Bowler Scott Mackintosh achieved the ambition of etching his name on the Tait Trophy last night as he captured it in exciting style with a 21-16 victory over Stuart McKean.
It was the third Tait final to be contested by the 42-year-old, 14-times London Road Foundry champion and after two defeats he was fired up and totally focused on breaking his own duck, and also make it a first title in the event for his club.
However, the climax to a Tait campaign sponsored for the first time by John McGillivray Funeral Directors provided dramatic uncertainty and entertainment for the spectators with Mackintosh in dire need of a Houdini-type escape from 13-6 down.
Tanfield player McKean, 43, could do no wrong over the opening nine ends, stirring up his support on the banking with a brilliantly executed take-out for a full house count of 4 to lead 11-6.
Singles were traded to 14-7 then an amazing four-end spell resulted in Mackintosh changing the flow of the final with a storming run of 3, 3, 3, 3 to bring the title into his sharp focus at 19-14 up.
McKean reflected after the match that he had missed the opportunity to trail the jack for a 3 at 14-10 that would have kept in the driving seat at 17-10, then found his level of consistency diminishing.
Mackintosh was now the player operating in a higher gear and with the scent of victory very strong, the 2009 national singles finalist answered the loss of a 2 on the 16th end with a killer double of his own to 21.
Asked how he felt about conquering the challenging heights of the Tait at the third attempt Mackintosh replied: “My first thought is one of sheer relief at getting out of jail as Stuart was playing a tremendous game to have me at his 14-7 mercy and my head was being challenged by the prospect of losing yet another Tait final.”
McKean may have been beaten but he was certainly unbowed. “I felt I have excelled myself to reach the final at the first time of asking and hope I will now learn and grow from that experience,” he said.