Melrose maul arch rivals in semi-final canter

GAINSBOROUGH League round-up.
GAINSBOROUGH League round-up.

When champions Melrose met their chief rivals, Scotter, in an eagerly-awaited Gainsborough Bowls League, Knockout Shield semi-final at Rose Leisure, a nailbiting encounter was expected.

But the tie failed to follow the script of previous clashes between the two teams as Melrose ended up surprisingly comfortable winners at 90-65. With the spongy conditions favouring them, they took a small lead early on and kept gradually increasing it as Scotter struggled to find their A-game.

Mind you, the other semi at North Wheatley was even more conclusive. In fact, it was the most one-sided semi the competition has seen this century as Beckingham slaughtered Rose Leisure 100-38. Bill Bryan and Pete Cawthorne won their pairs match 31-5 and, not to be outdone, Carol Booth, John Cawkwell and Geoff Proudley won their triples 33-6.

In the league itself, the leading three teams all eased to cosy victories, with tabletopping Melrose whitewashing Marshall Sports 10-0 (68 shots to 45). The visitors threatened to produce a shock for the first 14 ends before the hosts took command in the final seven.

Scotter also romped home 10-0 (53 shots to 32) in a three-rink match against North Wheatley, while third-placed Marshall A triumphed 8-2 (86 shots to 58) at home to Marton GB, with Bill Turner, Alan Crookes and Paul Hinson in sparkling form.

Elsewhere, Rose Leisure lost 7-3 (82 shots to 65) to Misterton, despite a 30-11 win for the rink of Terry McCormick, Derek Smith and Andrea Cook, while Beckingham edged out Owston Ferry 7-3 (44 shots to 39).