Bowls: Moss and O’Donnell win Pairs

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Finals week at Bainfield Indoor Bowling Club brought early cheer to Craig Moss and Paul O’Donnell, who captured the national qualifying Pairs crown last night.

O’Donnell, 26, skipped Moss, 28, to the title in commanding style at the 16-7 expense of veteran challengers Bill Herd and Neil Butters, having made their major impression with a run of 1, 2, 3 to open up a 12-4 lead.

The Herd/Butters partnership carded a couple of singles to 6 in response but a magic count of 3 to 15 kept Moss and O’Donnell firmly in the driving seat.

“This is the fifth time Craig and I have contested the final of the Pairs but the first time we have managed to etch our names on the silverware and of course the great bonus is that it earns us a crack at the Scottish title next season,” said O’Donnell.

There was heartache though for the well-fancied Triples team of Chris Downie (full cap), Colin Hutchison (Junior cap) and Gavin Smith (full cap), who lost to Brian Stoddart’s rink as he skipped Paul Millar and Colin Gilchrist to a 14-10 win.

Mandy O’Donnell shared the evening’s limelight with her older brother when the young international star skipped former cap Anne Watson to the ladies Four-bowl Pairs title with a 17-12 win over tough campaigners Theresa Blair and Jean Meiklejohn.

The major influence on the run of play came with a three-end purple patch of 2, 3, 2 that thrust the eventual champions into a commanding 11-4 lead.

Tonight’s major confrontations will pitch the rinks of Paul O’Donnell and Gavin Smith against each other in the Fours while Mandy O’Donnell faces Hazel Crombie in the ladies’ Junior Singles.