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Forres Bowling Club youngster Alana Coutts rolls out strong performance at National Youth Championships in Lossiemouth

By Ali Morrison

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Competing for the first time in District 2 of the National Youth Championships, Alana Coutts did Forres Bowling Club proud.

Bowls action.
Bowls action.

The tourney at Lossiemouth was was played as a round-robin, with the winner of each of the three sections and the best runner-up qualifying for the semi-finals.

Coutts defeated Keith's Ross Dalgarno 13-8 and Elgin's Braden Gillies (the eventual winner) 9-8, but lost 14-4 to Corrie Cadger of Fochabers.

She finished second in her section, but tied for the best runner-up. She lost to Matthew Taylor in a single end shoot-out, so just missed out on playing in the semi-final.

The Forres rink of Ed Harris, Roy Anderson, Brian Riddell and Gary Mackie bowed out of the Scottish Championships at the quarter-final stage.

They got off to a poor start, losing a five at the first end to their Huntly opponents at Fochabers. Conceding a dozen shots over three mid-game ends killed the Forres lads.

The 26-8 scoreline didn't truly reflect the way the game went. There were numerous occasions where Forres were lying shot, only for the Huntly skip to trail the jack.

It was a case of so near, yet so far for Harry Sutherland as he was knocked out of the Scottish Over 55s Singles at Fochabers by Huntly's Jim Penny.

Sutherland had played brilliantly early on, taking a 16-2 advantage in just eight ends. Then his opponent started to get his length and line to claw back some shots.

A brace at the 12th end put the Forres man 18-7 ahead, but Penny won the next six ends to take the lead for the first time (19-18).

It was 19-19 at the 19th end, and Sutherland was lying game before his rival knocked in one of his wide bowls to save the game and set up victory for himself.

The club's final hope of a place at the National Championship Finals at Ayr next month lie with Lesley Coutts, who will play Amy Barker of St Aethan's in the Ladies' Singles District 2 Final at Turriff on Saturday afternoon.

Forres lost both legs of their Moray Ladies' League against Keith. Elma McInnes, Lesley Mackintosh and Lindsey Petrie travelled to Keith and were beaten 22-14. Meanwhile Ailene Matthews, Peggy Locke and Lesley Coutts went down 17-11 at home.

There was another defeat for Forres in their latest Over 55s League match.

Charlie Watt and Mary Sobey started well enough and led 5-1 after five ends. Although they lost a four at the next end, they were soon 9-5 ahead. However they lost their next five ends to go down 13-10 in the end.

Ed Harris and Derek Sobey were all square with their opposition after nine ends (7-7). They proceeded to lose their final five ends, including a five at the last.

Chris Stoves and Hazel Caldwell had an horrendous start, including losing a six at the second end, as they fell 17-0 behind to Neil Ogilvie. They won four of the final six ends, but finished 21-4 down.

The 2018 men's champion, John Matthews, is through to the last eight in this season's competition after a titanic battle with Gary Mackie.

Mackie hit form immediately, and was 6-0 up after just three ends and when the lead increased to 18-10, it looked to be all over.

However Matthews stormed back into the game with a three and a maximum in successive ends on his way to a 21-19 win and he will play either Frank Byrne or Derek Crosby in the quarter-finals.

Dean Dobbs safely negotiated his first tie in the defence of his title. His tie with Brian Caldwell was neck-and-neck for 14 ends (10-10) before Dobbs won four ends on the spin to reach the second round.

In round two he plays Malcolm Swinswood who beat Henry Davidson over 21 ends including a maximum at the third end to set up his match against the defending champ.

Kevin McWilliam rarely put a foot wrong during his match against two-time champion, Harry Sutherland. He will now play Alex Porter in the second round.

Steve Gill also had a straightforward victory against Ed Harris to secure a quarter-final match against Stuart Robertson or Derek Sobey.

The two green wardens had an excellent encounter in the President's Handicap. Brian Riddell started the better, but a maximum four at the eighth end put Henry Davidson 7-6 up.

This tie was close throughout, until, with Riddell 20-18 ahead, Davidson got the brace he required to hit his target and reach the second round.

Alex Porter will play Davidson next. He got the better of Lesley Mackintosh hitting three maximums in the game, whilst Mackintosh had a difficult time finding her line.

The re-run of last year's final between husband and wife, Derek and Mary Sobey, resulted in a similar outcome.

Derek was 6-0 up after just three ends. Although Mary got on the scoreboard, she was unable to halt her husband's consistent scoring.

