Fos­ter wins In­ter­na­tional Open af­ter great come­back

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - TV & RADIO -

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.

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