Foster wins International Open after great comeback
THE CLA SH of the Scottish Titans provided a dramatic ending to the Co-operative Funeralcare WBT International Open in Blackpool on Saturday.
Paul Foster managed to deal with his old friend and rivalA lex Marshall 9-8 15-3 in a remarkable final.
Defending champion Marshall had earlier defeated Nick Brett 8-7 8-4 in the first semi-final, before world No 1 Foster accounted for Scotland’s head coach David Gourlay 8-3 8-4 in the other.
The first set in the final was a cracker, with two of the top bowlers on the planet turning on a near-perfect exhibition of drawing bowls, on many ends propelling all eight of their bowls to within a foot of the jack.
Marshall led 5-4 after five ends, but Foster scored three ends in a row to lead 8-5, before Marshall tied things up at 8-8 with only one end left to play.
Foster, facing a set lie, attacked with his last bowl, and made a nifty takeout to take the set by the narrowest of margins, and kept up his fine form in the second set, while Marshall’s consistency wavered.
Scotland f inished second in the British women’s under 25 team championship in Nottingham yesterday, despite a brilliant 43-5 victory for the rink skipped by Midlothian’s Stacey Laidlaw, who was well served by East Fife’s Lesley Gordon at lead.
With East Lothian duo Emma Brown and Dee Hoggan mid- rink, the Laidlaw quartet turned in a 24-14 victory in their opening match against an England rink skipped by Lorraine Kuhler, then added a 43-5 win over a rink skipped by senior Welsh international Jess Sims.
Sadly, the other three rinks managed only two wins between them in six games, so the honours went to England, who won five and drew one game over the weekend, and finished the series with 11 points out of a possible 16.
A rbroath’s Ryan Burnett, brother of 2014 world indoor singles champion Darren Burnett, was in sparkling form in the men’s junior series in County A ntrim, though Scotland had to settle for third place, behind England andWales.