A maximum was scored at the ninth end of an impressive performance. Derek will play Alana Coutts in the second round after she dispatched Chris Stoves in just seven ends.

Peggy Locke is through to the second round after defeating Ailene Matthews. Locke went 8-2 ahead after a handful of ends, Matthews fought back and six ends later the score was 11-7 before Lockie pushed on to earn a match against John Matthews next.

Steve Gill is the first name in the quarter-finals of the W D MacPherson after a fantastic game against Mary Williamson.

Williamson started slightly the better of the two, going 7-4 up after seven ends. Within three ends she was 9-7 down.

Six single-shot end wins in a row had her 13-9 up, but Gill scored five unanswered shots from 15-12 down to lead again. Williamson hit back to level before Gill hit a maximum to seal his passage to a match against John Matthews or Ed Harris.

Roy Anderson left it too late before he started playing against Mary Sobey as he trailed 10-1 after nine ends and couldn't close the gap. Sobey will play either Sheena Murdoch or Chris Stoves in the last eight.

Derek Sobey took control of his tie with Charlie Watt early on. It wasn't until he was 19-3 behind that Watt began to make a fight of it, too little, too late as Sobey will play Peggy Locke in the second round.

Two maximums in the first four ends had Malcolm Swinswood in total command of his John Raffan tie with Roy Anderson.

Ed Harris and Paul Coutts have edged up the Scott Cup table after the latest round. Already 8-4 up on Dean Dobbs after seven ends, they showed no mercy and allowed Dobbs to win just one further shot all evening.

Malcolm Swinswood was in pole position to get the overall win, but lost his final two ends to Mary Sobey.

Harry Sutherland was trailing Steve Gill 6-2 after half a dozen ends before an eight two ends later turned things in Sutherland's favour.

In an amazing turnaround, John Matthews was 10-4 down after six ends to Derek Sobey, who never managed another shot after that.

After losing eight to Gary Mackie last week, Alex Porter almost returned the favour. However his last bowl at the fifth end was short and he had to settle for a seven. Despite this, their first half finished close but Porter pushed on, winning all but one of the remaining ends.

Stuart Robertson led Sandy Burgess 10-4 at half-time and had to stave off a comeback by winning the final pair of ends to secure the overall victory.

Scores: P Coutts 26, D Dobbs 5; M Swinswood 22, M Sobey 5; H Sutherland 23, S Gill 11; J Matthews 21, D Sobey 10; A Porter 20, G Mackie 11; S Robertson 16, A Burgess 9.

Peggy Locke, Brian Caldwell and Steve Gill won the Wednesday afternoon hat. They were victorious in three of their four sets, hit a six at the ninth end and won their final six ends.

Sam Morrison started the day with a six, but lost the aforementioned one. He also won three sets out of four.

Hazel Caldwell took a while to get going, but won her third set.

Davie Petrie had a real struggle all afternoon, but managed to beat the eventual winners.

Scores: S Gill 17 up; S Morrison 4 up; H Caldwell 2 down; D Petrie 19 down.

Thursday's Moving Hat-Night was won by Brian Caldwell and Alex Porter.

It had looked as though they had come second after a double countback, but three of the beads on Stuart Robertson's abacus didn't move across to the negative side.

Caldwell and Porter were 11-6 down with six ends to play, but scored 17 shots over the next five ends.

Stuart Robertson was the only skip to keep on the move, while Charlie Watt trailed 10-3 after half a dozen ends, but turned things around by winning seven of the remaining ten.

Lesley Coutts won three of her four sets, but wasn't winning or losing by many shots.

A six at the 12th end finally got Lesley Mackintosh away from rink 1 and Henry Davidson was going well until he lost eight shots in two ends.

Dean Dobbs was 12-1 down after seven ends and did well to drop just three further shots.

Sam Morrison led 14-2 after nine ends but didn't get any more shots and Derek Sobey was another who started well, then hit the skids.

Unusually, Paul Coutts was hit for six as he threw away his six-shot half-time advantage.

All Mary Sobey had to show for her evening on rink 6 was a draw in the final set, while John Matthews lost all four sets on Rink 5.

Scores: A Porter 13 up; S Robertson 10 up; C Watt 5 up; L Coutts 3 up; L Mackintosh 2 up; H Davidson 1 up; D Dobbs 3 down; S Morrison 4 down; D Sobey 4 down; P Coutts 5 down; M Sobey 8 down; J Matthews 10 down.

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