Tait Trophy bowls: George Kyle into semi-finals

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First-time club champion George Kyle of London Road Foundry reached the semi-finals of the Tait Trophy by seeing off Whitehouse & Grange counterpart Mark Hewitt 21-10 in 19 ends.

Hewitt started well enough to nose into a 6-5 lead after five ends but Kyle crossed to 10 with a run of 2, 1, 2 then the LRF champion answered the loss of a single with a game-changing run that yielded him 2, 1, 3 to establish command at 17-7.

Kyle, 57, traded a single to 18-8 then captured three of the next five ends with singles to reach the last four in impressive style.

Bernie Callaghan, of Corstorphine, had his hands full against junior cap Neil Watson and made a 21-15 exit in 20 ends.

Watson didn’t get things all his own way, though, with 62-year-old Callaghan leading 9-7 after nine ends but a change of gear saw the Parkside challenger accelerate to 15-11 with counts of 2, 1, 3, (2), 2. Callaghan, though, did stir the melting pot with a three-shot reply to 14.

Watson carded 3, 1, 1 to 20 but the underdog showed unyielding menace with a hold of three at the next – only to see Watson wreck the head with a strong drive then card the winning single on the replay.

Tanfield champion Mal Higgenbotham is bidding for a third Tait win and kept his dream alive at the expense of Brunstane counterpart Martin Lewis.

Lewis had beaten five-times Tait winner Colin Mitchell in the second round but Higgenbotham hit the ground running in this clash with a full house four at the first, then he added two singles to six but Lewis rocked him back onto his heels with a strong reply of 4, 1, 1, 1, 1 to cross 8-6 after eight ends. The former Scotland cap was being asked questions and found the answers in the shape of a 2, 1, 2, 1, 1 response to 13 then tested again by the loss of a three countered with a three to lead 16-11.

Higgenbotham dropped a single to 12 but has a strong sense of the finishing line and hit it with counts of 3, 1, 1 to triumph 21-12 in 19 ends.

Maitland’s Graeme McIntosh enjoyed a runaway 21-3 win in 13 ends over Jim Hutchison of Goldenacre.