Bowls: Peacock claims Midlothian Singles title

David Peacock. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
David Peacock. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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David Peacock has won the Singles title at Midlothian IBC for a record-extending eighth time in a thrilling 21-20 victory over six-times winner Colin Walker.

The final, played in front of a large crowd at the Dalkeith Stadium, lasted 24 ends between the 1996 Scottish champion (Peacock) and the two-times national runner-up (Walker 2008, 2011).

Walker scored a three on the opening end but the response from Peacock was a blistering run of 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3 that powered him into a 12-3 lead.

Walker arrested the charge with a count of two then introduced a short jack that resulted in a run of 2, 3, 1 (1), 1, 3, 1, 1 that transformed the score 
17-13 in his favour.

Peacock is no stranger to answering questions under pressure and the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist fought back with scores of 2, 1, 2, 1 to regain the initiative at 19-17. The thrilling climax was ensured when Walker bounced back with counts of 2 and 1 on ends 21 and 22 to take him to the brink of glory 20-19 up.

Walker produced a jack-high toucher with his lead bowl on end 23 but the potential title-clincher didn’t make it onto the card as Peacock kept his hopes alive by burning the head with an explosive strike.

The replayed end brought more heartbreak to Walker as his attempt to protect yet another title-winning hold was just a touch overbold resulting in the jack being moved sufficiently to gift a single to Peacock.

Peacock had resisted the temptation to add a second shot for the game and having settled for 20-20 going into end 24 he reaped his reward with a wonderful first bowl that Walker could not beat with four attempts.

The final of the Ladies Singles was an entertaining affair over 22 ends with Scotland full cap Gaynor Duncan tested by underdog Val Gray. However, she came up with enough right answers to score a 21-16 victory.

Gray dominated the opening five ends 8-0 but Duncan registered a full house of four then a three on end-12 for a 13-11 lead.

The destination of the title remained in the melting pot until end-22 when, with a lead of 19-16, Duncan carded two excellent drawn shots to the 21-mark.