Dougie Vipond presents the best of the day's quarter-final action from the 2017 Scottish Open, at Dewars Centre in Perth. Commentary is by David Corkill and Paul Mitchell.
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Hello, a warm welcome to Perth, the
backdrop for the Scottish
International Open where the best of
the best are now in the
quarterfinals. In our first game,
England's Les Gillett, the slayer of
six time world champion Alex
Marshall does battle with Darren
Burnett. Familiar faces in the final
eight, but new blood, also. Jamie
Chestney will seek to claim his
first Scottish title and he has the
reigning world champion Paul Foster
in his way. Others will look to
capture former glory. Mervyn King
knows about winning. It has been
awhile since he picked up any
titles. Michael Stepney is aiming to
start his collection for his trophy
cabinet. It is all to play for as we
notch up a gear in the race to
become Scottish International Open
champion, 2017. This is the way the
quarterfinals lined up at the start
of play. David Gourlay facing Nick
Brett and Les Gillett against Darren
Burnett. Jamie Chestney had to face
Paul Foster King up against the
qualifier Michael Stepney. What are
the added spices? You probably
noticed every single one was
Scotland against England. Let's go
to the first one, Darren Burnett
against Les Gillett. When you knock
the six time world champion out of
the competition you know you want
doing something right as Les Gillett
did to Alex Marshall yesterday. One
of the most consistent bowlers in
the world, Darren Burnett has grown
in confidence all week. Deadly with
the draw and equally incisive when
weight is required. We will join the
match in the eighth
weight is required. We will join the
match in the eighth end in the first
COMMENTATOR: Neither will want to
take too many risks in this end and
having said that the jack highball,
tempting to run the bowl, or the
jack. -- high bowl. He is watching
it, it must be close. Oh, very
nearly the maximum. Toucher in the
ditch, that will be marked, it will
stay alive. The jack will go on the
Two red is fairly
Interesting choice for Darren to
come across it. A lot of players
have played the opposite side.
playing here is backhand. It is a
longer length. He can play across
his body slightly and hold the bowl
up a long time before the bias takes
It is only breaking now.
Yes, he secured the shot.
That looks a lot wider.
I think it is fair to say it came
out the wrong way. He did not like
it from the second it left his hand.
He has the advantage of having a
bowl to play.
If that had been his last it would
be a simple draw in for two.
He is even wider and now it breaks.
Good weight in behind the jack is
the perfect bowl. I think Darren
will go for this. We has a chance of
the two going out. And a gap, as
He has a double shot available. What
he is really looking for, just as he
was putting his foot down, I was
going there. He is obviously
thinking the way I am and that is
always a good sign. Take the two out
and you end up in a situation where
this bowl here will come into play
and also, the one over here, that
will come into play. If he plays it
right, he has a chance of getting
two shots out of it and the angle is
This is very much a Darren Burnett
type of shot.
Firm weight, watches
it all the way.
What a result. He
was on the wrong side of the bowl.
Dear, oh dear. The crowd may be
clapping, but, well...
opponent's point of view, it is the
one shot. Always the opening bowls
set the tone.
I think he got a bit of that last
end. Yes. You cannot go there all
Les Gillett does not like this
Just a little bit over.
Still, better there.
These players have such high
expectations of themselves, they
know what they are capable of.
A correction made. Almost two feet
past jack high.
Looks like he has
covered the jack.
He has been playing so well, nothing
will faze him. And why should it? A
super shot, no doubt. Sitting on the
edge in terms of the backhand.
Darren can get to it. It just
sneaked itself down. On the drop.
Darren will be aiming for that.
He is watching this. He knows he is
close. A touch on his own. One red.
You almost feel it would not be a
bad result to draw on this set
because they have both contributed
to a super game and played great
stuff. It would be unfortunate if
one of them lost it with all their
It still looks difficult. Les will
do well to get to jack high, maybe
two feet away. Certainly do not want
to be any closer.
Time-out taken. He
is very wide. Rightly so.
Still has a bowl to come.
useful to have one, just in case. I
cannot imagine Darren going to heavy
at this because he has no position.
He might try and slide his own bowl
across the rink an inch or so, that
might be enough.
No heroics involved
or he could give the set away.
Drawn the forehand. It did not
really matter which side.
It is going to fall short. An
intriguing situation here for Les,
because it is very dangerous, if he
wants to try to add another. Well,
there you go. That is interesting.
Prepared not to go for it. That is
how dangerous it was.
set is shared between these two fine
STUDIO: Into the second set. Burnett
needs as we return for the fourth
-- Burnett leads.
A good opening bowl from Darren
Burnett. Not seen too many of his
openers right on the jack.
close, as well.
