In what is sadly expected to be the last throw of the dice under the 153-year-old banner of Bo’ness Bowling Club, their ace player has won the WLBA Champion of Champions title for a record-extending fifth time.
Ewan Shearer, 43, captured the coveted Burnside Cup representing a club whose very existence is in doubt due to a lack of members. Should this season be Bo’ness’ last on the scene, then at least Shearer has secured a glorious exit.
The final at East Calder against Richard Mark of Uphall Station was an epic encounter that lasted 22 ends and Shearer’s wings were well on the way to being clipped when his 59-year-old opponent held the whip hand at 11-6.
Shearer’s response under pressure came in the shape of scoring 2, 3, 2 to cross 14-11 then two ends later the Bo’ness champion produced a brilliant game-changing moment with an inch-perfect last-bowl draw that killed three shots destined, it seemed, to make it to the Mark side of the card.
A double to 17-13 then put Shearer into the driving seat and the loss of a single to 14 was answered by a 2, 2 finish that clinched the victory.
Perhaps the fairytale ending was written in the stars after a second-round exit had looked on the cards for Shearer as he trailed 19-13 and 20-15 to Peter Lynch of Whitburn, the current District Champion and a past WL Master. However, a spectacular run of 3, 2, 1 to 21 left Lynch stunned. Shearer’s other victims on his way to the title were Cameron Nicol (Deans) 21-12; Jamie Deegan (Harrysmuir) 21-8 and Davie Hay (Polbeth) 21-9.