Brian Higgins carried the Edinburgh banner into today’s Seniors Singles semi-finals of the Bowls Scotland National Championships with the Maitland man claiming two sparkling wins at Ayr Northfield.
Higgins sat at 11-11 in his second-round clash with Alan Robinson (Inverness) but zipped to 19 without reply then clinched a 21-15 win in 18 ends.
Robert McLaughlan of Valleyfield was his third-round opponent and had Higgins against the collar at 13-12. However, the Maitland veteran reeled off a hat-trick of 2s to cross 18-13 then, two ends later, hit 21 with a magic count of 3 to win 21-14 in 20 ends. Higgins now faces Kenny Brown of Inchinnan while the opposite semi-final features Ian Garioch of Lochlands and William Hyslop of Springhill. Garioch beat Billy Dunleavey of Aberlady 21-19 in the second round.
The exit of David McGill in round two saw the Braid veteran fight back from 7-15 to 16-16 before succumbing to George Lennon of Stanley, who hit 21 with a 1, 2, 2, finish.
West Linton’s Dougie Taylor made it past Michael Blackwood of Gala Waverley 21-17 but, in the next round, his lead of 18-15 was wiped out by a 2, 2, 1, 1 finish from Hyslop.
Play in the gents Junior Singles saw Liam McKay of Tanfield win twice to reach Saturday’s semi-finals. Edinburgh’s reigning Tait Trophy champion finished on a double to clinch a 21-19 win over Thomas Strachan of Airdrie Central then built on a 9-1 lead to beat Mark McIntosh of Tarves 21-10.
Kieran Dodds of East Lothian saw his 21-17 win over Joe Condy of Chirnside followed by a frustrating collapse from 20-14 up to a 21-20 defeat from Robert Lenza of Thornhill, who now faces McKay. Carrick Knowe’s Stephen Pringle failed to shine in a disappointing 21-7 second-round defeat from Connor Fulton of Abbeyview.
Having dropped three shots on the last end, the Balerno Seniors Fours rink of Anne Blake, Mabel Jackson, Margaret Turner and Helen Girdler came through an extra-end thriller to reach today’s semi-finals with a 14-13 win over Balgownie.
In the Mixed Pairs, East Lothian duo Mags Thomson and Jamie Frame of Castlepark came through the second round before enjoyed a nail-biting 15-14 victory over city bowlers Violet Winton and Colin Bell of Hillside in their third-round tie.
Tanfield’s Colette Thomson goes into today’s third round of the Junior Singles having defeated Zoe Penman of Bellshill Mossend 21-11 then Emily Gray of Kintore 21-15.
Megan Kivlin, the 2016 champion from East Lothian Co-op, progressed with wins over Lauren McShane of Crookston, 21-15, then Caitlin Waddilove of Abbey, 21-10.