Dougie Vipond presents highlights from the first round of the 2017 Scottish Open, at Dewars Centre in Perth. Commentary is by David Corkill and Paul Mitchell.
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Hello and a warm welcome. Unless you
watched our live coverage earlier,
we will show you something I bet you
have never seen before. More on that
later plus we have highlights of
four amazing matches coming up.
This is the way the draw looked at
the start of play.
Let's go to the one eagerly
anticipated, two very good friends
of the ring, but fierce competitors
on it. It is Greg Harlow against
Mervyn King. Mervyn King is the
master of the draw game but recent
seasons have been barren by his
standards. A drop in the rankings
reflect that drop in form. Greg
Harlow, he is the current Scottish
International open champion and
world number one. Mervyn King took
the first two ends to build a two
shot lead. But Greg Harlow had
fought back and when we join the
action he's leading 5-4 going into
COMMENTATOR: A lot of players would
have changed on to the forehand. Can
see an edge of the jack and can get
the shot but from Mervyn, it is more
of I will stick with the hand I know
I get a good second shot. Just not
reaching. That is exactly what would
be going through his mind.
Just the one, 15 inch gap.
move now because any touch brings
the black into play. Gentle, gentle
to get back from there.
Greg Harlow senses an opportunity.
One shot up. Great opening bowl, if
you can add to the pressure.
touch on the forehand on the jack
will bring it to that bowl. Mervyn
is going to try and use it as a
shoulder to drop off. Not even,
going for the weight. This is a
difficult shot. Holding on.
what, he wasn't far away from
getting what he wanted, but that
movements of the jack is a major
bonus for him.
Also an inch or two
from disaster. If it touched the red
bowl, it was three against him. He
can look to the heavens, but I think
it has been kinder than he realised.
Just missed the line slightly, the
wait was bad.
It is one and a
measure. Maybe time-out is about to
The forehand draw, the back
and play, risky. Three different
I would fancy two from the
indication of the rings.
If it is
two, I would contemplate playing
through it. It might just stop on
the green bowl. It is a hard effort
to draw, this. Going for it again.
Not surprised. Just needs to drop
down on the inside. Run-through and
it touched the jack, this might make
the double. Goodness me.
He held his
hand up an apology, not sure he had
to. He played the shot, got a
fortunate result to a certain
extent, but he was online to make
I am with him on
the apology. Any run-through bowl is
very, very hard to judge. It really
is. It's normally a bit of luck on a
run-through bowl. He was just a
quarter bowl of target. If he came
of it and ran onto the jack, it was
a perfect shot. He just cannot gauge
run-through 's. They are lovely when
they work for you, but they do hurt.
That looks like it is a clear road.
It is a big two.
It is two, what a turnaround that
STUDIO: With the lead retained,
Mervyn King didn't look back as he
took the next two ends and the first
set. In the second set, rejoin it
with Greg Harlow leading 3-1, going
into the fourth end.
COMMENTATOR: Strong, opening bowl.
It is a good start, but in a match
of this quality, you almost expect
Greg to beat it.
Making sure he was
arriving. Didn't want to take any
chances on that dropping short.
wasn't hanging back with that one.
He doesn't like it, it represents a
target that might not come into play
immediately. Greg isn't hanging
around. He's underneath. Just how
much underneath with his own bowl.
That is the one I was looking at, at
the back. Goodness me.
Greg's first two bowls, off the
rink. Mervyn, dropping in for
another. Doesn't want to leave a
target, but he would love to turn
that jack around the corner. He's
not going to. That has made the
target so much wider. Could end up
with the jack in the ditch.
want that back, fair to say.
pull it again?
He has come under.
You have just witnessed something
very rare. Wayward weight shots from
Greg Harlow on the forearm.
would lose money all day long
betting on that one. He did seem to
go a little bit faster than normal.
Greg is very dangers on that very
controlled weight shots. I don't
think he has a lot of choice, he may
have to go again. Take the risk.
doesn't have a bowl on the rink.
This is his final delivery and he
will go for it.
He is on the front
inside edge of the matter. Which
means he's going for it.
Didn't matter in some respects
because unless he touched the jack,
but bowl was taken.
shots, Mervyn King.
Indeed he did.
