Dow League success at last for Forres bowlers
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At the third attempt, Forres Bowling Club secured their first win of the Dow League season by defeating St Aethan's of Burghead both home and away.
Losing a four at the third end put pressure on the home rink of Alex Porter, Harry Sutherland, John Matthews and Paul Coutts at 6-2 down.
However, some long jacks allowed Forres to win seven ends on the spin, culminating with a five, as they took a 16-6 lead.
Norman Barker's side won four of the remaining seven ends, but without making too much impact. 21-13 to Forres.
The away rink of John Ross, Brian Caldwell, Malcolm Swinswood and Dean Dobbs were never headed throughout their match with Andrew Barker's side.
A fine start saw them 5-0 up in three ends. St Aethan's fought back, but were always a step or two behind until they levelled at 11-11 with 15 ends played. Forres scored a brace at the penultimate end, but were made to sweat as the coast side took the last as it finished 13-12 to Forres.
Lindsey Petrie was beaten by Sandra Dean of Moray in the final of the Moray Ladies' Singles.
She began the game in fine form, taking a 7-0 advantage after five ends. Although Dean was beginning to get some shots, Petrie increased her lead to 12-4 after a dozen ends.
Four great ends later, Petrie had taken a 13-12 lead. The match was tight for the next seven ends, after which the Forres bowler held a slight 18-17 advantage. Two shots at each of the following pair of ends secured the title for Dean.
Forres were well-and-truly thrashed as they welcomed their neighbours, Grant Park, in the latest Over-55 League fixture.
Marjory McCarthy and Marry Sobey were 10-2 down to Ted Lamsdell before putting up much resistance as it finished 11-6.
Down 12-0 after a handful of ends, Ailene Matthews and Derek Sobey's only response was to win five single shots. They eventually lost 17-5.
Derek Crosby and Brian Caldwell won the first end, but seven ends later, were 18-1 down. They later lost a five as George Fairclough swatted them away 24-7.
The President's Handicap tie between Gary Mackie and Harry Sutherland was neck-and-neck for the first half dozen ends.
Sutherland then scored a maximum to lead 9-5 but this spurred Mackie on to win ten of the following 11 ends and lead 17-10, eventually securing his place in the final at the 22nd end. He will play either Alana Coutts or Malcolm Swinswood for the trophy.
After 31 ends of an enthralling W D MacPherson semi-final, Derek Sobey has booked his place to play either Sheena Murdoch or John Matthews.
A tentative start saw Malcolm Swinswood lead 5-4 after seven ends then begin to pull away, winning ten of the next 14 ends to give himself a commanding 18-10 advantage.
In an amazing comeback, Sobey drew level at 19-19 seven ends later. it was still level going into the final end and someone had to lose, and it was Swinswood.
John Matthews will play Sobey in the final, as he took an early 7-0 advantage over Sheena Murdoch in their semi-final. the margine was reduced to two before Matthews won six ends out of seven to progress.
Lesley Mackintosh and Malcolm Swinswood are through to the final of the Usher Cup after beating Sheena Murdoch and John Matthews.
Down 5-1 early on, the winning duo won five of the next six ends to edge in front 7-6 on their way to a 12-8 success.
Both leads were in the form of their life as Derek Crosby and Brian Caldwell played Ed Harris and Alex Porter in the semi-finals of the Men's Pairs.
This was a fascinatingly close game throughout, complete with the twist in the tail. Harris and Porter started the better, with a three at the first leading to a 5-1 advantage after four ends.
Caldwell started winning his pressure shots, and, before long, helped square the tie at 5-5. the lead changed hands but Crosby and Caldwell led 13-8 with just two ends to play.
Although their opponents secured a shot at the penultimate end, they were left with the extremely difficult task of scoring at least four at the last to remain in the competition. Harris did his bit, throwing a long jack and lying four shots before the skips started playing.
Caldwell cut it down to three, leaving Porter having to do something with his last bowl. He duly tucked the jack in to lie four and force an extra end.
