National Bowls: Kirkhill clinch Seniors Fours

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ANDY WILTON admitted: “This is beyond our wildest dreams” after the 55-year-old skipped his Kirkhill rink of Alistair Robb, Jim Watson and Sam Wilkie to the Gents Seniors Fours title in the Bowls Scotland National Championships at Ayr Northfield.

The Midlothian champions ended a memorable day with a magnificent performance in the final and their spectacular 21-5 victory over Kennoway (Fife) brought Edinburgh and the Lothians its only Seniors title from the championships.

Wilton and Co had kick-started their day with a battling semi-final win over Winchburgh, having faced late pressure from their West Lothian counterparts at 11-9 up with two to play and answering with a 2, 2 finish to end the dreams of David Gemmell, Joe Arthurs, Ian Cruickshanks and Drew Reid.

“We were chuffed at winning the District 16 title and were thrilled at winning our first game here at Ayr but to go all the way is just fantastic,” said Wilton.

Expectations of a second title heading east were high after East Lothian’s Mixed Pairs niece/uncle partnership of Dee Hoggan and John McCrorie from Tranent conjured up a magic hat-trick of singles to snatch a 12-11 win over Carron & Carronshore in their morning semi-final.

Sadly, the final brought a big anti-climax for the 2009 Junior Singles and 2000 Singles champions who, having made an encouraging start to lead 11-3 after six ends, failed to score again and suffered a 
20-11 defeat from Alastair Nimmo and Ruth Stewart of Cupar.

In the mainstream Ladies Pairs, there was a shocj first-round exit for holders and three-times champions Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station.

It had looked all over for the last year’s champions when they trailed 14-7 but a 3, 4 fightback gave them a lifeline at 14-14 but the winning single on the last end went to Laura Agnew and Jen McKie of Kirkcowan.

Mixed fortunes for the Edinburgh challenge in the event saw Sandra Slater and Cathy Stark of Colinton hold their nerve from 7-10 down to clinch a 13-12 win over Lochore. However, Zandra Kinnear and Bunty Williamson of Goldenacre made a 15-9 exit to Lochwinnoch.

Sisters Emma and Lauren McNaughtan of Gilmerton Private progressed with a good 20-12 win over Kingswood.