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Forres Bowling Club round-up: Exciting finish to Thomson Rosebowl as Dean Dobbs' team edges out Alex Porter's quartet


By Ali Morrison

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It would have been hard to script a more exciting climax to the Thomson Rosebowl competition at Forres Bowling Club.

Thomson Rosebowl winners, from left: Dean Dobbs, Ailene Matthews, Sam Morrison and Henry Davidson.
Thomson Rosebowl winners, from left: Dean Dobbs, Ailene Matthews, Sam Morrison and Henry Davidson.

After an afternoon of intermittent thunder and lightning, the final set of the round robin threw up the game between Alex Porter's side and Dean Dobbs' team.

Porter's rink had won all of their ties up to that point of the afternoon, knowing that a draw would secure them the silverware.

Dobbs' foursome knew that they had a chance on shots scored if they could win the final tie.

It came down to the final bowls of the tournament to decide the victors. With 12 bowls played at the last end and the tie level at 3-3, Porter held one shot.

Dobbs played an excellent first bowl to lift the jack and hit it towards one of Henry Davidson's bowls behind the head. Porter tried with his two bowls, but was unable to get closer.

As both sides had now won four of their five sets, it was down to which had scored the most shots over the course of the afternoon.

Shot difference doesn't count in the rules of this competition, so the 19-0 defeat that Dobbs suffered to John Ross (including a seven at the first end) didn't come into the picture.

Ultimately, Dobbs had scored 26 shots to Porter's 25 and was the winner by the tightest of margins.

Joining him on his amazing adventure was Ailene Matthews, Henry Davidson and Sam Morrison.

Wilma Petrie, Peggy Locke and Brian Caldwell were the unlucky players accompanying Porter.

John Ross finished third, but would've been the overall winner by a country mile on shots scored had he not drawn his first set when he played Steve Gill.

Paul Coutts couldn't find his usual fine form despite a decent second set victory.

Steve Gill ran his opposition close in most of the sets but could only muster two draws.

John Matthews didn't have one of his better afternoons.

Scores: D Dobbs 8pts, 26 shots; A Porter 8pts, 25 shots; John Ross 7pts, 46 shots; P Coutts 4pts, 27 shots; S Gill 2pts, 21 shots; J Matthews 1pt, 17 shots.

The 2009 and 2010 men's champion, Harry Sutherland, had a real battle in the Gill Cup against the newly crowned Cawdor champion, Steve Gill.

Gill started the brighter, and led 12-6 after eleven ends. Sutherland got to within two shots but the deficit was stretched again and there seemed to be no hope for him at 19-10 down, but he did extremely well to fight back to trail by just one shot (19-20) before Gill finished it.

Alan Gardner will face Gill in the quarter-finals. He defeated the 1997 and 2006 champion, Sandy Burgess, who never really got going, picking up just one shot over the first seven ends, whilst Gardner was scoring fairly freely.

After a titanic 26-end struggle, Brian Caldwell emerged victorious against Derek Sobey.

After a low-scoring start, Caldwell led 9-2 eight ends in before Sobey got back in the game by winning six of the following seven ends (he lost a maximum at the other) to trail by just a single shot.

Sobey got a maximum of his own to square the tie at 17-17 before his opponent booked a last eight tie with Davie Petrie with a 21-18 win.

In the Ladies' Championship, Wilma Petrie has reached the semi-finals after a topsy-turvy with Caitlin Dustan.

After winning five of the first seven ends to lead 6-3, Petrie watched her opponent hit form to lead 9-6 three ends later.

From that point on, Petrie scored trebles on a regular basis to put the game to bed. She now has the prospect of facing Lesley Coutts for a place in the final.

Derek Sobey will play Steve Gill in the President's Handicap quarter-finals after a solid performance in his match against Derek Crosby.

Gill got a maximum four at the fourth end to go ahead of John Matthews in a hard-fought exchange, continuing to pile in the shots with another four at the 12th end to put him 17-10 up.

This seemed to focus Matthews' concentration, and he won seven of the following eight ends to lead 21-19 before Gill managed to get to his target before John could get to his.