In many ways it proves the longevity
of some of these players. Darren
winning in 2001. He has been around
a long time. To have the ability to
win back then. Les Gillett won the
International Open in 1997. 20 years
ago. He is still about.
playing top class bowls. He fell out
of the top 16, found his way back
in. What amazes me sometimes is not
the players have to keep it up such
a long period of.
red on a fine line to holes that. --
to hold it. Not much.
Is that jack moving? If you touch
your own bowl. If it does, you have
a slight problem. If it is a clean
bowl passed the jack, then it is
just sitting perfect.
Have you got the weight this time? A
lack of weight.
Wide line. Again, Darren does not
want to hit his own bowl too hard.
The jack will come out into the
open. He has probably made one more
shot. He wanted to hit it just a
little bit further. He has offered
up a target Les will come right at
He wanted it to be firmer to lay
the jack behind the two green bowls.
I was more concerned about him
hitting it four feet away, not too
hard, but that was not hard enough
and Les will definitely come into
this. I do not think he can take his
own bowl out without taking others.
So pick your hand, pick your weight.
The odds are on the backhand.
Bending very quickly. That went
fast. Wow. Hard to believe you
missed the target.
If you caught the
edge, it could have been worse.
was definitely down the wrong side.
He wanted to be on the high side.
STUDIO: Burnett continued to turn
the screw, picking up five more
shots for a 10-2 lead with two to
play and in a hopeless position
Gillett elected to put his bowl into
the ditch and concede the match.
Congratulations. Some great play.
The first set was scratchy. I think
the draw was a fair result and kept
as both in the match. I just did
enough in the second set.
quite a game because in the first
set you were both playing great
shots and both losing your way a bit
but exciting to watch.
said, it could have gone either way.
I hope to for two on the last end in
the first set. In hindsight, should
I have gone for two? May be. He put
me under pressure and I tended to
use the green a yard short. I do not
Darren punish me and all
credit to him. If you have the first
bowl, stick it on the jack, your
opponent will always be in trouble.
That disappointed me first set. The
only pleasing thing I can take out
of the game is I need to get the
first two bowls working.
would go through? Nicky Brett, a
former winner here, faced off
against David Gourlay. They had met
each other nine times previously
with Brett heading head-to-head 5-4.
Gourlay took a tight first set. The
world number two came out firing in
the second set. Three dice draws on
the third gave him an early
advantage. Brett is a two-time
winner of the tournament, first
taking it in 2013 and again the
following year while Gourlay's best
result was runner-up in 2006.
Gourlay kept in touch for a crucial
single. Six of the previous eight
meetings have gone to three sets and
by now Brett was full of confidence
and the seventh end, he took on this
draw with his final shot, taking the
match into a tie-break. Gourlay took
the first end and with his last of
the next he played this runner,
barely skimming the jack, but moving
it enough to have match lie. It left
Brett needing something special with
this final bowl.
But it was not to be and the jack
was re-spotted and Gourlay have the
shot and a place in the semifinal,
the furthest he has made it in this
competition since 2010. David
Gourlay will play Darren Burnett in
one of the semifinals, but who will
play in the other? Paul Foster and
Jamie Chestney went toe to toe. From
the outside looking in, Jamie
Chestney winning the International
Open was something of a surprise but
for those in the know, anything but.
Picking up trophies is something
Paul Foster does with alarming
regularity, 16 times winning on the
World Bowls Tour. We join this in
the six end of the first set. The
COMMENTATOR: Another one in, that is
Jamie might have a pop at this. The
two bowls will go.
Yes, weight shot.
That is going to make it
It opens things up.
the edge of the ditch.
will see a mark as to where the jack
is and that is where you have to
A nice wide line. Coming back, it
needs to stay on. A perfect bowl.
What a shot from Paul Foster. Jamie
Chestney has no choice but to try to
draw with this one. He cannot afford
to rest it off because there is
another green bowl down the rink.
That is two shots, so that has been
It is such a hard shot,
playing right to the edge of the
He has also marginally
protected the green bowl. This
really looks like it is there. Paul
Foster needing to tap the break. And
he has. Wow. He permits himself a
little smile. That is so difficult
to do, but that is a man at the top
of his form.
He is going to play them off if he
can. It is a hard shot, he did not
want to lift his own out.
the problem, he will give Paul
Foster another shot.
It will be a
third shot because the green bowl in
the picture will count. Paul Foster
gets three shots and the lead.
STUDIO: Jamie Chestney took a single
to make it 6-6 with two to play.
COMMENTATOR: It is hard to pick a
winner of this set, given the way
they are both playing.
