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Morayshire Indoor Bowling Association - a look back in history to the 1970s era of great champions

By Craig Christie

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RONALD Gordon’s history of the Morayshire Indoor Bowling Association – which is celebrating its 90th year – looks at the golden 1970s era.

indoor bowls
indoor bowls

The Association Singles produced an array of winners with Forres Victoria bowler Sandy Dow claiming the first singles of the decade.

Sandy Simpson won for Burghead in 1971 with Bill Watson giving Lhanbryde a first association accolade claiming the title a year later.

Ronald Gordon's history -

Part 1: How it all started

Part 2: Post-War restart

Part 3: Achievements in the 1950s

Part 4: The swinging sixties

Danny McPherson gave the coast more success in '73 winning for Hopeman, while the legendary Gordon Milne (New Elgin) claimed a second singles accolade in 1974.

Regarded as the finest player of his generation, Miltonduff's Ian Milne Miltonduff claimed the prestigious accolade in 1975.

Alves won two of the last four singles of the decade, earned by Ian Grant and Jack McKinnon, with Peter Mitchell claiming a first singles title for the Fogwatt club in 1977.

Garmouth also took a first-ever accolade in 1979 thanks to Ian Dean's exploits that year.

The Campbell Cup singles produced some exceptional winners, with one of the great names in Sandy Stephen (Dallas) winning the first of the decade.

Another two of the best bowlers of the era, Harry Milne (Lhanbryde) in 1971 and Ian Williamson (Urquhart) in 1972 were the next Campbell Cup champs.

Fochabers claimed a first association accolade with John Murray jnr from a well-known bowling family winning the trophy in 1973.

More established names got their name on the trophy as Sandy Forbes (Roseisle), Davie Cowie (Spynie), John Gordon (Burghead) and Ian McLean (Spynie)also crowned winners.

Ian Milne completed a unique double by taking both singles titles in 1978, adding the Campbell Cup to the association singles.

Ian Williamson added a second Campbell Cup of the decade in 1976.

Some highly regarded names were to dominate the Association Pairs, firstly in 1970 as Jim Mackenzie and Ally Brander took the honours back to Forres.

Davie Cowie added the pairs to the Campbell Cup playing with D. Reid and J. Flett and D. Manson gave Lossiemouth success in '72.

The formidable Urquhart partnership of Ian Williamson and Kenny Stewart claimed two pairs titles in 1973 and 1979.

Ian Milne added to his singles collection by also claiming the pairs title twice, firstly in '74 with W. Duncan and again with G. Milne in '78.

Willie Dean and Billy Simpson won for Garmouth in 1975 and the legendary Norman Walker, playing with Sandy James, won in 1976 to give a first pairs to Fogwatt.

Jimmy Inch, partnered by A. Milne won for Elgin in '77.

Association Rinks proved tough to win, but a powerful Dallas team did just that with the title in 1970, followed by Forres Royal British Legion in '71, who followed up their success by winning again in 1978.

Lossiemouth were victorious in '72 and a strong Urquhart rink took the honours the following year.

Kilmolymock were to double up, winning back-to-back in 1974 and 1975 while another club to win twice in the decade was Miltonduff in 1976 and 1979. In between, Bishopmill were triumphant in '77.

The triples competition witnessed Urquhart become the 1978 champions with a strong trio skipped by Ian Williamson, and a Burghead team skipped by Sandy Cobban claimed the trophy in 1979.

As for a player of the decade, two candidates spring to mind.

The aforementioned Ian Milne from Miltonduff not only took the Association Singles and Campbell Cup double but he won two pairs titles, two rinks titles and numerous open competitions.

Equally successful in the seventies was Urquhart's Ian Williamson, whose haul of honours included two Campbell Cups, two pairs titles, one triples and one rinks glory as well as the North of Scotland pairs, four First Division championships, two Charity Cups and the Second Division championship.

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