Wins for Bob Manson in the gents seniors singles and Colinton in the ladies seniors fours raised early cheers from the Edinburgh contingent of spectators as yesterday’s play heralded the start of the Bowls Scotland Championships at the Ayr Northfield complex.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for the early challengers from the Capital, with disappointing exits made by Rosemary Mackintosh of London Road Foundry in the ladies seniors singles, Hillside in the ladies seniors fours and both Willowbrae and Sighthill in the gents seniors fours.
Manson’s win over the much-fancied Gordon Scott of Armadale in the seniors singles was accomplished in fine style, with the veteran Mayfield star charging from 7-5 to 16-5, then clinching a 21-8 victory in 18-ends over the 2012 champion of West Lothian’s Seniors Open.
The Midlothian banner was also prominent, with George Yuill of Easthouses capturing the attention of the banking as he staged a thrilling escape to victory from 11-17 down to Dennis Helliwell of Insch, zipping to 21 with an unbroken run of 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1.
Hopes that stalwart LRF figure Rosemary Macintosh would turn on the style failed to materialise, with the mother of siblings Gillian and Scott – competing in the mixed pairs – failing to master the challenges of an early-morning green and paying the price at the 21-9 hands of Margaret Robertson of Berwick.
Annie Rutherford of Buccleuch (Dalkeith) produced a strong run of 2, 3, 2, 2 that powered her into a 15-9 lead over Celia Smith of Buckhaven, but the killer instinct deserted her in a 21-15 defeat from the former Scotland cap.
Colinton carded a finishing hat-trick of singles to clinch a 10-8 win over Maxwelltown in the Ladies seniors fours with Linda Pica, Bette Jackson, Sandra Slater and Cathy Stark dealing with the pressure best at 8-7 down.
The scales tipped in the opposite direction for the Hillside rink of Lorraine Livingston, Mary Hatley, Cathy Ward and June Woodall, who added 2, 2 to have a chance at 13-12 down entering the last but conceded a double to Croftfoot.
Newbridge edged a 17-16 thriller over Rattray, but conceding a double at the last cost Polton a 13-11 defeat at the hands of Strathmiglo. Gullane made a 20-8 exit to Cumnock.
Kirkhill included a timely count of 6 as they launched their defence of the gents seniors fours title with a 20-16 win over Whitehall, but Willowbrae (12-17), Sighthill (10-11), and Dunbar (12-13) all made exits.
The Lothians area made a strong start in the mixed pairs with wins for Bathgate (15-13), Tranent (17-7) and Musselburgh (19-7).