Edinburgh challenger David Fisher launched his bid for the gents Singles title of the Bowls Scotland Championships at Ayr in a confident manner with the 39-year-old Colinton ace turning up trumps at the 21-12 expense of Calderbank opponent Paul O’Grady.
Fisher made an encouraging start to lead 8-1 after six ends then, when asked questions at 9-6, he answered in brilliant fashion, producing a run of 2, 2, 4 that accelerated him into a 17-6 comfort zone.
O’Grady showed renewed menace with a 2, 3 fight back to 11 but Fisher remained resolute and hit 21 with a run of 2, (1), 1, 1 to win in 19 ends.
“This is my fourth visit to Ayr and the most relaxed I have been in terms of coping with the national stage and having made a strong start I always felt in command of the situation and my hope is that my game can grow from here,” reflected the District 15 champion.
Sadly the debut of District 14 champion Martin Lewis of Brunstane was at the opposite end of the comfort scale with his failure to re-produce his best form punished by a 21-2 defeat from John Strachan of Houldsworth over 12 ends.
Expectations are high for Scotland cap Derek Oliver of Cockenzie & Port Seton and the East Lothian star delivered an excellent 21-12 win over the rated Craig Cobbledick of Coylton while Gary Robertson of Gilmerton advanced at the 21-9 expense of Eastfield’s Andrew McFarlane.
But Peter lynch of Whitburn was sidelined with the former West Lothian Master losing 21-13 to Scott Speirs of Blacklands.
The Edinburgh camp was kept cheerful by two sparkling performances from their Junior Singles challengers in Liam McKay of Tanfield and his Carrick Knowe counterpart Stephen Pringle.
McKay looked a surefire bet to stitch up Ross Drummond of Garrowhill when zipping into a 13-0 lead after eight ends but did have to overcome a degree of resistance before clinching a 21-12 victory in 19 ends.
Pringle found himself being tested by a ‘marvel from Darvel’ in the shape of Graeme Hunter and the outcome was hanging in the balance at 18-17 up but the Carrick Knowe star produced a sparkling hat-trick of singles to win 21-17 in 26 ends.
The East Lothian banner was carried in to round two by Gordon White with the emerging star from Aberlady making telling space from 10-7 to 20-7 in five ends then winning 21-10 in 19 ends.
The Midlothian banner was also kept prominent with Mark Yuill of Deantown picking up the pace from 10-8 down and whizzing to a 21-14 win in 21 ends over Liam Nicholson of Gala Waverley.
But there was disappointment for West Lothian with Calum Black of Uphall Station crushed 21-6 by Gary Malcolmson of Polmaise.
Two major setbacks for the Edinburgh camp in the gents Triples saw the high profile Ramsay brothers of Slateford – Ronnie, Andrew, and Gordon – slump to an 18-3 defeat against Fairfield, and Queensberry trio Scott Walker, Frank O’Reilly, and John Kidd were defeated 18-9 by Roy Borthwick, Graham Mitchell, and Robert Bruce of Easthouses.
Other results included, Ladies Singles: Lorna Smith (Linlithgow) 21, Lynn Lees (Townhill) 18; Hilda Melrose (Sighthill) 21, Lorna Cormack (Thurso)) 20; Christine Curran (Polton) 21, Jean Fisher (Bridge of Allan) 11; Louise Morgan (Cockenzie & PS) 21, Leigh McPartland (Northwest) 20.