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Lossiemouth ladies face off in Moray Ladies Pairs final at Forres Bowling Club

By Ali Morrison

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After an all-Lossiemouth final in the Moray Ladies' Pairs held at Forres Bowling Club, Sheanagh Bell and Jutta Hewett emerged victorious with the trophy, writes Alex Porter.

Sheanagh Bell (left) and Jutta Hewett.
Sheanagh Bell (left) and Jutta Hewett.

They defeated Lindsay Smith and Margaret Stewart 16-13 in the final.

Forres had two impressive victories, home and away, against Buckie Victoria in the Moray Ladies' Triples League.

Trailing 5-2 after a handful of ends, the home triple of Ailene Matthews, Sheena Murdoch and Lesley Coutts went on a nine-end winning streak to lead 18-5. Losing a three at the last made the score 18-8.

The away triple of Peggy Locke, Lesley Mackintosh and skip, Alana Coutts had an even more impressive win. Already 14-8 up, they scored a five at the penultimate end and finished 21-8 victors over their hosts.

This year's challenge for the Kenny Cheyne Trophy never got off the ground as the Forres rink of Brian Riddell, Brian Caldwell, Paul Coutts and Dean Dobbs were all at sea when taking on Norman Barker's St Aethan's side at Hopeman.

Although Forres scored at brace at the first end, they won just one of the following eleven ends. They called it a day at 22-5.

As expected, the President's Handicap tie between Paul Coutts and Malcolm Swinswood was a cracker.

Swinswood hit three at the first end and was 9-4 up after seven ends ends before Coutts levelled three ends later.

Back came Swinswood with the next four shots then Coutts with the following five to lead for the first time. A ding-dong battle continued with Swinwood winning five out of six ends for a 20-15 lead, then Coutts levelling at 20-20.

It took 30 ends, but Swinswood finally hit his target and he now plays Alana Coutts or Henry Davidson in the semi-finals.

Sheena Murdoch is into the semi-finals of the W D MacPherson Trophy after defeating last year's runner-up, Mary Sobey.

Eight shots in four ends at 4-4 had Murdoch in a commanding position which she maintained to win 21-15. She will now play either John Matthews or Steve Gill.

Swinswood joins Murdoch in the last four despite losing the first four ends to Marjory McCarthy, with maximum at the ninth end putting him 10-5 up.

Six ends later the tie was all square at 12-12 but Swinswood pushed on to finish the game after another four ends and book a semi-final against Derek Sobey, who never looked back from building up a 12-1 lead on Brian Caldwell after half a dozen ends.

In a tentative start to their Usher Cup tie, Roy Anderson and Paul Coutts led Brian Riddell and Alana Coutts 4-1 after a handful of ends.

A five at the next end brought Brian and Alana back into the match. With three ends to play, the scores were tied at 11-11 before Anderson and Coutts edged through.

There was a brilliant comeback in the Men's Pairs in another cracking game.

Steve Gill and Gary Mackie took an early 9-0 advantage over Charlie Watt and Harry Sutherland, who got back into the game with a five at the eighth end leaving them just one shot behind at 10-9.

Watt and Sutherland then raced into a 15-11 lead and although they were pegged back to 15-15 going into the final end, they got the all-important decisive shot to complete the comeback win.

Mary Williamson has closed to within three points of the leaders after the latest round of the Scott Cup.

She played lead in the all-ladies triple which also contained Mary Sobey and Lesley Coutts. After a slow start, a five at the fourth end sent them on a four-end winning run during which they scored 11 shots against Sandy Burgess.

At 11-0 up on Brian Caldwell, Paul Coutts was looking good for an outright lead at the top of the table. However Caldwell managed to score four twice, narrowing the deficit enough to avoid the wooden spoon.

Although there wasn't much between Brian Riddell and Alana Coutts, a six scored at the 11th was enough to give Riddell the victory.

A great finish from Harry Sutherland saw him come back from 11-7 down to John Matthews with four ends to play.

Malcolm Swinswood beat Gary Mackie for the second week in a row. Mackie fought back from trailing 8-4 to lead 12-8, but Swinswood got back in front with a four at the 13th.

Alex Porter and Dean Dobbs had a good, close game throughout, which could have gone either way. Trailing by a shot going into the last end, a three gave Porter enough to get over the line.

Scores: L Coutts 22, A Burgess 9; P Coutts 24, B Caldwell 13; B Riddell 17, A Coutts 12; H Sutherland 15, J Matthews 12; M Swinswood 17, G Mackie 15; A Porter 14, D Dobbs 12.

Wednesday's afternoon hat was won by Ann MacPherson, Brian Caldwell and Derek Sobey. Winning the toss at the end of the first set laid the foundations for them to keep moving.

Mary Sobey also kept on the move, again courtesy of a coin toss at one stage. An excellent second half showing left her just short.

Sam Morrison will have to practice his coin tossing after losing both first half sets by calling wrong.

Charley Dustan made her debut, but was unable to help Hazel Caldwell earn a move.

Scores: D Sobey 17 up; M Sobey 16 up; S Morrison 11 down; H Caldwell 22 down.

As he did at his first hat-night of this season's all-too-short stay, Trevor Cooper won overall at his last evening at the club until next season.

He was victorious at Thursday's Moving Hat-Night along with Alex Porter. Although they started the evening badly, with a 5-1 defeat, they stormed the second half 19-2.

Mary Sobey was 9-0 up after just three ends and won all four sets.

Lesley Coutts was 12-1 up at half-time, but, a five at the next end sent her off on the slippery slope, culminating in a hefty final set defeat.

'Nero' Morrison tried to hoodwink anyone scrutinising his counting skills by filling in the card in Roman numerals, and finished one-up.

Malcolm Swinswood lost a six to Alana Coutts on his way to a half-time deficit of seven shots. Remarkably, he was on level terms two ends later.

Alana Coutts ran out of steam after leading 12-4 after two sets.

Trailing 10-3 after seven ends, John Matthews recovered to be one-up going into the last, before he threw it away.

Despite being stuck on Rink 3 all night, Henry Davidson would have been level if he hadn't lost nine shots in two third set ends.

Only a third set victory was able to prevent Harry Sutherland suffering more on a poor evening.

Derek Sobey loved Rink 6 so much that he stayed there all night. He finally mastered it!

Scores: A Porter 19 up; M Sobey 15 up; L Coutts 1 up; Nero Morrison XVI/XV (1 up); M Swinswood 1 up; A Coutts peels; J Matthews 2 down; H Davidson 9 down; H Sutherland 11 down; D Sobey 15 down.

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