McDougall follows brother’s lead to take crown

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SANDY McDOUGALL captured the Jack High Insurance-sponsored Singles crown with a strong display in last night’s County Championship finals of the West Lothian Bowling Association played at East Calder.

The 45-year-old from the Glenmavis club in Bathgate was hard pressed on occasions but beat Stuart Blakelock of Winchburgh 21-16 in 21 ends.

Blakelock – winner of the title in 2009 – was poised to hit the front when holding shots at 8-8 playing the 12th end but was stunned by a stroke of brilliance that saw McDougall trail the jack for a 4-shot conversion.

McDougall – whose older brother Walter won the title in 2010 – followed up with a count of 3 at the 13th end and in the space of two ends found himself in the driving seat at 15-8. Blakelock then came under intense pressure at 18-10 down but reeled off a hat trick of 2s to show real menace at 18-16. However, his dream of celebrating a title double was denied at the next end.

McDougall showed killer instinct to hit 21 with a 3 having built the more promising head.

The final of the Pairs for the Tam Dalyell Shield went down to the wire before the Newbridge partnership of Thomas Mann and James Speirs clinched a 19-17 win. Newbridge led David McCormick and Stuart Johnston of Bathgate (High) 11-2 after six ends but, come the end of the 13th, they were tied at 14-14.

Ends 14 and 15 were to prove decisive with Newbridge carding 3 and 2 to 19 then coping with late pressure by producing some brilliant savers that restricted Bathgate to a 2, 1 finish.

Buchan Park made a great start to the Triples with Kenny Logan, John Black and Barry Sword carding a 7 at the first end then, when asked questions at 12-9, they answered with a run of 2, 2, 2, 1, 1 that set up a 20-10 win over Cameron Nicol, Paul Barrett and Malcolm Houghton of Deans.

The head-to-head in the Fours saw Bathgate (High) heading for their second defeat of the night when the rink of Eddie Boyle, Alex Fleming, Hugh Marshall and Cameron Greer trailed Linlithgow 10-8 after 11 ends.

But Bathgate transformed the picture with a purple patch of 2, 3, 1 to cross 14-10 and it proved the game-changing moment as they restricted David Hamilton, David Gray, Fraser Simpson and Steven Fleming to 1, 1, 1 on the run-in to win 14-13.