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Forres and Dufftown youngsters progress to national bowls finals

By Ali Morrison

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Forres Bowling Club's Alana Coutts and Dufftown's Ashley McDonald will represent Dictrict 2 in the Pairs at the Youth National Championships at Ayr.

Ashley McDonald (left) and Alana Coutts
Ashley McDonald (left) and Alana Coutts

They won all of their games in the Round Robin District Qualifiers at Fochabers.

Unfortunately, Alana's mother, Lesley was beaten 21-16 by Amy Barker (St Aethan's) in the Scottish Ladies' Singles District 2 Final at Turriff.

Forres were beaten in both legs of their Moray Ladies' League match against Moray Bowling Club.

Chris Stoves, Lesley Mackintosh and Lindsey Petrie came with a late run in the home tie after trailing 11-4, but still suffered a 15-12 defeat.

Mary Williamson, Ailene Matthews and Mary Sobey had an horrendous start away from home, 15-0 down after four ends. They ended up winning six ends, but went down 24-7.

Forres had to settle for a share of the spoils when they hosted Cooper Park in the Over 55s League.

Elma McInnes and Brian Caldwell recorded a victory for the home side. They were 5-0 up with three ends played against Davie Sinclair.

Sinclair started picking up the odd shot, but the Forres pair were never in danger of being caught. They won 14-8.

Little separated Ed Harris and Sam Morrison from their opponents for much of their match. However, it took a four at the last for the Forres lads to snatch a 14-14 draw.

Derek Crosby and Davie Petrie won five of their final six ends, but finished agonizingly one shot short of Joan Smith's 11 shot total.

The beauty of the handicap system came to the fore to produce a shock result in the President's Handicap.

It was service as normal as John Matthews claimed three shots at the first end of his tie with Peggy Locke.

Four ends later Locke was 7-3 up before a maximum and two other strong ends had Matthews 12-7 ahead.

Again, Locke fought back, and a maximum of her own had her 14-12 in front. Matthews looked to be safe when he won six ends in a row to lead 22-14, but two ends later Locke had reached her target. She will play either Gary Mackie or Hazel Caldwell in the last eight of the competition.

Malcolm Swinswood is also into the quarter-finals after his 21-end match against Dean Dobbs, who was 6-3 after a handful of ends.

Swinswood soon caught up, and there was nothing between them for nine ends before he started to pull away, and finished the game by winning five ends in a row.

Despite overcoming a strong challenge, it won't get any easier for Swinswood who plays either Brian Caldwell or Paul Coutts next.

Ailene Matthews and Steve Gill have won the first Usher Cup tie to be played this season. A five at the sixth end put them well clear of Peggy Locke and Brian Caldwell at 11-1, a lead that was reduced to 12-9 before Matthews and Gill sealed their place in the quarter-finals.

Their next opponents will be Alex Porter and Dean Dobbs who scored a couple of fives and were comfortable in their tie against Henry Davidson and Gary Mackie.

The first half dozen ends of the Men's Pairs tie between Henry Davidson and Stuart Robertson, and Derek Crosby and Brian Caldwell were very close, with the latter pair 5-4 ahead.

They also won the following four ends to give themselves some breathing space at 10-4. Although Davidson and Robertson fought back, Crosby and Caldwell were able to see it out and reach the quarter-finals.

In a repeat clash from a couple of weeks ago, a maximum at the fifth end gave Alana Coutts a 10-1 advantage over Chris Stoves in the John Raffan.

Stoves made a fight of it this time though, and, within eight ends, only trailed 10-12. This spurred Coutts into action, and she won the next six ends to earn the right to play Hazel Caldwell in the last eight.

Mary Sobey is intent on going one better than her runner's up spot last year, and she reached a quarter-final tie against Malcolm Swinswood by beating Henry Davidson.

Sobey led almost all of the way, with a maximum at the ninth end leaving Davidson the almost impossible task of catching her.

Gary Mackie is also into the last eight after a comfortable win over Lesley Mackintosh.

He was 13-4 ahead after nine ends, before Mackintosh offered a little resistance. It looked like Mackie would finish it at the 15th end, but was made to wait for another three. He will play either Brian Caldwell or Derek Crosby in the quarter-finals.

Dean Dobbs was in superb form as he closed the gap on the Scott Cup leaders to two points after the latest round.

Assisting him on this occasion were Mary Williamson and Billy Felton. Things didn't look good for the trio when they lost a five at the first end, but they then went ten ends without losing a shot

Malcolm Swinswood scored a handful at the tenth end to lead Brian Caldwell 18-1. He would have won overall if he hadn't lost a five two ends later.

After half a dozen ends, John Matthews led 14-0 against Harry Sutherland who won the majority of the remaining ends, but didn't close the gap by much.

Little separated Gary Mackie and Stuart Robertson until Mackie won three of the final four ends.

Paul Coutts trailed Sandy Burgess 7-3 after seven ends. Within three ends, he was 11-7 up though he was nearly caught at the last end.

Scores: D Dobbs 21, A Porter 7; M Swinswood 21, B Caldwell 9; J Matthews 21, H Sutherland 12; G Mackie 15, S Robertson 9; P Coutts 14, A Burgess 13.

Ann MacPherson, Derek Crosby and Sam Morrison won the Wednesday afternoon hat. They kept on the move, winning all four sets and losing just three ends.

A strong final set, during which he scored a five, ensured that Charlie Watt finished positive.

Although never setting the heather on fire, Brian Caldwell was doing OK until the final set.

Peggy Locke was static all afternoon.

Scores: S Morrison 15 up; C Watt 5 up; B Caldwell 6 down; P Locke 14 down.

For the second week in a row, Thursday's Moving Hat-Night was won by Alex Porter.

This time he was ably assisted by Peggy Locke. They had it all to do after losing their first set 5-0, but had drawn level by half-time. A six at the ninth end set them on their way.

A strong finish almost sent Sandy Burgess over the line. He was left to rue losing a five at the tenth end.

Stuart Robertson trailed 10-7 after nine ends, but won six of the remaining seven.

Brian Riddell was 7-0 up after a handful of ends. However, he lost five of his final six ends.

In an amazing comeback, Charlie Watt trailed 14-4 with six ends to play. Although he never strayed from rink 5, a five at the final end saw him draw level.

In a topsy-turvy evening, Ian Stewart recovered from 7-1 down to lead 14-7. He didn't finish well though, gaining only one shot over the last six ends.

After a decent first set, Derek Sobey let the opposition catch up and little separated them thereafter.

Brian Caldwell started well enough, but then fell away. Losing a five at the last end was the final straw.

Henry Davidson was happy to win his second set.

Sam Morrison had a poor evening on rink 2. He was delighted to win his final set, and was even more delighted to avoid a box of chocolates.

Scores: A Porter 11 up; A Burgess 10 up; S Robertson 9 up; B Riddell 5 up; C Watt peels; I Stewart 2 down; D Sobey 2 down; B Caldwell 9 down; H Davidson 9 down; S Morrison 13 down.

The entry deadline for teams wishing to play in the Tom Ross & Son's sponsored Forres Open Triples is Sunday (June 26) at 9pm.

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