His bowl, not touching, is lifted
out. He uses the end and he loses
STUDIO: Be traded singles in the
next two ends.
He has tidied up his opening bowl,
Greg Harlow, after a few loose one.
That is a better one again.
That's not a very pretty target for
Greg Harlow. Great picture from what
he can see, effectively, from the
mats. Single bowl target.
That will not help Mervyn.
bowl, there is an inch gap. You are
about inches short of jack high.
Interesting way to describe that.
The closest edge to Mervyn is about
six inches short. But the distance
is only an inch. That is obviously
enough for Mervyn.
He liked what he
heard. Beautifully played.
This target is a horrible one. He
has no choice. He doesn't want to
lose it two or three. He has got to
go for it. I think he knew that
actually from a couple of yards away
from Amat, the look on Greg's face
was enough to tell me he realised he
was getting half of his own. This is
really difficult now because I don't
think he can get the two bowls
without the jack going.
Harlow's bowls have gone off the
rink. The one you can see is the
only one he has on the rink.
That is a great place to put it.
He doesn't even have the advantage
of the last bowl, Greg Harlow. It is
a horrible situation he finds
It certainly is.
Time-out called. He only has one
bowl, if he takes that out he will
be looking at losing four. What he
is trying to work out is where he
can put to help things. He's putting
his foot around the jack for this
sort of area. But if the jack goes
into this area, he's going to lose
three shots. I think he is in so
much trouble here. He is a minimum
two down. The third could be close.
The best would be to draw the bowl
of and lie in, but goodness me, that
It is all about connections on the
outside of the bowl, that is what he
is looking for. If he wasn't going
to make a connection, that is the
best he can do. Guaranteed to take
the back bowl out. He will be
thinking if Mervyn makes a slip, I
will only use two.
Every chance he
will be four down with two to play
in a setting must win can Mervyn
This could change the whole
He's playing wide just
to try and get in jack high.
He plays it so well
whenever he has to go wide for a
jack high bowl. Wide, drifting shots
work because you don't have to get
to the jack, you just have to get
closer to the nearest one than the
opposition. People become to jack
focused and Mervyn is an expert in
STUDIO: After that there was no way
back for the two-time defending
champion and with the writing on the
wall in the last end, Greg Harlow
conceded the match.
Congratulations, that was some
Obviously I am
delighted to win. I think we both
could have played a bit better, but
in and out, brilliant shots. But
glad to get over the line yes.
seem to be struggling a bit for your
line and length to be consistent?
be honest, I didn't get into my
rhythm today, I didn't get going.
Mervyn played well and he is a
worthy winner, I hope he goes on to
win the title, it will be nice. Some
scrappy stuff but he played the
better bowls, tight bowls on that
was the difference. I couldn't find
any answers to his close touches.
The most important thing, if you can
get your first bowl in, you will
always put pressure on your opponent
and you were doing that regularly?
Yes, it is key to get your first
bowl then, I did it most of the
We know you as the master of
the drawer shot, but you are playing
with weight, and this is the second
end of the first set, hugely
important in turning things around?
I play with more weight than I have
done in the last 24 years. I wasn't
drawing as well and thought I would
just go for a few shots. I won one
of, got one and I thought I would
Hard to sit and watch
that, but he did well with them?
have played him hundreds of times
and plays that shot all day long.
But the some reason on the world
Bowls tour, he has not played as
many shots. But I am know he's
capable of it so I wasn't surprised
seeing them coming down.
Quarterfinal Mervyn. You must be
feeling pretty confident now?
Reasonable, take each game as it
comes and go out there and play as
well as that, I have a chance.
Greg, always great to see you here.
I'm sure you will be back picking up
trophies on the tour.
Mervyn King, through to the
quarterfinals. Next up we have a
firm favourite, Andy Thomson, the
Anglo Scot, he was up against young
Jamie Chestney. 30-year-old chess
knee up against Thompson. Jamie
Chestney one his first ranking event
at the International open in
Blackpool and it was the younger man
who took the first set here. The key
moment coming in the seventh end
when the slightly fortunate weighted
shot gave Jamie Chestney trouble to
put him in control. It is 20 years
since Andy won this event. His luck
was going against him this year.