Just thinking back to the last end
when Paul Foster put a position bowl
in and he knows exactly the way
Jamie blaze. He knew he would go for
that, even though it was dangerous.
-- Jamie plays. He was prepared to
lose one, maybe even two.
That is excellent again. It widens
the target, which might make Paul
Foster have a go.
Well, it is two
bowls wide. Two bowls will go. The
jack can go anywhere but it is worth
moving into it now. A lot of drives
have been missed.
Another one. Paul
Foster knew when that was down it
would not what he wanted.
A lot of drives miss and controlled
weight s missed. Some have been off
target and managed to get results.
It is hard enough to play that shot.
He is committing himself.
himself. He is going under again.
Well, Jamie is weighing this up. The
logical shop would suggest he comes
and covers the green bowls, just in
case. -- the logical shot.
cover green and the re-spot at the
same time. It is just whether he
wants to play it or not. He is
He is more or less putting the bowl
back again. That is three shots. He
is not even covering anything
really, he has just drawn another
He is taking a
risk and saying, Paul, if you get
it, you get it. This will be quick.
That is as fast as we have seen this
week, and scatters absolutely
everything. There is not a bowl on
the rink. I can't remember that, I
really cannot remember that in all
the events where everything has gone
Absolutely unique, once more,
from Paul Foster. Well, he splits
jacks, knocks things off the rink.
That is the first no score end I can
remember, and both players smile.
What a shot from Paul Foster.
He does manage to create some very
interesting situations, Paul Foster.
Well played, Jamie Chestney. Great
This is now a big end for both
players. The set at stake. This will
be played like a tie-break end. And
that is basically saying, hit me.
Jamie Chestney has
put Paul Foster under considerable
pressure in this set.
It has been
fabulous. He liked that. It just
went the wrong side.
He has kept his
own bowl on the rink, which is fine.
But he knows that it's a 1-shot
situation. So it doesn't matter if
he loses two, three, or four.
You just try to see what will give
you the best chance of success.
you are lying two, you go deep just
in case he goes again. The trouble
with Paul Foster is that he could
just play this draw the shot. I
don't think he will, because he the
last bowl. I think he needs a bit
more space, so he wants to open it
Oh, it stuck to the bowl. But he has
opened it up and that is very
beatable on the draw.
That was what
he wanted, to give himself a chance
with his last bowl, and he has done
so. Jammed the red bowl across.
has been a great match.
Jamie is aware of the fact that he
needs a close-up bowl. Well, it is a
bit closer. Paul will try to draw
He has played five heavy
bowls in his last seven. This, for
He is certainly wide enough. If he
has good weight, he will come back.
Paul Foster, for the set. There is a
reason why he is world champion, and
that is the reason. A stunning set
of bowls, ended with a drive and the
draw. And Paul Foster, the narrowest
of margins. Put it out beautifully,
judged the weight, and takes the
first set of his quarterfinal tie.
STUDIO: The high-quality bowls
continued into the second set. We
head back for the eighth end.
COMMENTATOR: Both players desperate
to score at this end, with
ramifications for the final end.
Paul Foster can afford a tide set.
Just tucked it around the corner
little bit. Still a good bowl. Just
may get that little bit harder.
has changed to the backhand.
Once again, he is in the area. He
has picked up the jack. Goodness me!
That is a great bowl, that really
years. Four bowls, at this stage in
the match, to play them like that,
it is just hot stuff from both
Played it beautifully, got
the contact he wanted.
He might have
to play down at this, front plant.
The danger is that it is a toucher.
That front plant has a toucher, so
he can't afford to play too much to
Oh, no! Not the jack!
Dear, oh dear!
This is fantastic! Very unlucky.
Very, very unlucky. But he still has
a bowl to play. It was the falling
back that caused the problem.
Thank you, ladies and in
common, quiet please. -- ladies and
Goodness me, this is a very tight
head. Just looking to get to the two
green bowls and drop back. Just
over. The weight was very good,
perfect in fact. I wonder whether
Paul Foster will play this or not.
If he wants to play it, it is very
much available. Green bowl on to
read, the jack should move but it
will come to him. That is sweet, the
wait is sitting. -- the way it is
sitting. He is playing for it.
He has got it.
What a bowl. He
watched it all the way and he knew
it was going to get a result, but
what a result. Connection on the
front green to nip out the red. Well
You could see at a mile off,
but in the context of the match that
was incredibly important.
called by Jamie Chestney. He has to
think about this. He has the best
He just got the edge. What an
This has been outstanding.
It has been a quarterfinal being
played at the standard of a final.
The problem for Jamie Chestney is he
needs a double.
