Mann’s title bid dashed as Cooper proves too good in West Lothian semi

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Reigning club champion Thomas Mann has lost his grip on the Singles crown at West Lothian IBC, with the 31-year-old national title-holder losing 21-14 to fellow internationalist Bryan Cooper at the semi-final stage.

Cooper captured the opening five ends to lead 7-0 and it was a cushion he expertly traded on to clinch victory after a 21-end battle, although he was brought under pressure when Mann closed to 14-13.

Mann, however, lost momentum when Cooper made fresh space to 18 with a couple of doubles, then two ends later the 30-year-old served up a grandstand finish to hit 21 with a magic count of 3. The other semi-final at the Inveralmond stadium was a cracking affair with 33-year-old former champion Neil Speirs beating Paul Lynas 21-19 in a 24-end battle. The early stages saw peels called at 10-10 
before Speirs made a full-house count of 4 and then answered the loss of a 2 by carding a 3 to take control at 17-12.

Lynas then embarked on a five-end purple patch run of 1, 1, 2, 1, 1 that fired him into an 18-17 lead but it was Speirs who escaped to 21 with a 2, (1), 2 

Meanwhile, the final of the Ladies 4 Bowl Pairs saw junior caps Jenifer Richardson and Lisa Barrett combine to capture the title with a 19-12 win over the experienced pair of Irene Taylor and Jennifer Sneddon.

The outcome was still hanging in the balance at 8-8 after 10-ends, but a dramatic transformation saw the Richardson/Barrett partnership answer the loss of a single with a super run of 1, 1, 1, 5 that tipped the scales 16-9 in their favour with two ends to play. Richardson had earlier lined up with full cap Wendy Purdie to etch their names on the silverware of the 2 Bowl Pairs championship as the result of a 2-0 sets wins over Liz Rogers and Jean Brown.

The opening set saw Richardson/Purdie blitz their opponents 11-1, but the second set was much tougher, with 
the champions-elect trailing 7-3 
before pipping Rodgers/Brown 8-7 after a driving 3, 1, 1 finish.