This squeeze through and a possible
gap to help Jamie Chestney get the
There would be no way back that Andy
Thomson in this match, by now Jamie
Chestney was turning the screw. Andy
Thomson couldn't respond to it, and
Jamie Chestney into the quarters. He
is a really impressive player, Jamie
Chestney, I wonder how far he will
go. Next we have a match covering
Paul Foster against Mark Dawes.
The bowler from Blackpool earned a
place in the top 16 in 2016 and has
moved up to 12th in the last couple
of years. You are something special
when your list of achievements
spreads across three pages. Paul
Foster has picked up trophies and
gold medals across the globe. We
join the action in the fourth end
with Paul Foster leading 2-1. You
have your commentators of Paul
Mitchell and fresh from his match
earlier in the day, Andy Thomson.
COMMENTATOR: There is a big gap
forcing yourself into the top eight.
You have got to be the Paul Foster
of this tournament to get into the
Paul Foster, former world number
one. Currently at number four.
He has found his line, Paul Foster.
I think Mark is contemplating
running bowl. Easy, wide target, I
think he likes it.
He is unlucky. He
was asking if the two bowls for
Yes, I think you probably
thought if he could take one, he
could take them both out. Unlucky
result, he hit the target again. If
he caught the other bowl, he could
have removed two of them. As it is,
there is room to draw another.
Looks like he will put it back in.
Exactly where it was.
Will it be
deja vu, knowing your opponent has
right to reply. Mark will be
feeling, what happens if I strike
this? I cannot see him getting a bad
result. I don't think any of Paul's
bowls are touches. Looks like he is
shaping up for the drawer. Playing
the same bowl.
Looked tight out of
the hand. Held up with the weight.
He was underneath, so he is still
two down. You expect him to draw
You expect him to put it on
top, not just get it close.
Number three. Brilliant bowls.
Perfectly done. For bowls within a
couple of inches, effectively. He
had one lifted out.
Final bowl coming in
here. Plenty of room for Paul
Foster, perfect start, great
bowling. Paul Foster, bringing with
him, appeared to Perth this year.
is the fashion these days. Your
co-commentator has also got one,
what do you think of that one?
a nice shade of grey! Looking very
He suits the beard, I
wouldn't admit that to him, but it
does suit him. I did sport a beard
for a little while, it was quickly
removed after instructions from my
good lady. To be fair, I also looked
Keeping a close eye on this one,
Paul Foster. Has arguably improve
things for his opponent.
Beautifully played. Tempting target
for Paul Foster. Good back and
running here, wouldn't be surprised
to see this one. Bowl or jack.
It was out the side and that will go
on the restart. Paul Foster's is a
touch. It will turn into basically a
Mark has the
advantage, two bowls to Paul's one.
I don't think any of these bowls
will count, so I don't think it
Judge to perfection.
Paul. Too much room for Mark to draw
Suddenly a wider line. It is, a lot
wider than Mark.
You've not draw it, have you?!
Give us a chance!
That is brilliant. Mark will be
thinking, what's going on here. We
thought he was too wide.
right on the very edge of the ditch.
But he knows his bowls and that is a
work of art.
Time-out called. That is the first
I think Mark has probably got to
take a chance on the backhand and
try to run Paul's bowl off but the
danger is removing your own but he
has to take a chance and try to
It is getting to that point
in the set, four down, you don't
really want to be five or six down.
He is playing backhand across the
head here. The line looks fair. He's
having a look.
He's given it every
No wonder he
goes up the rink. That brings out
the best in some players and we have
just seen -- seen three exceptional
bowls. STUDIO: Dawes was still
trailing by two shots as we rejoin
it for the last end of the first
The percentage success rate of Paul
Foster's opening bowl is
Yes, very good. Making
it hard for Mark to score. Two is
always gettable, though. You can't
fault that, it might give him a
chance later on.
The ideal bowl for
Paul Foster here is a foot or two
He has his hand to his face,
he knew it wasn't a good one.
might act as a protector somewhere
along the line.
He is not happy with
With every reason.
Do you gamble and try to go for the
He is round it and again it might
not be the shot but it is a useful
Mark has to be careful. He has
He gathers the information and
Trying to split the
two red bowls, that will be the
target. I don't think he will be
happy with that, not at all. It
gives Mark still a big chance here.
