British Isles Championships 2024- Day One, Session One Report.

The first session of the 2024 British Isles championships saw a mixed bag of results in the Scotland camp.  Of our five games in the opening session, our gents and ladies triples came out victorious, while the ladies singles, gents fours and gents senior fours unfortunately failed to progress.

Ladies Singles

Emma Mitchell was in action on rink two of green A, where she played against Ireland’s Sarah Kelly. A slow start from Emma saw Sarah race into an eight-one lead. The Scot played a fantastic shot, trailing the jack to make a two, which saw her mark a comeback to trail by just one shot at 13-12. Kelly then managed to open the gap back up, and after 21 ends of bowls, she led Emma 19-13. This did not put the 20-year-old off however, who played a fantastic game saving shot, after Kelly’s first two bowls were planted on top of the white. Emma ran the two bowls, springing the jack to the right-hand side of the green, taking it to 19-14. Despite continuing to dig deep, and put Sarah Kelly under pressure, a fantastic draw from the Irishwoman saw her crusade over the line.

Gents Triples

In the other game on green A, gents triples Derek Hutcheson, Connar Robertson and Dylan Robertson survived a late scare from Jersey’s Michael Rive, Scott Ruderham and Taylor Greechan, to progress into the final of the competition. The Abbeyview side struggled to get going in the early stages, and after seven ends they trailed seven shots to six. The Scots then cracked on and reeled off a two followed by consecutive threes to cruise into an eight-shot lead after 11 ends. They continued their fine form, and with four ends to go boasted an 11-shot advantage over the team from the Channel Islands. The “Jersey Boys” dug in deep, and almost pulled off the unthinkable, scooping nine shots in three ends, leading to the two sides going into the final end with the scores at 19-17. Lead Derek Hutcheson peppered the jack with his first two bowl, and when Connar’s first bowl from second landed in the area, the pressure was taken away from Dylan, who tidied up the head, allowing the Scots to progress to the gents triples finals.


Gents Senior Fours


Across on green B, we had our gents senior fours on rink 6, of Derek Smith, Donald Poland, Bobby Jess and Colin Peacock, who faced Gary Clark, Martin Sampson, Siman Greenwood and David McCallum of England. The game was incredibly tight throughout, with no side ever leading by more than three shots, though Scotland were on the smaller side of the scoreline for the opening proceedings against the auld enemy. A huge four in the tenth end was more than welcome, allowing the Marchmount side to cross the English. It did not stay that way for long, as the two sides traded the lead on multiple occasions, and were tied up at 12 all, with just two ends to play. Unfortunately for the Scots, the last two ends went England’s way, with Colin incredibly unlucky to not secure the shot in the final end.

Gents Fours

On the rink next door, we had our gents fours, Shaun Wilson, Robbie Wilson, Blair Fleming and Christopher Stein, who played against an England rink consisting of Steve Hill, Harry Mycock, Dominic McVittie and Martin Spencer. The Windygates four were put under pressure in the opening exchanges, though after skip Chris burnt the third end, they were able to bounce back from four-nil down, to lead the game five-four after the first five ends. England then rolled off four top quality ends, to take a 12-5 lead after nine ends played, including a four which was made following a fantastic shot from skip Martin Spencer. From that point on, the Fifers were constantly chasing the game, under immense pressure from the strong four, though managed to claw the score back to 14-10, with four ends still to play.

The sucker punch for the gents came in the 16th end, where Christopher missed the jack by a whisker with his last bowl, allowing the English to scoop three shots and lead by eight, with just two ends to play. A double in the penultimate end showed that there were signs of life in the Windygates team, though it wasn’t to be, and they fell to a single in the eighteenth and final end.

Ladies Triples

Finally, we had our ladies triples on rink three, Emma Kennedy, Susan Morrison and Gail Notman, who took it to a last end decider against a strong Jersey triple consisting of Chloe Greechan, Gina Le Long and Ann Bisson. The entire game was tit for tat, with both sides trading shots throughout the contest. In the fourth end, all three ladies contributed to a fantastic five, although their opponents were able to answer back two ends later with the same score, ensuring that after eight ends, the teams were all tied up at ten shots a piece. After going 13-10 behind, the Stonehouse team were able to rattle off five shots in four ends, to lead 15-13 after 14 ends. Jersey managed to cross the Scots again, leading 16-15 with two to play, though two singles in the final two ends were able to see them over the line. We managed to chat with the ladies after the game, who expressed delight in getting over the line. Gail said:

“We started slowly, but we came onto a game, and it was nip and tuck right the way through. Luckily, at 16 each playing the last, we managed to pull through”

Report by Oliver Anderson.

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