BILLY MELLORS, the Men’s Singles title favourite at the Bowls Scotland National Championships, has been knocked out by Mark O’Hagan of Whitefield.
The 2006 champion and last year’s finalist from Haddington crashed out 21-12.
The Edinburgh challenge got off to a great start in yesterday’s first round at Ayr Northfield.
David Brown of Craigentinny kicked on in impressive style from 11-10 to inflict a 21-14 defeat on Ian McMillan of Drumoyne.
It was later in the day that Halley Cockburn of Sighhill staged a spectacular fightback from 18-10 with a thundering finish of 2, 1, 4, 2, 2 to win 21-18 against Willie Kennon of Colgrain.
West Lothian’s Gary Smith of Linlithgow beat Alan Davis of Castle Douglas 21-12, while Stuart Fleming of Inveresk carried the Midlothian banner forward with a 21-7 win over Allan Birnie of Huntly.
The major shock of the day was the exit of title favourite Billy Mellors of Haddington with last year’s finalist and 2006 champion crashing to a 21-12 defeat at the hands of Mark O’Hagan of Whitefield.
Edinburgh suffered double disappointment in the Ladies Singles as Beechwood ace Betty Eaton lost 21-20 in an epic 25-end battle with Jean Fisher of Bridge of Allan.
Eaton moved from 5-9 to 12-9 with a run of 3, 2, 1, 1 then answered renewed pressure at 16-12 down with counts of 2, 1, 1 to peel but then lost a 2,. She retaliated with a magic 3 to have clear sight of the winning post at 19-18.
The alarm bells sounded for her once again at 20-19 down but she thrilled her support with a single to 20-20 however it was Fisher that landed the winning single in the atmosphere of an intense climax.
Hopes that Chloe Thomson of Tanfield would clear her first hurdle were dashed by a 21-15 defeat at the hands of Liz O’Neill of Townholm and other fallers were Midlothian’s Annie Rutherford of Buccleuch and West Lothian teenager Chloe Hutchison of Linlithgow.
It’s a rosier outlook though for East Lothian’s Megan Kivlin who defeated 2013 Seniors Singles champion Isobel Laing of Elgin 21-17.
The Edinburgh support cheered a double success in the Men’s Pairs with Colinton and Craigentinny both making it into today’s third round, Colinton brothers John and David Fisher taking a single at the last to defeat the Abergeldie pair 14-13.
The Craigentinny duo of Gordon Bold and Willie McDonald were tested at 12-10 up and answered with an explosive finish of 2, 2, (2), 2, 1 to beat Bellshill & Mossend 19-12.
Play in the Ladies Pairs saw four times national champions Leanne and Lauren Baillie of Cockenzie & Port Seton produce a corking 17-14 win over Leslie Doig and Dianne Gordon of Strathmiglo.
Sighthill duo Kathleen Barr and Hilda Melrose opened up a 10-6 lead over sisters Delia Flannigan and Angie Uttley of Glenmavis but the 2007 champions stormed to an 18-14 victory with a finish of 1, 2, 3, (1), 2, 3, 1.