Any movement of the jack, Paul
realises this has given him a
chance. He could be lying to all
-- two or three. He is positive.
is a little under and a bad result
from that point of view. He will
have to try to find a drive.
an awkward head for Paul. He cannot
cover everything. Mark has three
The bowl to the right of
the picture is still in.
that is going to be awkward for him.
He has called a time-out and you can
see the position on the right-hand
side. Paul Foster, it is difficult,
because he will work out where he
thinks it is likely to go.
certainly be through but there might
be a chance for Mark Dawes to score
at least two. I think if he slices
that jack on the other angle the
score is two or three I think. The
dot on the right-hand side of the
screen, if he slices the jack into
the area he will certainly score two
and possibly three.
watches his opponent. He has missed
He doesn't like it. He never
gave it a chance and Paul Foster
will take the opening set.
STUDIO: Foster continued with his
brilliant bowls into the second set
and we picked it up with him leading
far one -- 5-1 after four ends.
COMMENTATOR: Winner twice of this
tournament, in 2009 against Ian Ward
and Nicky Brett in 2012.
He is hanging in.
It is so difficult
because look where Paul Foster is
and he pulls out a great bowl.
not far away and he starts to build
the dangerous position. Mark Dawes
has played exceptionally well no
matter what happens but he needs to
take that next level and the next
few ends will be interesting.
Stating the obvious but he has to
score in this end.
He has given
himself an exceptional chance.
bowl and we might see a drive from
Paul. Two down, he has to hit this.
He has not brought out the weight
Playing the running bowl
as opposed to the very fast drive.
50% happy with that, it
takes one away.
If he had nudged
that jack out, his two green bowls
were in good receiving positions and
you're talking millimetres.
only that. Mark will be trying to
replace the last bowl. Trying to get
a bit of pressure on Paul's final
Paul is only one down, this will be
back to the draw.
A rare bowl not reaching from Paul
Foster. Shall we be critical of
He knows where to find us! But
he obviously didn't intend it. That
is David Gourlay. He will be
involved with Scotland for the
Commonwealth games which we were
talking about earlier.
He will be
happy that his player, Paul Foster,
is playing well. A chance for Mark
to score a double, this looks good
and very well played by Mark Dawes.
It is superb stuff.
And having lost three straight ends,
it gives him a chance to set the
mat, although it is causing some
discomfort at the moment!
He is very
undecided, really. Where do I put
this to put him off?
Always good when you change the
length to get the opening bowl close
but Mark probably realises that
isn't going to be close enough.
does not look bad from that
particular angle but you get the
feeling it is just not good enough.
It just puts added pressure on to
your next bowl.
And there is the improvement.
He has turned his back already on
that one. He missed the line.
knew it immediately.
He is going to come the other way.
Mark Dawes playing his fourth
Scottish International Open having
made his debut in 2014.
ball back, that is number two. This
might force Paul into weight here.
He doesn't hang about.
likes it. Not a particularly kind
result for him but it does open
things up. And he still has a bowl
He hits the target. Two of
the bowls stay in but still two down
and Mark should draw a third shot
In a way, he may be doesn't want
this want to go to close because it
gives him a target so interesting to
see where it finishes.
That's the way to do it. Paul Foster
did have the best back bowl so if he
had left it either side it might
have been a tempting target.
looking at a runner here, I think it
is still a backhand draw. Difficult
to get a shot but he should be able
to get a second. The forehand,
playing the drive. It is
The jack has broken!
have never seen that before!
coming out of his paycheque!
I don't think I have
ever seen that! Part of the jack
remained on the rink and another
part of it is off the rink.
jack surely must go off and on to
That is superb. He treated
it like Play-Doh. That's
unbelievable. I would have thought
that the bigger half would have
Surely that goes on to the
crease but I would think.
-- onto the re-spot.
They are going to put it on the
re-spot and then it is going to have
to be a measure.
I think Paul will
score two here on the re-spot.
are checking here.
Paul is not happy
with that. That's not right, surely?
It is not a dead end.
I think he is
I would agree. That
jack was going off, surely it can't
It is a conference of the
officials here and they are going to
have to I think consult the rule
book as to what happens.
arguing and he is right to argue as
well that the jack was going off. I
agree with that. It has to be the
re-spot. He was not happy and right
to not be happy.
