The eagerly anticipated battle between the Scottish Bowling royalty of Alex Marshall MBE and Paul Foster MBE didn’t disappoint the large crowd at the Dewars Centre in Perth for the second semi final of the Coop Funeralcare Scottish International Open 2016. The first two ends in the opening set saw Foster in formidable form, picking up counts of two and three. Marshall punched back with a two at end three. End four and some of the same and a two to Marshall. End five and a very loose end for both players with their opening deliveries, Marshall draws in but Foster beats it, Marshall plays a runner but misses and Foster picks up two shots. End six and Foster draws a perfect shot with his last delivery, Marshall overplays and Foster takes another shot. Marshall holds three shots at end seven, Foster strikes and pushes the jack out to the side of the rink, Marshall draws the shot. Score 8.5 to Foster with two ends left of the first set. End eight and Foster held shot till Marshall trailed the jack for two, Foster misses with a draw, Marshall draws in for three, Foster misses again and its all square playing the last end. Marshall gets two in close at end nine, but Foster draws the jack away from them with his second bowl, Marshall misses and Foster picks up two shots and takes the first set 10.8.
So to set two and the opening two ends were equal rewards for the two competitors out on the rink. End three and a special bowl from Foster trails the jack with his last bowl to pick up two shots. 3.1 to Foster, twice winner here at the Dewars Centre in Perth, and one of the most formidable players on the circuit. Marshall, forced into a runner at end four takes the jack into the ditch and picks up one shot. Again these two friends are hit for hit, end for end battling it out. A surprisingly loose end at end five with the opening encounters, Foster draws in with his third to hold two, Marshall just overplays his bowl, Foster draws for three and takes a 6.2 lead after five ends in set two. End six and Marshall asks the audience for, “Help” as Foster holds three shots and not a lot on for Marshall, he tries a draw but its Foster who takes three shots. The next end and Foster starts with a back touching bowl, he only needs one shot to finish the game off and take his place in the final, that he does and takes the second set 10.2.