Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall might not have the iconic moustache of David Wilkie or the Olympic achievements of Sir Chris Hoy, but he has more Commonwealth gold medals than the pair of them combined.
Yesterday, Tattie won his fifth Commonwealth lawn bowls gold medal in the most dramatic fashion in the men’s Fours as Scotland retained their title by beating hosts Australia on the Gold Coast.
And after an epic final where Australia led by as many as six shots only for Scotland to come back and clinch it at the last, 15-13, an emotional Tattie dedicated the win to Hugh Foster, father of team-mate Paul, who passed away in January.
He said: “We’ve got to mention there’s one person up there who will be really happy and that’s Paul’s dad. We lost his dad three or four months ago and we’re going to dedicate this win to his father.”
It looked like the Scots, who also featured Lothians bowlers Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver, might have blown it on the final end, when Australian skip Aron Sherriff had two chances to effectively seal the victory but missed with both.
In between, Tattie had messed up his own penultimate bowl, leaving him to hold his breath as Sherriff tried to snatch the gold.
He added: “After the first bowl I threw, I thought ‘I’ve blown it’ because I shouldn’t have been anywhere near the head. I think I would have got a kicking from these guys later on if he had got it but thankfully he just clipped it. That’s why I had my head in my hands. For a split-second I thought ‘what have I done?’
“I thought Derek and Ronnie were absolutely brilliant.
“At 8-2 down they could have folded but they were strong enough to win the gold in the triples.
“It’s a special victory in many ways, to get my fifth gold medal, and Ronnie and Derek in their first Commonwealth Games to get two gold medals is absolutely fantastic and they deserve it.”
Oliver and Duncan had already enjoyed victory in the men’s Triples alongside Darren Burnett and, despite the thrilling denouement, Leith-born Oliver was not affected by nerves.
He added: “You don’t really notice the pressure when you’re playing, to be honest, but we’re just delighted to get over the line.
“I thought we got off to a bad start, but we just hung in there. To win it right at the end there is unbelievable. We seem to be good at coming from behind, it seems to work.”
Bonnyrigg man Duncan added: “At the time of the final ends, we still had the momentum so it was just a case of keep doing what we were doing, trying to put the Aussies under pressure and if we get a chance, grab it with both hands and that’s exactly what we did on the last end.
“Del played a terrific conversion shot and we’ve managed to get the three after that to win the game.”
Elsewhere at the bowls Burnett missed out on a medal in the men’s Singles, going down to England’s Robert Paxton in the bronze-medal match, having lost in the semi-finals to Ryan Bester earlier in the day.
However, Lesley Doig and Claire Johnston won bronze for Team Scotland in the women’s pairs after a 18-10 win over Canada.
In shooting, Edinburgh’s Seonaid McIntosh claimed bronze in the 50m rifle three positions.
Having already taken bronze in the prone, McIntosh repeated the trick at the Belmont Shooting Centre behind Indian pair Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil, even though she was not at her best.
She said: “I was feeling good, but a bit hot. I think it was okay. My comp this round wasn’t as good as I hoped.
“I could have been a wee bit better, but I’m happy with it. I struggled a bit with the wind.”
Oriam-based squash duo Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban are through to the semi-finals of the men’s doubles after a 2-1 win over Kamal Mohammad Syafiq and NG Eain Yow of Malaysia, while Joe Hendry lost out in the last 16 of the wrestling to home favourite Nicolaas Verreynne.