McVicar (Upper Cowal) 21-15.
The Ancrum gents’ pair, Wilton gents’ senior rink and Coldstream ladies’ duo all won their first-round ties and went out in the second, while all other Borders representatives made their exits during the opening round.