Dean Dobbs will play Roy Anderson for a place in the last four after defeating Sam Morrison. The vast majority of their 23 ends were won by just a single shot.

Dobbs was 12-3 up after 10 ends and, although Morrison almost kept pace with him thereafter, he secured a comfortable passage.

Initially, the men's pairs tie between Charlie Watt and John Matthews, and Alan Gardner and Dean Dobbs was a tight affair, with the latter duo leading 6-4 seven ends in.

However, two fours in succession gave Watt and Matthews the edge, and even though their opponents won three singles in a row, it wasn't enough as losing a further five shots in two ends finished the tie.

It was a similar story as Davie Petrie and Steve Gill met Henry Davidson and Derek Sobey. Petrie and Gill held a slender 6-5 advantage after eight ends, then a four scored at the next end left Davidson and Sobey facing an uphill struggle which they never overcame.

A fascinating game of 27 ends in the John Raffan Trophy was played out between Henry Davidson and Brian Caldwell.

Davidson got off to a fabulous start, leading 14-4 after nine ends, but within eight ends Caldwell had taken a 15-14 advantage.

This match went right to the wire, with the score at 20-20 before Caldwell finally got through to a quarter-final tie with Charlie Watt.

Ed Harris took control from the off against Caitlin Dustan, leading 10-0 after winning the first handful of ends, although Dustan matched him thereafter and got a maximum at one end, but couldn't close the gap.

Brian Riddell will be Harris' opponent in the last eight as he proved to be too hot to handle for Peggy Locke.

Harris is also two points clear at the halfway point in the Scott Cup season. He partnered Billy Felton and Sandy Burgess as they claimed the plaudits on Monday night., when after an even opening five ends, they started picking up the shots against Stuart Robertson.

Dean Dobbs led 9-3 after six ends against Derek Sobey, who restricted him to just one further shot all evening.

Alex Porter led John Matthews 8-3 at half-time, before blowing the lead over the next three ends.

A treble at the last was the difference between Harry Sutherland and Steve Gill.

Paul Coutts twice came back from five down to record his first hat-night win of the season - John Ross was the victim.

Scores: A Burgess 18, S Robertson 6; D Sobey 21, D Dobbs 10; J Matthews 15, A Porter 12; H Sutherland 17, S Gill 14; P Coutts 16, John Ross 15.

Sam Morrison, Chris Stoves and Mary Sobey won Wednesday afternoon's hat. They trailed 8-4 after seven ends, but turned things around in a great second half.

Henry Davidson had a great start, but fell away. A shot scored at the final end saved parity for him.

Steve Gill was in front for most of the afternoon, but needed a pair at the end due to losing a four at the penultimate end.

Although Charlie Watt was stranded for the afternoon, he wasn't that much down.

Scores: M Sobey 4 up; H Davidson peels; S Gill peels; C Watt 4 down.

Peggy Locke and Lesley Mackintosh won Thursday's Moving Hat-Night, helped by a massive 15-1 first set victory, and led 23-5 after nine ends.

Although they lost their final set, they had already done enough.

A four lost at the eighth end proved costly for Alex Porter, while a great second set put Paul Coutts 14-3 up at half-time. He was still eleven up at the end.

Sam Morrison lost only six ends all evening and scoring a seven enhanced his score, but a poor finish almost cost Harry Sutherland his positive scorecard.

John Ross thought that he'd never get off rink 6, drawing three of his four sets.

Derek Sobey could've done without being hit for six at the ninth end and Mary Sobey had a miserable night on rink 5, which is best forgotten.

Scores: L Mackintosh 13 up; A Porter 12 up; P Coutts 11 up; S Morrison 10 up; H Sutherland 1 up; John Ross 5 down; D Sobey 6 down; M Sobey 36 down.

Steve Gill and Stuart Robertson were runners-up in the Grant Park Invitation Pairs on Saturday.

Although they reportedly controlled much of their game with Aberlour's Nancy and Robbie Kerr, a six lost at the first end had them playing catch up throughout.

With game tied, the Forres pair defeated Nairn's Lindsey Petrie and Kevin McWilliam by one shot in the final end of their semi-final.


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