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Late revival snatches victory for Tom McNaughton in Forres Bowling Club’s men’s championship thriller

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A stunning late comeback in Forres Bowling Club’s men’s championship could lead to a new name appearing on the trophy.

Two of this season's beginners, Jack Connor and Tom McNaughton battled out a great match.

McNaughton started brilliantly, scoring two maximums in the first three ends as he took an 8-1 lead. Connor was gradually chipping at McNaughton's advantage, and scored a maximum of his own at the tenth end to make the score 9-11.

Little separated the two of them thereafter, and, with 19 ends played, they were tied at 15-15. Connor won the next three ends to put himself within touching distance at 20-15, but McNaughton wasn't for giving up, winning the last three ends for a 21-20 victory.

Harry Sutherland is still on track in his attempt to capture the trophy for the third time. He led John Murdoch 9-1 after half a dozen ends, though Murdoch got back to within one shot seven ends later. Sutherland won eight of the next nine ends to progress to a quarter-final clash with Paul Rogan.

Bowls action.
Bowls action.

The ladies' championship tie between the 2016 champion Sheena Murdoch, and the current holder Alana Coutts saw three maximums scored in the first four ends.

Murdoch got the first at the second end to overturn the brace that Coutts had scored the end before. Coutts responded with two maximums in a row on her way to taking a 12-4 advantage.

Murdoch won four of the next five ends to narrow the deficit, but Coutts then scored five on the spin to reach a semi-final game against Marjory McCarthy.

It took 25 ends to settle the President's Handicap tie between Derek Crosby and Henry Davidson, the latter leading 9-1 early on. Crosby won eight of the next 11 ends and the score was 17-17 with two ends to go. Crosby won with two singles to earn a third round tie against Alex Porter.

Jack Connor sprang a surprise to reach the third round by defeating Skibo McKenzie, who won the first pair of ends, but was 12-5 down nine ends in. Connor smelt blood, and pressed on to finish the tie in 15 ends.

Hazel Caldwell started her tie against Annie Griffiths with a maximum, and later scored two more to reach the quarter-finals.

Malcolm Swinswood had far too much experience for Morag Ritchie, winning seven ends in a row mid-game and he will play Jack Connor next.

Paul Rogan was on fine form, and was always in control of his match against Brian Caldwell as he reached the quarter-finals.

Little separated Brian Riddell and Alex Porter over the initial six ends of their W D MacPherson tie, before Riddell began to pull away and established a comfortable 16-8 advantage. The game was really decided at the 15th end as Porter was lying three shots which would have taken him to within a shot of his opponent, who proceeded to play a great bowl under pressure to take the shot and effectively reach the last eight.

The opening ten ends of Sandy Burgess' match with Henry Davidson were a real battle, with Davidson scoring a maximum to go 10-7 ahead. Burgess won seven of the following eight ends to reach the quarter-finals.

David Foss scored a couple of maximums against Janice Oakes as he reached a John Raffan quarter-final clash with Robbie Fraser.

Ian Stewart, Chrissie Grigor and Brian Riddell lost only four ends to Alex Porter as they claimed the overall victory at Monday's Scott Cup night. The trio were already 11 up by the tenth end, and remained that far ahead at the end.

Alana Coutts remained unbeaten, and extended her lead at the top of the table by defeating Malcolm Swinswood. There was nothing between them after half a dozen ends, but then Coutts scored a seven on her way to victory.

John Ross came with a very late run to inflict a first defeat on Lesley Coutts. He trailed by three shots with three ends to play but scored 11 shots over those three ends.

Brian Caldwell got off to a poor start against Stuart Robertson, trailing 9-2 after seven ends. He staged a great comeback though, and only allowed Robertson to win one further end.

Paul Coutts earned only his third win of the Scott Cup season so far. He trailed Gary Mackie by a shot at half-time, but pushed ahead thereafter.

Dean Dobbs trailed Sandy Burgess 8-2 but won six of the next seven ends to go in front, and wasn’t caught from there.

Scores: B Riddell 18, A Porter 7; A Coutts 23, M Swinswood 14; J Ross 24, L Coutts 16; B Caldwell 16, S Robertson 11; P Coutts 16, G Mackie 12; D Dobbs 15, A Burgess 12.

Tom McNaughton and Ed Harris were the runaway winners of the Wednesday afternoon hat. They lost only four ends all session, and won all four sets. A six at the 12th end was their highlight.

Scores: E Harris 26 up; D Crosby 4 up; P Locke 1 up; J Connor 1 up; S Shohet 1 down; D Foss 2 down; R McRitchie 5 down; P Corrin 24 down.

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