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Sport / Bowlers claim ‘top club’ trophy at competition in England

Members of the Shetland contingent at the event.

A GROUP of bowlers from Shetland recently took part in an English Bowls Federation competition – landing a trophy in the process.

The Shetland contingent scooped the ‘top club’ trophy at the event in Hopton-on-Sea last week, in the venue where the indoor bowls world championship is held.

A total of 17 bowlers from Shetland’s indoor and outdoor clubs, plus six supporters, headed south to the event.

They were joined by three ex-Shetland residents to make up five mixed teams of four players.

The teams were drawn to play four round robin matches with the top 16 teams qualifying for the knockout stages.

The Shetland players initially took part in games played against teams from Durham and Nottingham.

The Shetland teams emerged unbeaten with three wins and two draws. The afternoon session saw two teams continue their winning ways, but unfortunately the other three teams lost.

On the second day there was more excellent play from the Shetland contingent as they won four out of five games in the morning session against National teams.

The afternoon saw a repeat performance with four wins out of five against teams from Chesterton and Durham.

The team of Gibbie Pottinger, Norman Manson, Alan and Shona McKechnie automatically qualified with four wins for eight points.

The team of Willie and Nui Coutts, Ian Leiper and Colin Bain faced an anxious wait until after Thursday’s matches with three wins and one loss for six points, but holding a +34 shot differential.

The team of Alan and Caroline Smith, Bob Brandie and Sandy Stewart also had six points, holding the same three wins and one loss but a -10 shot differential.

The team of Billy Hay, Angela Gifford, James Nicol and Gavin Philip finished with two wins, one draw and one loss for five points.

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The team of David Logan, Ewan MacRitchie, and Ian and Elma Scott had three points with one win, one draw and two losses.

Following Thursday’s session it was finally confirmed Willie’s team had done enough – and Shetland had two teams through to the knockout stages.

The knockout stages saw a change in format from 12 ends over 1.5 hours to eight ends over one hour.

Gibbie’s team continued their winning ways with a 10-2 victory over a team from Barnwood, Gloucestershire.

Willie’s team had an extremely tight battle which ended five-all after the stipulated eight ends, resulting in a one-end tie-break where they sadly lost by one shot.

In the quarter-final Gibbie’s group played a team from Nottingham, who had beat one of the Shetland teams in the qualifying stages.

From being 0-5 down they staged a magnificent comeback to five-all going into the final eighth end, but lost 5-7.

Over the 20 games played in the qualifying stages the Shetland party had a record of 13 wins, two draws and five losses for a total of 28 points.

Out of the 87 teams competing this resulted in Shetland winning the top club trophy, which was based on the average of the points won divided by the number of teams from that region.

The players said they would like to pass on their thanks to Bob Brandie for his organisation of the trip, NorthLink for its generous fare package to get to/from the mainland and Morris Morrison for the driving and comfortable journey from Aberdeen to Norfolk.

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