Bowls: Robert Marshall dodges rain and sees off tricky opponent

Robert Marshall booked his place in the quarter finals of the Singles in the Scottish national bowls championships at Ayr Northfield with a 21-12 win over Graeme Stewart of Arbroath.

Day three of the event saw the 46-year old Slateford ace at ease with the pace of the green and able to cope eventually with a rink he found tricky and an opponent who had the District 12 champion on the back-foot over the first nine ends.

Stewart opened with a couple of singles then a double to lead 4-0 and even when challenged by Marshall at 4-4 he reeled of a hat trick of singles to apply early pressure at 7-4.

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Marshall hung in with a double to six then excited his Edinburgh support with an end of typical brilliance that yielded him three shots and a first time lead of 9-7.

Favouring a long length he retained possession of the jack for that purpose and a three-shot cluster moved him to 12 then he followed that with a double to take a 14-7 grip on the game.

Spits of rain would later in the day lead to a much heavier downpour but it remained at bay to the benefit of Marshall, although loose play at the 13th and 14th ends cost him a two and a three to be just 14-12 ahead.

Normal service was resumed at the 15th with a three-inch noser leading to a double to 16 and with the aid of a shorter mat placement that sparked a further run of 2, 2, 1 to reach 21.

"I will need to play better", said Marshall later.

His opposition today for a place in the semis comes in the shape of Frankie Stevenson of Aberchirder.

Edinburgh retained an interest in the Junior Singles title with District 11 champion Gary Muir of Hillside getting soaked to the skin but compensated with a 21-15 win over Brian Bowers of Shettleston. Muir led 9-0 and 18-8 in atrocious weather conditions and it was ten ends later before he finally saw off a defiant opponent who burnt a several heads with spectacular hits.

"I was pinging the fore-hand in both directions so was confident of holding my own however it's a big mental challenge when your good heads are being regularly destroyed and your opponent creeping closer", said Muir later.

Muir's next opponent is Steven Allan of Menstrie who edged a 21-20 thriller over Chris Stein of Kennoway.

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Sam Gray of Castlepark carried the East Lothian banner forward with a 21-12 win over Alan Paterson of Holytown but Liam Fairley of Deans, West Lothian, made a 21-13 exit to Mark O'Hagan of Whitefield.

Capital cheers were ringing loudly for a Tanfield double in the Triples and Fours with Graeme McIntosh skipping Bill McLachlan and Alex Thompson to a 16-9 win over Barr & Stroud.

And Andy Sneddon followed suit by skipping Stuart Campbell Bob White and Derek McLean to a 25-8 win over Huntly. It all started with McIntosh turning the jack for a 5 to get off the mark at the 4th end.

The dark clouds over Ayr had no silver lining for Craigentinny in the Pairs and Carrick Knowe in the Triples but Dudley beat Musselburgh, 21-8 in the Senior Fours.

West Barns edged a 15-14 nail-biter over Pathhead in the Fours while Queensferry also progressed.

Other survivors include East Lothian Co-op in the Pairs, Linlithgow in the Triples, and Armadale in the Senior Fours.

Anna Anderson of Bainfield put up a bold show in ladies singles to lead 14-14 before making a 21-18 exit to Joyce Kennedy of The Peter Boyle Club while Colinton, LRF, and Linlithgow made progress in the Triples.