West Lothian father and son Alan and Jack Murphy will represent Bellsburn-Linlithgow in the national finals of the Bowls Scotland Championships at Ayr Northfield next month having upset the odds in the District Finals at East Calder.
Making their first-ever appearance in finals, 52-year-old Alan skipped his 21-year-old son to a 14-8 victory in the Pairs against Hamilton Trophy stalwarts Drew Paterson and Alec Allan of Newbridge.
Paterson and Allan both have national title success on their CVs – and in Allan’s case a British Isles one as well – so expectation of a Newbridge triumph was high and looked likely to be delivered when making a strong start to lead 6-1.
But Murphy senior went on the offensive to skip his son on a extended run of 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, (1), 3, 1 that turned the tables 13-7 before the trading of a single clinched a superb victory.
The final of the Singles featured two top-class exponents in Peter Lynch (Whitburn) and Bryan Cooper (Bathgate). Lynch dominated the scoring to win 21-9 in 17 ends.
“I caught the green a treat to establish a 14-9 lead then hit 21 with a run of 1, 3, 2, 1,” described Lynch who was a winner of the WL Masters title in 2003. He is a previous District Champion having at the age of 20 reached the historical ‘last finals occasion’ at Queens Park in 1989 where he lost in the first round to emerging Lanarkshire star Ian Campbell.
The final of The Junior Singles was a last-chance saloon scenario for 25-year-old Calum Black of Uphall Station who was returning to the venue of his learning years and, knowing East Calder so well, inspired a 21-15 win over Jamie Aitken of Newbridge.
Queenferry looked set to sink at 11-7 down in the Triples but their crew of Gary Grant, Neil McLean and Iain McLean created a finishing wave of 1, 3, 3, 1, 5 that capsized Kirkliston stars Scott Logan, John Aitken and Calum Logan, 20-11.
Linlithgow looked to be home and dry at 13-6 up in the Fours but Blackburn’s Willie Clark, Jock Graham, Tommy Lee and George Reynolds stormed to a 20-15 victory with a 3, (2), 3, 5, 3 finish against Andrew Grimshaw Jnr, David Alexander, Scott Mushet, and Gary Smith.