Two shots, Paul
Paul Foster knows his bowls.
And to be fair, the markers and
umpires here are first class and
they were happy to listen.
this strike again.
It was definitely going
And to meet the majority is in
the ditch and therefore it has to go
on the re-spot. STUDIO:
Unprecedented scenes leaving foster
with what was to prove an
unassailable lead and he went on to
win the second set for the victory
which takes him safely into the
which takes him safely into the
quarterfinals. Without doubt that
was the best matchwinner seen here
all week. Congratulations, well
Once again, delighted with
how I played but all credit to Mark
Connolly stuck in there and I
couldn't really played much better
in the first set but it shows how
good he is. I'm just delighted.
was incredible because you did play
a wonderful match and many other
players would be out and you would
be standing next to me looking ahead
to the quarterfinal.
I'm a little
disappointed to be honest, the first
bowl, when Paul missed which was not
often, I did not get in and you know
he will play well. While I am
reasonably happy, I know I can play
better and you have do to beat Paul.
He does put so much pressure on
particularly with the first bowl.
That was key and the two times the
missed, it is like 18 inch and a
foot off and he puts three inside
and you can't leave that much.
certainly can't. Amazing stuff and
we should talk about the
controversial moment and the talking
point which was this split jack. We
will show you it but talk us through
I knew I could run at it. I had
a chance of getting it but I was not
expecting the jack to crack! I was
trying to take a couple out and I
knew his bolt was in the ditch and I
would count two but it's not often
you see that.
I think the first call
was for the end to be played again
but you agreed that was wrong?
genuinely don't know what the rule
is and to be there to pull the jack
looked like it was going out of this
side. I was more disappointed that I
was good to get back in the set and
he hit the target and I was two
down. I did not know the rule and I
was happy to go with the umpire.
Have you experienced that before?
I've never seen it, I've never done
it. I know that our a lot of hard
hitters on the tour but you don't
expect the jack to crack like that.
I said I would never cheat in bowls
with the jack was only going one
way. You saw the look on my face, we
are talking a turning point in the
match. I know Mark is lane three but
the re-spot and I get two and I
think everybody thought it was going
that way and I think it is only
And you agreed?
Yes, it was
going that way is up I genuinely
didn't know the rule and it was fair
enough. I probably would have said,
if the rule is not clarified and we
have to go with that, I would have
said to Paul, you have the two.
you ever seen a split jack?
Unbelievable. Let's deal with the
last match today which was Perry
Martin against Michael Stepney. The
joiner from Elgin is no stranger to
this portable rink in that having
played in the Champion of champions
final on two separate occasions. It
may have needed a tie-break but
Perry Martin's victory over Jonathan
Ross in the first round was
extremely impressive. It was a cagey
Ross in the first round was
extremely impressive. It was a cagey
start to this match with neither
player able to exert control and we
picked it up on the seventh end with
Michael Stepney leaving 4-3.
COMMENTATOR: Hopefully this jack
will stay the distance in this
match! Michael Stepney going for one
of his big drives, we might see
something happening to it.
often you see the jack... I have
seen them split in half sometimes
but not having the top sliced off
like a boiled egg.
I have seen them
almost disintegrate believe it or
not. But that would have been a much
harder as Ishant to make, the fact
that the jack was going off the rink
at that angle made it an easy
decision. The Paul Foster match with
Mark Dawes... But we have plenty of
Michael Stepney likes that
one. And the jack split, it was
probably one quarter and three
quarters and the three quarters
smashed its way into the side.
was definitely going in that
direction but fortunately it was
covered by television and we were
able to analyse it. Good bowl,
really good correction. The
integrity of the jack is absolutely
key when you think how much of a
battering they take. They did try to
drill them at one stage and put a
camera into it but it wasn't really
a bright idea! For lots of reasons.
The fact that they lost a lot of
cameras when the jacks were
destroyed did not help but nobody
had actually worked out that if you
hit the jack the camera goes into
the carpet. You're not going to get
much out of that.
And it needs to be
in an almost perfect position, it's
not always going to be facing front
but worth a try. Here comes Perry
Martin again. A little touch on
Even better. He got around it
nice and clean. I think he will look
at this and say it has to be worth
coming into, two down, seventh end.
