East Lothian 75-year-old maestro Willie Wood showed great form winning his qualifying section in the indoor bowls SIBA Champion of Champions event at Abbeyview IBC.
Victories over fellow top notchers Brian Irvine of Blantyre, Kenny Johnstone of Tweedbank and Steven Allan of Falkirk, have earned Wood a crack at Mike Stepney of Elgin in front of the TV cameras at the Dewars Centre in Perth on Saturday, November 16.
Wood launched his campaign with a 2-0 sets victory over 18-times capped Irvine 7-5, 9-1.
Johnstone led Wood 4-3 in the first set of their second-round clash but Wood scored 2, 1, 3 to win the opener 9-4 then claimed the second 11-7 after being 6-4 in arrears.
Wood made a blitz start to his semi-final against Allan and stunned the young full cap with a run of 1, 2, 1, 2, 2 to lead 8-0 then cashed in to win it 10-2. However, the second set was much harder fought with peels called at 3-3, 6-6, then 8-8.
The prospect of an all-Lothian final was dashed when defending champion Calum Logan of West Lothian made a 2-0 sets exit to Stepney in the other semi-final having suffered a heavy 12-1 defeat in the first then edged 6-5 in the second.
Logan had launched his defence with a tie-break win over his West Lothian colleague Thomas Mann who won the first set 9-5.
Logan dashed into a 9-1 lead to win the second set 9-5 then knife-edge drama in the tie-break saw Logan card two singles to the opening one of his opponent.
Logan was also on thin ice in the second round against Andrew Barker of Elgin having lost the first set 8-3. But he bounced back to win 8-3 then clinched victory with a 2-0 success on the tie-break.
Last season’s runner-up, Ronnie Duncan of Midlothian, became a first-round victim of his Dalkeith stadium colleague Colin Walker.
Walker added 3, 3 to cross into a 9-4 lead in the first set and went on to win it 11-6. He then cashed in on a 1, 1, 4 start in the second to convert his 6-0 lead into an 11-7 success.
His second-round clash against Stepney saw him lose the opening set 8-3 but he recovered well to dominate the second and win it 8-4. However, he was tipped out by a 2-1 loss in the tie-break.