There was to be no birthday bonanza for Tweedmouth bowler Stuart Bebbington on Sunday as his hard fought campaign in the Scottish National Bowling Finals at Ayr came to an end.
After beating Stuart Roseburgh (Loanhead MW) 21-11 in the opening round he went on to defeat Fraser Mitchell (Scone Recreation) 21-9, Stephen Scott (Upper Cowal) 21-20 and 2010 champion Jonathan Ross (Priorscroft) 21-14.
In the final Stuart, the 2004 Scottish junior champion, who represents Ayton Bowling Club, faced a title decider against Blackwood Victoria’s Iain McLean.
The Borders player made all 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 to a superb victory 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 open circuit and has recently won the Abbotsford Bowling Club Triples.
“We played 10 games overall to get there and in the five we played over the weekend we were never behind so we were pretty pleased with our performance overall,” said Neil, who will now go on to play in the British Isles Championship held in June next year.
Elsewhere over the week 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 first 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 BC’s senior singles entry Alison Clarkson who was knocked out by Helen McVicar (Upper Cowal) 21-15.
Ancrum’s gents pair, Wilton gent senior rink and Coldstream ladies pair all won their first round ties and went out in the second round while all other Borders representatives went out in the opening round.