Good start, don't
leave anything short, give yourself
The way he has played
today, it has taken the world
champion to be in absolutely
brilliant form to stay with him.
He needed to pick up the jack. He
can't afford to draw this cold,
because he needs more than one. That
weight is perfect for the job.
Foster does not like this.
Well, it is best back bowl, the only
problem being, he was not looking
for best back bowl. Well, it is
This match has whizzed
through. It has been such high
The little tap of the back foot
usually means he is close.
Again, the wait is perfect for what
he once. He knows he can't afford to
nip that line, it will dive across.
But it is a match lie against, at
Paul Foster's got the
back position covered. And both
sides are no good. If we look at the
recent pop position, that really
doesn't work for Jamie. Nor does
that. So what does Paul Foster do?
The perfect shot, the absolute
perfect shot for Paul Foster, would
be to draw on the forehand, his
forehand, and drop in here, if he
can. That way, any Trail of the
jack, he could get the shot. He
could play it on the backhand as
well. It is available both sides. He
is on his favourite backhand for it.
He wants something to drop behind
the jack and stop that Trail. He is
That is in a very, very
Either side of that
red bowl was going to be very, very
handy. In front of it would have
been perfect. What has Jamie got
available? Nothing on the forehand.
The jack, re-spot position? Hard to
Little Trail of the backhand
and bring your second one out. It is
The trouble is,
playing with the weight ball, coming
into there, what you want to do is
get the jack over here. If it goes
over to re-spot, with more weight,
those two red bowls might come into
play. Either way, it has to be a
slightly overweight shot on the
backhand. He looks like he's going
Something put him off, so they will
stop the clock.
It's only for a few
seconds, but they need to get their
It's not enough. What an effort. But
Jamie Chestney is unable to defeat
the world champion. He gave it his
absolute all. Consolation, hand on
the shoulder from Paul Foster. But
it is Paul Foster who goes through
to the semifinal.
What a match that
was, incredible shots from both
players. You must be happy to get
To be honest, I said when
we shook hands, I think I stole it.
He out drew me most of the game, his
runners were good and mine were
struggling. I had a lot of good ends
but I did not play as well as I have
in the last couple of days. Luckily
enough, I managed to get over the
I think our commentators said
that on another day, if you played
as well as that you would not only
beat Paul Foster, you might win a
tournament. But you were up against
a guy today who was doing the
conversion shots. But you played so
I feel gutted, in all honesty.
I did not feel I could play the last
couple of ends of the first set any
better. But that is no disrespect to
Paul, because he played two great
bowls with the drive and then the
draw. I don't feel he stole it, he
played great as well. I can't be
disappointed with my disappoint --
with my performance, but that is how
You have to feel for him.
Paul Foster was just that little bit
better. But who will he face in the
semifinal? Mervyn King or Michael
Stepney? A former winner of the
British Isles singles title, Michael
Stepney has represented his country
on the international stage 27 times.
The last time Mervyn King took a
singles title on the pro tour was
here in Perth in 2010, but don't let
that gap for you, he is a master of
the draw game. As we join the first
set, Stepney has a 5- for lead,
going into the eighth end.
Michael Stepney, unseeded wild card
entry into the tournament. He
is based on previous performances.
Obviously, the local man helps, too.
But he is more than justified for
the wild card selection. We noticed
him play against Andersen and I was
thinking, that is a very tough draw
for Stewart Anderson, on a wild
Stewart Anderson on the tie-break in
Michael played one of the best bowls
of the event to win that match,
forehand of the centre of the rink
in towards the re-spot position,
took out Stewart Anderson's bowls
clean as a whistle. It is
top-quality, this, no doubt about
it. Some very good bowling.
That dropped in probably about 12,
maybe 13 inches behind the jack, and
not a murmur.
Expectations are high, it is fair to
Mervyn, running for cover.
Choices here. He needs a little tap
on the bowl on the backhand to move
the jack. A tap on the jack on the
forehand, or rest the bowl off for a
double. Can't afford to be too
heavy, or it will scamper through.
Just over the wait. He was tapping
his leg on the way down the rink.
Such a difficult shot to play.
players have one still to play.
Mervyn King does not want to disturb
it. Nor does he want to leave it to
chance that his opponent won't play.
The first time out taken by Mervyn
What he is worried about is
this area. The re-spot position,
which is over here, is not really a
concern at the moment. But the jack
could end up that way if Michael
goes heavy at it. He wants to split
into that area of three green bowls.
That's not bad. He's come across a
little too far in my opinion. He
really wanted to be about a foot
wider than that, because Michael is
looking at the re-spots.
