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Forres and Dufftown bowlers compete in National Youth Championships

By Craig Christie

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Forres Bowling Club's Alana Coutts and Dufftown's Ashley McDonald finished fifth in their round robin section of the Pairs at the National Youth Championships at Ayr.

Alana Coutts at the National Youth Championship at Ayr.
Alana Coutts at the National Youth Championship at Ayr.

Their day started badly, beaten 11-4 by Leslie and 12-3 by Causewayhead. They then secured a fantastic 13-1 win over Glencarse.

In their fourth game, the Moray girls were beaten 11-2 by the eventual competition runners-up, Robbie Beath and Charlie Mitchell from Carrick Knowe.

Coutts and McDonald recovered from that to have a great 13-4 victory over Prestwick. Their final game was a narrow 5-4 defeat to Yoker.

Another young Forres bowler, 13-year-old Dylan Fraser, playing outdoors for the first time, was victorious at the Wednesday afternoon hat. He helped Ann MacPherson and Charlie Watt to seal the win with a 12-0 final set advantage.

Dylan Fraser with Charlie Watt and Ann MacPherson.
Dylan Fraser with Charlie Watt and Ann MacPherson.

Peggy Locke kept on the move, and lost just five ends. However, hers were low-scoring ends.

It was the seventh end before Sheena Murdoch got on the scoreboard. She dropped only one end thereafter.

Overcoming the loss of any early five, Hazel Caldwell was doing OK until she lost the final three ends.

Leading 9-4 after half-a-dozen ends, Ed Harris was on track. However, the wheels then came off as he crash-dived.

John Murdoch was matching his opposition, until a disastrous final set.

Scores: C Watt 10 up; P Locke 8 up; S Murdoch 7 up; H Caldwell 5 down; E Harris 8 down; J Murdoch 12 down.

The Forres ladies emerged with an aggregate victory over St Aethan's in the Moray Ladies' Triples League.

The home triple of Peggy Locke, Mary Sobey and Marjory McCarthy led 6-3 after seven ends, but then lost five ends in a row to trail 9-6 to Ali Spiller's side. In a nail-biting finale, Forres just missed out on the three shots which they needed to square the leg. Final score was 11-10 to St Aethan's.

Alana Coutts, Lesley Mackintosh and Lesley Coutts started the away leg slowly, trailing 6-3 four ends in. Two ends later they led Janet Mackintosh's team. This game was tight, and St Aethan's held a slight 11-10 advantage with three ends to play. Forres won all these ends to record a 14-11 victory.

In the Over 55's League, Forres gained revenge on Portknockie for their opening day defeat. They travelled to the coast and won two out of three ties, narrowly losing the other.

Charlie Watt and Roy Anderson started really well, leading 10-1 after half a dozen ends. Portknockie's John Pirie won three of the next four ends, but Charlie and Roy got it together again to record a 19-5 victory.

Ed Harris and Derek Sobey also led 10-1, but after eight ends. Thereafter, the teams won three ends each. Forres won 15-9.

Peggy Locke and Marjory McCarthy did well to fight back from 8-1 down five ends in. They won the next four ends to square things, before just being pipped 12-11.

The 2019 champion, Paul Coutts, is out of this year's competition after being beaten by Brian Riddell.

This tie was close for the opening fourteen ends (9-9). Riddell then started to pull away, and led 16-10. It looked as though the tide was turning when Coutts got a maximum to get back to 14-16, but three ends Brian had recorded a 21-16 win.

Riddell will play 2018 champion, John Matthews in the semi-finals.

Derek Sobey will provide the semi-final opposition for the holder, Dean Dobbs. Three threes in four ends gave him an 11-3 lead over Steve Gill in their quarter-final tie. Gill tried, but scoring only three shots over 13 ends wasn't winning form.

Lesley Coutts' attempt to win the Ladies' Championship four times in a row is still intact. Indeed, only her daughter, Alana, or Wilma Petrie now stand in the way of her winning the trophy for the seventh time. Lesley scored three maximums as she disposed of Hazel Caldwell in the semi-finals.

A decade on from the last time he lifted the trophy, Harry Sutherland is through to the last four in the President's Handicap.

He started badly in his quarter-final, with Steve Gill hitting a maximum on his way to a 7-2 advantage. Scoring 11 shots over the next five ends, with Sutherland getting a maximum of his own, changed the reflection of the tie.

Gill fought back, with another four putting him just one shot behind. Sutherland wasn't going to be outdone though, and won 21-17. He faces Gary Mackie next.

Alana Coutts also played her way into the semi-finals. Nine shots in three ends earned her an 11-1 advantage over Henry Davidson.

Davidson got back to within a handful of shots before Coutts scored her second maximum of the game to lead 17-7. Davidson tried to close the gap again, but it was too late. Malcolm Swinswood will provide a stiff test for Coutts in the last four.

John Matthews will play Sheena Murdoch in the last four of the W D MacPherson Trophy. A tentative opening to their game saw Steve Gill lead 4-2 after half-a-dozen ends. Thereafter he was picked off at regular intervals by Matthews, allowing him just four more shots.

Lesley Mackintosh and Marjory McCarthy progressed to the final of the Ladies' Pairs after a comfortable win over Mary Williamson and Peggy Locke.

Gary Mackie, playing in the club competitions for the first time, is through to the semi-finals of the John Raffan after a solid victory over Derek Crosby in 17 ends. He will play Malcolm Swinswood for a place in the final.

Ed Harris is also through to the last four. He comfortably won his seventeen end tie against Charlie Watt. Alana Coutts will provide his next opposition.

Henry Davidson has moved to within three points of the lead at the summit of the Scott Cup table after the latest round of the four month long competition. He was joined in this latest round by Roy Anderson and Dean Dobbs. Already 11-6 up on Gary Mackie, they won six of the final seven ends.

Only a late collapse, losing the final three ends to Mary Sobey, prevented Stuart Robertson finishing the evening with the top score.

John Ross, making his season debut, was on sparkling form as he supported Alana Coutts. Their match against Alex Porter was tight until they started to pull away at the 12th end.

Paul Coutts was 11-0 up on Brian Riddell after just four ends, until Riddell won nine of the remaining dozen ends.

Harry Sutherland held a slight advantage for much of his game against John Matthews, who edged ahead with three ends left, but Sutherland scored singles at those ends to emerge victorious.

Scores: D Dobbs 24, G Mackie 7; S Robertson 21, M Sobey 9; A Coutts 15, A Porter 10; P Coutts 16, B Riddell 12; H Sutherland 15, J Matthews 11.

Despite losing their final set, Thursday's Moving Hat-Night was won by John Ross and Dean Dobbs. After nine ends they led 14-1, and later hit a six.

Derek Sobey also kept on the move, but a defeat in the final set cost him.

The coins were flying after Gary Mackie's first half sets, one won, one lost. Winning six of the last seven ends gave him a positive result.

Alex Porter started badly, 8-1 down after half a dozen ends. He lost just three more ends though.

A four at the penultimate end was just enough to leave Charlie Watt positive.

Stuart Robertson trailed for most of the evening, but won his final set.

Brian Caldwell's team gained some valuable experience on Rink 6.

Henry Davidson's best chance of a move was a coin toss after the first set. He lost it, and remained on Rink 3 all night.

Scores: D Dobbs 15 up; D Sobey 10 up; G Mackie 5 up; A Porter 4 up; C Watt 3 up; S Robertson 5 down; B Caldwell 16 down; H Davidson 16 down.

The latest Forres Bowling Club tombola takes place at the clubhouse on Saturday evening.

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