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Skipper Tinney and Cromdale crew edge by Boat of Garten to win Ballintomb Shield


By Gavin Musgrove


Finalists Dougie Milne, Colin Falconer, Isabell Sanderson, Peter Tinney (Cromdale), Jan Craib (Boat of Garten), Mick Lewis. (Back) James Whelan, James MacKenzie and Desmond Craib (Boat of Garten).
Finalists Dougie Milne, Colin Falconer, Isabell Sanderson, Peter Tinney (Cromdale), Jan Craib (Boat of Garten), Mick Lewis. (Back) James Whelan, James MacKenzie and Desmond Craib (Boat of Garten).

DULNAIN Bridge Indoor Bowling Club hosted the 26th running of the Ballintomb Shield Competition on Sunday.

Despite the wintry season, rinks turned out from as far afield as Inverness and Forres to compete with the local Badenoch and Strathspey league teams.

All games were keenly contested and played with great sportsmanship.

First round ties resulted in one of the host rinks skipped by Gavin Allan getting through relatively easily to the semi-final stage with wins over Lynn McStay (Aviemore) and Tony Sunde (Grantown).

Calum Irvine (Nethy Bridge) made a late challenge in his first-round game against Ally Gray (Inverness College) but time ran out and he lost by one shot.

Peter Tinney (Cromdale) progressed without much difficulty to the semi-final where local skip Gavin Allan awaited.

Results in the second half of the draw showed the players from Forres to be on fine form. Making her debut was Caitlin Dustan, aged 13, who although a member of Forres, played with her granddad Henry Davidson in James Dingwall's rink (Cradelhall).

They had a real tussle with Sam Morrison (Forres) in a very closely contested match. Dingwall was holding three shots the last end but precise bowling enabled Morrison to snatch victory from their grasp.

Meanwhile, the last host rink skipped by Norma Dunbar had a real battle against Ian Stewart (Forres). Dunbar started slowly allowing Stewart's rink to pull ahead initially but clawed ends back to lead 8-5 shots by end seven.

Stewart then scored steadily to draw level at nine shots each going into the final end. The Forres rink edged the win by one shot to set up a contest in the next round against the defending champs led Willie Stronach (Grantown).

This was a game of two halves. Stewart pulled clear at the halfway mark but heavy scoring from Stronach in the latter stages made the scores even at eight all going in to the final end.

But Stewart and his rink held their nerve to claim their place in the semi-final against James Whelan (Boat of Garten). Whelan had progressed through his earlier rounds with ease with his team all being in fine form. This continued as he scored steadily and Stewart's rink could not respond.

Tinney beat Allan 14-10 to progress from the semi-finals in the other half of the draw. All players in the final entertained the spectators with precision bowling in a closely contested, low scoring final with ends won by just one or two shots.

By end seven, Tinney had edged in front by 6-3 shots. However, Whelan and his team rallied to win the next four ends making the score 7-6 in their favour.

It looked like victory might be on the cards but Tinney and his team are fierce competitors and took three shots in the last end to emerge victorious.

Club president Mick Lewis thanked Tomatin Distillery for their continued support and praised the competitors and the host club's referees who had a very busy tournament with shot measuring throughout the day.

Ballintomb Shield Competition 2020 results:

Semi-finals – Peter Tinney, Dougie Milne, Colin Falconer, Isabell Sanderson (Cromdale) bt Gavin Allan, Lynn Allan, Chris Cumming, Paula (Dulnain Bridge) 14-10 shots. James Whelan, Jan Craib, Des Craib, James MacKenzie (Boat of Garten) bt Ian Stewart, Ann McIntosh, Anne MacPherson, Paul Coutts (Forres) 15-5 shots.

Final – Peter Tinney, Dougie Milne, Colin Falconer, Isabell Sanderson (Cromdale) bt James Whelan, Jan Craib, Des Craib, James MacKenzie (Boat of Garten) 9-8 shots.

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