No waste of time with this one. It
looks under. And the follow-through
and shot draw. You were saying with
the follow-through is before, you
just can't gauge them but he put his
hand up right away.
We have seen a
couple this week, the unexpected,
seeing it stunned and then coming
That her! He played two
beautiful bowls and got it on a
fluke. Trying hard with this one.
Very close to the jack. Just needed
anything past that and he was there.
So close. Past it and he was drawing
the shot. Michael Stepney has given
one away with the last bowl. He will
have to be canny here.
He will not
give this work the way, I can tell
you. Seventh end is a key end.
STUDIO: Stepney went on to take the
first set 8-3 and we will pick it up
again in the fifth end of the second
set with the Scot leading 5-2.
COMMENTATOR: Full length jack.
Perry Martin has talked about
becoming less uptight on the rink.
It is the complete opposite for
Michael Stepney, is reputation is as
laid-back as they come.
Unfortunately, so is this bowl.
I have seen Michael animated at
international level, I know he knows
how to get excited if he tries that
singles is different.
This one is struggling a little bit
It looked lazy and it is
Not a time to go walkabout,
not at 5-2 with five ends to go.
He has a chance with this. It should
come right into the jack.
Two short bowls, you have to be a
little bit careful not to over
correct but this has to run all the
way to the jack. He has got it. A
big recovery bowl.
He has played
quite a few of those in the match to
great effect. That was two, possibly
three against him and now the
pressure goes back on his opponent.
He will play down the forehand and
just try to move the red bowl in.
This is a hard shot he is trying. I
am surprised he played with that
weight, I thought he would have
played with a bit less. He was
aiming for the right side that occur
outside edge of the bowl but it
would have been hard to have stayed
in for any more than one with that
sort of weight.
Forehand runners, you are always
conscious if you go wide that you
are just go to hold off.
of Michael Stepney's third bowl, it
could have been 5-5 but instead he
is looking to go 6-2 ahead and
I don't think there
is enough room for that. It needed
to go past it. Still a big recovery.
STUDIO: And a double the next end
meant the writing was on the wall
for Perry Martin. It Michael Stepney
who went through to the
quarterfinals with a comfortable
8-3, 8-4 victory.
very happy with how you played. I
think David Corkill said that any
aggressive play from your opponent
and you have the answer.
really happy, Perry had a very good
start in the first set and I thought
I had to stick in and I got one
lucky result early on. It spurred me
on to keep on sticking in and
And I guess this
portable rink is different from what
you're used to but you are getting
experience of playing on it on the
World Bowls Tour.
Definitely it is a
lot different, I struggled on the
pace massively in the second set, a
lot of short bowls and Michael
played really well. The first set,
two ends stick out where I could
have scored seven shots and ended up
dropping two but that's how it goes
and he played really well and had
the answer to everything.
completed half of the quarterfinal
draw and we know that Jamie Chestney
will be there with Mervyn King Paul
Foster and Michael Stepney. We will
deal with the bottom half tomorrow.
It has been a great day, no doubt,
but Corky saw some wonderful shots
but which did he think was the best?
My shot of the day comes from the
match between Mark Dawes and Paul
Foster, a brilliant game. Paul
Foster had been fantastic in the
first set, restricting Mark Dawes to
three singles and in the second set
and suddenly Mark Dawes is playing
so much better. Foster is 5-3 in
front but three down on the rink and
the next shot is really important.
Forehand drive, the jack split and
it goes across, which is very rare
but the important thing was that at
that moment Paul Foster had to
change the head and he was going to
be one shot down at 6-5 if he did
not strike but he did and got it
perfect with the front bowl. Reece
Burke position, picks up two and
goes into a 3-7 positive position
and cruise on to win the set and
match -- re-spot position.
almost it from us but our live
coverage gets back under way
tomorrow at 1pm on BBC Two Scotland.
It had been a fantastic day here at
the Dewars Centre in Perth, please
join us tomorrow, it's going to be
another cracker but from all of us
here, goodbye for now.
Dougie Vipond presents highlights from the second round at Dewars Centre in Perth. Scotland's current world champion Paul Foster, and Greg Harlow, winner here for the last two years, are both likely to feature.
Former British indoor champion David Corkill and Paul Mitchell provide commentary.