British Isles International Series 2024: Gents Day Three Report

Scotland saw one win, and a loss in the final session of the 2024 British Isles International Series, at Leamington Spa. This result wound Scotland in fourth, though performances did not reflect such a low place in the table.


Session One: Pairs and Triples vs Ireland.

The morning session yesterday saw Scotland secure victory by ten shots over a strong Ireland side. Winning the aggregate ensured that the gents came away with a 15-9 victory.



On rink one, we saw Darren Gualtieri and Jason Banks run victorious over an Irish pair skipped by Shane Leonard. The Scots took a full house in the first end, claiming a six, opening up a large gap before the game had really begun.

The two sides traded shots throughout, and the Irish could never get within four shots of Banks and Gualtieri. A freak five in the sixteenth end saw them under pressure for the first time in the game, leading just 15-12 with two to go.

Game management proved vital, and the Scots executed this flawlessly, ensuring second shot in both ends, claiming a 15-14 victory in the end.


Two rinks over saw Daniel Gormley and Mark O’Hagan lose by eleven shots to Jack Moffett’s pair. The Irishmen started tremendously, rushing into a 9-0 lead after four ends. After that, the sides were evenly matched, with the Scots unable to claw back the deficit, caused by the early damage. They did make some progress and after twelve ends trailed just 15-10, although a pair followed by a four meant that they were 21-10 down with four ends to go. The two sides shared two singles each in the last four ends, with a finishing scoreline of 23-12.


Our final pairs game of the International Series saw Darren Weir and Connor Milne overcome the team of Mark Wilson and Adam Rankine. As has become a trend of the weekend, Connor and Darren won as a pair once again, winning by a scoreline of nine shots. The game started closely, with Connor and Darren trailing by two shots after seven ends. A purple patch between the eighth and eleventh ends saw the Scottish pair take nine shots, to lead 12-5. The pair only won another three of the seven ends, though two trebles and a pair ensured that the game finished 20-11, a healthy margin for the aggregate.



The first triples game saw Mark Kelsey, James Hogg and Gary Prunty square off with Ian McClure’s triple. A slow start for Prunty and his team saw Scotland 10-2 behind after eight ends. A spirited comeback saw Scotland fight back to 14-10 after an impressive four along with a handful of singles. In the final ends, a count of four looked to bring Scotland back into the game, though sadly two singles in the final three ends combatted the four, leading to a 16-14 loss for Gary, James and Mark.


In the second game, Aaron Betts, Liam McKay and Iain McLean steamrolled Simon Martin’s triple. It was obvious from the off that the Scots would run away with this one, and after eight ends, they found themselves 18-1 ahead. They continued on this dominant path and took a further two threes and a pair in the following six ends to lead 26-6. A five in the penultimate end, in which skip McLean (who made his 50th appearance for Scotland this morning) played an intelligent bowl, sacrificing the full house to cover areas of the rink, killed the game as a contest, and the single in the last end was simply the icing on the cake.


Our final triples game of the series saw Andrew Thomson, Andy Dunnett and Andy Furye lose 18-9 to Martin McHugh. Trailing eight shots to three after seven ends, it looked bleak early doors for the Scots. They dug their heels in however and managed to fight back to 10-8 behind. Sadly, they only scored in one of the last six ends, earning a single in the penultimate end, losing 18-9.


Final Score: Scotland 102-92 Ireland (15-9)


Session Two: Singles and Fours vs England.

It was another tricky session against England in the afternoon, as an 18-6 defeat saw the English claim the gents International Series title.



Jason Banks fell 21-11 to Sam Tolchard in a fantastic game of bowls, the game was nip and tuck throughout, and after 18 ends, there had only been 20 shots scored, with Banks and Tolchard sat at 10-a-piece. The Englishman kicked it up a notch in the late stages of the game, and only allowed Jason one more shot. Three doubles, a single and two pairs in seven out of eight of the final ends meant that Banks had to settle for defeat.


Also falling victim to defeat was Mark O’Hagan who fought valiantly against Ed Morris, though just fell away at the end. Suffering the same scoreline as Jason, 21-11, Mark was tight with Morris after 16 ends, trailing just 14-11, before four fantastic ends from the Englishman took seven shots to see the game out.


Iain McLean played, and won the final singles match of the session, beating Jamie Walker 21-16. After ten ends, McLean was locked in at eight-all with Walker, before reeling off three doubles and a treble, with Walker’s only response being one single, which meant that he led 17-9 after 15 ends. A bit of fightback from the Englishman seen McLean pegged back to lead just 17-15, before he managed to iron out the game, and secure victory.



Andy Dunnett, Andrew Thomson, Darren Gualtieri and Aaron Betts faced Tristan Morton’s rink, with the Scots running out 17-9 winners. Four singles were exchanged across the first four ends, with the scoreline saying two-all. Scotland then got a hold of the jack, which they managed to keep for five ends. In that time, they picked up two threes, a two and two ones, to lead 12-2. The English at no point looked like recovering, though they managed to take another seven shots from the Scots in the dying embers.


Nick Brett overcame Gary Prunty, Liam McKay, Ryan Gualtieri and Mark Kelsey 19-9. A fast start from the English saw them 10-4 in front after seven ends, and the Scots just could not keep up with the rampant performance of the English. After eleven ends, another treble saw England 15-6 up, and another four shots across two ends saw Prunty and co. trail by 13 with two to play.


Connor Milne, Andy Furye, James Hogg and Darren Weir were incredibly unlucky to lose to Wayne Wilgress in the gents team’s last game of the season, after a monumental comeback in the tie. Wilgress rushed into an eight-nil lead in five ends, before the Scots started warming into the game. After 12 ends it was 10-8, and depite England picking up two shots in the thirteenth end, four shots in the last two ends was enough to force an extra end. Not an ounce of luck fell Scotland’s way though, and the English recorded another victory in the session.


Final Score: Scotland 81-98 England (6-18)


Report by Oliver Anderson

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