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Lawn bowls glory for Malaysia and Scotland


Malaysia win their first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal when Ahmad Siti Zalina beats Australiaís Karen Murphy.

England v Scotland

England men's pairs were defeated by Scotland in a closely fought match

Siti Zalina withstood a dramatic fightback from the Australian when she was one shot from victory with a seven-shot lead when Murphy came back to 20-19.

Her win is all the more remarkable considering the fact that six years ago Malaysia did not have any bowling facilities.

In the time since, government grants and overseas coaching has seen them take bronze in Kuala Lumpur, and gold in Manchester.

The Malaysian woman streaked to a seven-shot lead after five ends, before Murphy came back with five shots in four ends to make the score 8-6.

Then Siti Zalina pulled away again only for Murphy to come back with a pair of doubles and a single to level the scores at 11-11 after 14 ends.

The Malaysian looked to have won the game after 20 ends when she was 20-15, but Murphy hit back with a four-shot win in the next end.

But it took just one shot to bring about the historic victory and rapturous applause from the Malaysian supporters and Australian coach Lachlan Tighe.

Scotland bagged their second gold medal of the Commonwealth Games when the world champion menís pairs team beat England in the closest of matches.

In a game where almost every end was decided by fractions of an inch it was fitting the match came down to one crucial shot in the final end.

Scotland went into the final end trailing 9-10 to Stephen Farish and Dean Morgan. Scottish lead George Sneddon had drawn two shots close to the jack, before skip Alex Marshall miscued a block shot.

His shot was supposed to stop in front of the jack to prevent a drive from England skip Farish, but it ended nestled next to Scotlandís other two woods.

It gave them three shots on, but left them open to punishment from an English drive, which would have sent the woods clattering every which way, had it been on target.

But fortune shone on Scotland as Farish's final wood drifted left, missing the crucial woods, and giving Scotland a two-shot, 12-10 win, and the Commonwealth gold medal.

A delighted Marshall said: ďItís fantastic. Winning a commonwealth games medal is better than the world championships. Itís my first gold maedal, and to win the Commonwealth Games takes a lot of doing, and I donít know if Iíll be able to do it again," he said.

ďWe have never started with a lead in the whole tournament. And these games have been difficult. The smaller countries, like Fiji, Malaysia and Brunei are starting to catch up to the British nations. They can all play bowls now."

Disappointed England skip, Stephen Farish, said: ďThe Scottish boys were playing well but we just managed to keep our noses in front coming into the last end. We felt like we were putting them under pressure and everything was going well until Alex Marshall came up to bowl."

ďHe drew in three brilliant bowls and all that was left for us to do was to try and take them out. I had two goes at it, but just couldnít make the shot."

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