Home pair secure Mabbutt Open victory at Lybster
THE first Lybster open bowls competition of the 2019 season, the Mabbutt Open Pairs, saw a "full house" of 24 pairs from Caithness and Sutherland taking part.
Despite a wet start, the weather later relented and never really threatened to spoil everyone’s enjoyment of the day on a reasonably fast green despite the damp conditions.
It was played in the now familiar format of two sections of four games of eight ends within an hour, with the winners and runners-up in each section going through to the semi-finals.
The winners of section one were S Rollinson (skip) and A Gray (Thurso) by virtue of winning all four games. Runners-up were S McIvor (skip) and S Cumming (Rosebank) with six points and a heavy shot difference of +24.
In section two the only team with eight points from the four games was the Lybster pair of J Grant (skip) and M Bowman. Runners-up were J Durrand (skip) and J Taylor (St Fergus), squeezing through in a nail-biting shot-difference count, being one shot better off than the pair from Golspie skipped by K McLeod.
In the semis the Thurso pair saw off the St Fergus pair while the Lybster pair prevailed over the Rosebank duo.
The final was a close encounter with the Thurso pair going into a 5-2 lead after four ends of the eight, but a big score of five at the fifth end for Lybster turned the game on its head. Thereafter shots were traded with Thurso being one up at 8-7 playing the last where the Lybster pair secured a single to take it into an extra end.
In the extra end the Lybster pair were always lying shot but even down to the last bowl from the Thurso skip this was always under threat. Fortunately for Messrs Grant and Bowman no damage was done and they were confirmed as Mabbutt Open Pairs winners for 2019.