Bowls: Victory over Auld Enemy not enough

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Scotland lost their grip on The Hilton Trophy despite ending the indoor bowls Home International campaign with victory over England at the Stanley IBC in County Durham.

The Scots needed to beat the Auld Enemy by 18 shots to win the series and they performed impressively for 16 of the 21 ends to lead 99-70.

Sadly the heroics came to an end on the short run in with a 37-13 collapse that still saw the Scots celebrate a 112-107 victory – but rob them of retaining the championship title.

The major damage came from a 10-1, 10-3 fight back from England on ends 17 and 18.

The Scots – who had defeated Wales by 30 shots but then suffered a shock four-shot defeat by Ireland – will reflect on their failure to hold England.

The net loss of 24 shots from ends 17 to 21 began when Mike Stepney, Paul Boyd, Graeme Sloan and Colin Hutchison conceded 1, 3, (1), 2, 5 to lose 11-1 while Ronnie Duncan, John Fleming Jnr, Billy Mellors and Derek Oliver (skip) shipped 6, 1, 1 (two ends unplayed) to be outgunned 8-0.

Colin Walker, Jamie Higgins, Willie Wood and Iain McLean lost their run-in 6-3 while Bryan Cooper, Martin Williamson, Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs (skip) were edged out 5-4.

Darren Burnett, Martin McCalley, Colin Taggart and Mark Allison lost 1-0 (with four ends not played) while Gary Hutchison, Calum Logan, Scott Kennedy and Stewart Anderson (skip) lost 6-5.

Final Scores: S Anderson 23, N Brett 13; D Burnett 21, G Shadwell 13; N Speirs 18, G Harlow 18; M Stepney 20, S Tolchard 22; D Oliver 16, R Paxton 19; C Walker 14, A Thomson 22.

Final Table: England 4 (+56), Scotland 4 (31), Ireland 4 +12), Wales 0 (-99).