Scots bowlers dom­i­nate at busi­ness end of tour­na­ment

The Scotsman - - Sports Digest - By ANNE DUNWOODIE

For only the fourth time in a WBT event, all four semi-fi­nal places are filled by Scots at the Co-op­er­a­tive Funer­al­care Scot­tish In­ter­na­tional Open

The event in Perth is the first rank­ing event of the sea­son and goes into its fi­nal stages with only David Gourlay, Dar­ren Bur­nett, Paul Foster and Mike Step­ney left stand­ing.

Yes­ter­day, Scot­land’s na­tional coach Gourlay led the land­slide against twice for­mer win­ner and world No 2 Nicky Brett, from Cam­bridge, edg­ing a thriller 8-6, 5-11, 2-0.

Bur­nett was the sec­ond Scot to seal his berth, squar­ing a hard-fought open­ing set 7-7 against No 11 seed Les Gil­lett and then giv­ing a great all-round dis­play to take the sec­ond 11-2 with an end to spare.

Reign­ing world cham­pion Foster had to pull out all the stops against Jamie Ch­est­ney. He said later: “I think I stole the first set. Jamie out­drew me and his run­ners were al­ways on tar­get. He put me un­der mas­sive pres­sure.”

In­deed, the eighth end of the open­ing set was recorded as a “no shot” after a strike from Foster cleared all of the bowls from the rink to leave the score at 6-6 and he claimed the set win­ner on the last end. In the sec­ond, trail­ing 5-2, he ran out with a 1, 3 and 3 to win 9-5.

Step­ney, from El­gin, be­came the first un­seeded player since 2010 to win through to this stage of a rank­ing event, as the English quar­ter-fi­nal chal­lenge was white­washed.

Step­ney out­gunned Nor­folk’s Mervyn King 8-4, 10-6, say­ing later: “I felt re­laxed and was happy with my all-round game. I drew well and my hit­ting got me out of trou­ble. This was the best game I’ve played here.”

Step­ney will be the first in ac­tion to­day against Foster, with Bur­nett and Gourlay look­ing for that other fi­nal spot. El­gin’s Graeme Donaldson and Dar­ren Weir from Prest­wick will bat­tle it out for the Jack High In­sur­ance Scot­tish Masters ti­tle, while Leanne Furye will meet Caro­line Brown to de­cide the women’s ti­tle.

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