At the last end, a 'wickie' left Crosby holding shot, but Caldwell was unlucky to turn in one of Porter's bowls for it to lie. It remained there until Caldwell played the final bowl of the match. He was on target and moved the jack, but only towards two of his opponents' bowls.
Sheena Murdoch and Lesley Coutts had a comfortable victory in the Ladies' Pairs semi-final over Hazel Caldwell and Alana Coutts, who won three of the final five ends, but it was far too late.
Lesley hopes to retain the trophy, and she and Sheena will play Marjory McCarthy and Lesley Mackintosh in the final. Marjory and Lesley Coutts have, between them, won the trophy on nine occasions.
Gary Mackie will compete in two singles finals in this, his first full season at Forres Bowling Club. There was little between him and Malcolm Swinswood in their John Raffan semi-final, with the score 12-12 after twelve ends.
Mackie went 16-12 up, but two ends later was 17-16 down until winning three ends in a row sealed it for him. He will play either Ed Harris or Alana Coutts in the final.
Recovering from defeats in his last four outings, John Matthews has closed the gap on the leaders of the Scott Cup table. He helped Charlie Watt and John Ross to an overall victory by defeating Dean Dobbs. Although they were 14-1 up after seven ends, 12 shots without reply over the final five ends sealed things.
Malcolm Swinswood kept up his 100 per cent winning streak, seven out of seven, but has still to secure an overall win. Harry Sutherland was able to keep the score down on this occasion.
Stuart Robertson was trailing Paul Coutts 5-1, but then won seven ends out of eight to turn the tables.
The 'unlucky for some' term came true for Sandy Burgess. He was leading Brian Caldwell 13-7, but failed to win any shots during the last handful of ends.
Scores: J Ross 27, D Dobbs 5; M Swinswood 20, H Sutherland 6; S Robertson 18, P Coutts 11; B Caldwell 16, A Burgess 13.
Thursday's Moving Hat-Night was won by two young ladies, Mary Williamson and Alana Coutts. A bit of fortune with the coin at the end of the first set set them off on their journey as they moved all night. They dropped just one shot over the middle two sets, and could even afford to lose the last.
A heavy third set defeat cost Lesley Coutts the plaudits.
Stuart Robertson came good in the second half after trailing 7-3.
Mary Sobey almost managed to finish on level terms thanks to a strong start to the second half.
A really poor third set spoilt Derek Sobey's card.
Not counting a coin toss, Lesley Mackintosh earned her first win at the very last end of the evening.
Scores: A Coutts 8 up; L Coutts 6 up; S Robertson 1 up; M Sobey 1 down; D Sobey 4 down; L Mackintosh 10 down.
Forres had a comfortable 109-64 victory over Grantown in their annual friendly.
Top team of the evening was the Forres triple of Roy Anderson, Alana Coutts and Paul Coutts. They showed John Middlewick no mercy, taking 13 shots before their opponents could get on the board.
The top Grantown triple was Eileen Sutherland, Gordon Sutherland and Brian Tattersall. They hit Brian Caldwell for six at the third end on their way to a 16-1 advantage. Caldwell finished the game well, winning the final four ends.
It was level pegging between Alex Porter and Ian Lamb, 4-4 after half a dozen ends. Porter took the next seven ends.
A six at the 11th end turned the tie for John Ross against Sandy Grant as an 11-4 deficit became a 13-11 lead - it finished all square.
Derek Sobey held a slender lead over Gordon Jamieson after seven ends. However six shots in two ends turned things in Jamieson's favour, and he kept his nose in front thereafter.
John Matthews had a comfortable win over John Kirk. He was 10-1 ahead before Kirk won three ends in a row. Matthews hit him for six at the tenth, and won the remaining six ends.
Scores (Forres first): A Porter 19, I Lamb 6; J Ross 15, A Grant 15; D Sobey 12, G Jamieson 17; B Caldwell 9, B Tattersall 19; P Coutts 27, J Middlewick 3; J Matthews 27, J Kirk 4.