The drives, well, if he drives that
and the jack goes out, I think the
problem for the drive for Michael is
that if he hits into this bowl, his
own two green bowls will disappear,
the jack will go on the re-spot and
he could easily be a couple down. At
the moment, he is only one, so he
has to think about this. One is not
Well, he went for it. He has got a
good result. He got the plant. He
did not want the bowl on the inside,
because it would have taken his two
out, but the plant might be
profitable. It looks like a shot.
could be two.
It is two.
STUDIO: Stepney went on to take the
first set. When we rejoin it in the
second set, he is trailing 6-5 going
into the eighth end.
Well, Michael, if it is one shot
here, it will be a one end shoot out
for the set, for Mervyn, and for the
match for Michael.
He would love to get a double,
though. That's a good bowl.
Your bowl, 18 inches.
Well, that is not where you want to
be because you might be thinking
about a running bowl. You can see by
Mervyn's face. Oh, no, that is not
going to help if I had to attack it.
And at the moment, that is quite
That's another good shot. The
pressure is well and truly on now.
And even someone with the skill of
Mervyn King, to try and draw his way
out of trouble this time is going to
be very hard. It really is. The
trouble is, a running bowl, with his
front one, does not help either.
Hence why he is playing to try and
Desperately trying to come round.
That just locks Michael's bowl in
even more. I'm not sure Michael can
do an awful lot with this. He has to
make a decision whether he wants to
play it again. He is lying three.
Mervyn would need a three in the
next end. Maybe he will try and draw
There's only one thing important, to
make centre rink. He does not want
to leave and hedge. Oh, he has left
a shoulder. Well, it is not bad
because it is just behind the jack,
but it is not where he wanted it.
That is why I always think, and we
have seen this before in other
matches, be very careful about being
greedy about things, because that
just makes it so much better for
He knows it, too. He does
not want to watch, but he will.
Mervyn King, a big recovery bowl
Inside the line, looking
to use the shoulder. He has taken
his own closest away. It is for
macro shots. So close to getting it
right. But Michael played the bowls
to put him in trouble. I think he
got away with that last one.
because Mervyn King did not strike
it the way he wanted.
train keeps moving forwards.
turnaround for Stepney, and he went
on to seal the set 10-6 in the final
end, the first unseeded player to
make the semis since Robert Paxton
seven years ago.
A fantastic performance from Michael
Stepney, the wild card, who has
knocked out big names along the way,
including Mervyn King, despite
valiant efforts. Congratulations.
Thank you. I thought I played even
better today than in the other
games, and I knew I had to get the
bowls pretty close. I did that quite
a lot in the game against Mervyn.
guess that is the thing on the
portable rink, Mervyn, the early
bowls and putting pressure on is so
Definitely. He deserved
to win. We played better than me.
When I did get my game together, he
just took me off. Can't do nothing
about that. Good luck to him.
all the shots is important. Drawing
well is important, but having
conversion shots as well, and you
seemed to be able to do that
I wouldn't say
was comfortable but I managed to get
them. Mervyn got a lot of good bowls
in, and luckily I got some of them
You have never played him a
singles before but you have played
in international matches in the
pairs and the fours. You know his
game outside and in. Do you think he
can do all the way?
Of course, if he
plays like that. If he can play
those shots like today, it is
anybody's game, and he is capable of
doing that. You never know with
For the first time since the
Scottish International Open came to
Perth, four Scots in the final -- --
four Scots in the semifinals.
Some truly incredible shots here
today, but which is the best? Corky
has a tough choice.
My shop of the
day comes from the match with Jamie
Chestney and Paul Foster. I had a
whole list from this match. In the
first set, Paul Foster got over the
line 7-6, but in the second, Jamie
Chestney turned it on and was
guiding his way towards winning it.
In the eighth end, he was lying one,
already one up on the end and
thinking, I could pick up two or
three. Until Paul Foster played this
shot. It is perfect. Controlled
weight on the backhand. This is so
difficult to play on the portable
rink. He needed the ball, single
target onto the red, taking the
other one out. Jamie Chestney had
another bowl to come but could do
nothing about it. If Paul had
missed, Jamie could have turned the
jack around the corner for three,
but that gave him absolutely nothing
to play with his last bowl. It was a
beautifully executed shot, total
perfection, total control, and put
him in the position of winning that
set and the match.
Paul Foster was fantastic today but
what will he be like tomorrow? You
can find out.
It truly has been a great day.
Please join us for the semifinals.
They will be wonderful. From all of
us here, thank you for your company.
Goodbye for now.
The best moments from all four quarter-finals at Dewars Centre in Perth.
Introduced by Dougie Vipond, with commentary by Paul Mitchell and David Corkill.