Shield is won by hosts after tough contest
THE hosts emerged triumphant after an excellent day of bowls at Dulnain Bridge indoor club's annual open triples one day event.
Teams travelled from as far afield as Inverness and Nairn to compete with Badenoch and Strathspey League players for The Gleanor Oil Shield.
Early morning teams had mixed fortunes. A few of the games were one-sided, however, Carrbridge (skip Brian Tattersall) playing Newtonmore (skip Jude Iley) went to an extra end to determine the winner.
Another nail-biting extra end was required to decide the outcome between Grantown (skip Alan Fisher) and Aviemore (skip Lynn McStay).
It was Carrbridge and Aviemore who scraped through.
In another morning game, host skip Norma Dunbar, came back from a 7-1 shots deficit at the half way stage against Nethy Bridge (skip Calum Irvine) to pick up seven shots in the last four ends to win by one shot.
Meanwhile, host team (skip Gavin Allan) slipped quietly through to the semi finals, overcoming both Carrbridge teams and setting up a local derby against Norma Dunbar, who earlier had put an end to McStay's dreams of lifting the shield.
The afternoon first round games were keenly contested with a memorable final end between Grantown (skip Willie Stronach) and Balloch (skip Anne Hulse).
This game had been nip and tuck the whole way through. The Balloch ladies played some fine attacking bowls at key points in the game, frustrating the Grantown skip. It was peals at 6 all going in to the final end.
Hulse held three shots when Stronach played his last all or nothing bowl and turned the three shot deficit into a 1 shot victory.
Nairn (skip Evan Wylie) had a close first round game against James Dingwall (Cradlehall) emerging eventual victor despite a valiant comeback by Dingwall and his side.
Cromdale (skip Craig Feltham) eased through the early stages beating Boat of Garten (skip James Whelan) and Dulnain Bridge (skip Kenny MacDonald). This set up a semi final against rival Willie Stronach.
The local derby semi-final between Norma Dunbar and Gavin Allan started slowly with the odd shot deciding the end in the initial stages.
Allan and his team began to apply pressure and settled in to their game scoring steadily as the game progressed to claim their place in the final.
The other semi-final was a tighter game, with fine precise bowling giving Stronach the early lead at the halfway stage.
Feltham's team scored over the next four ends to go ahead but Stronach made a late charge only to be denied at the end by 10 shots to 8 overall.
The final started tentatively with both teams scoring the odd shot and it looked like being a very closely-fought contest.
However, on end four, Allan stated to score heavily, taking fours and fives with accurate bowling to the jack by all of his team.
Feltham and his team simply could not respond to the onslaught and by end nine the skip decided to wave a white flag and concede and congratulate his opponents on their 16-6 shots victory.
Dulnain Bridge Bowling Club President Mick Lewis presented the trophy and prizes and thanked Walkers of Aberlour for their continued sponsorship of the event.
Semi-final – Gavin Allan, Lynn Allan & Wendy Laing (Dulnain Bridge) bt Norma Dunbar, Margaret Lennon & Geoff Weatherall (Dulnain Bridge) 14-5 shots. Craig Feltham, John Smith & Sandy McIvor (Cromdale) bt Willie Stronach, Isobel Stronach & Sandy Milne (Grantown) 10-8 shots.
Final – G Allan (Dulnain Bridge) bt C Feltham (Cromdale) 16-6 shots.