It was the much awaited match of the day as Scotland’s Michael Stepney, on the cusp of joining the ranks of the World Bowls Tour Top 16, came out on the rink to face Scotland Head Coach for the Commonwealth Games team, David Gourlay for a place in the quarter finals of the Co-op Funeralcare International Open 2018. If you did not see it I can recommend that you take a look on either youtube or facebook – well worth the watch!! Set one and Stepney got off to a great start and was 6-3 up by the conclusion of the sixth end but then it was Gourlay that turned up the heat a notch as he proceeded to take the next three ends with a double, a triple and single to seal the first set 6-9.
Second set and again Stepney got off to a great start as he went 7-5 in the lead at the end of the sixth, taking a further single on end seven. Gourlay made a triple on end eight to tie it at 8 all but Stepney managed to scramble a great single in end nine to take the set and force a tie break 9-8. End one and it went to Gourlay after both players delivered some great bowls, end two went to Stepney and it all went down to end three, Stepney was holding game and last bowl from Gourlay saw a great drive – jack in ditch and Gourlay finishing with shot 1ft off the ditch – Stepney drives and misses by the merest of fractions – Gourlay goes through to the quarter finals and Stepney now has to wait it out on results from the next matches to see if his preliminary 16 place remains or goes – what a great match!