Scotland bowlers maintain perfect record as they advance to knockouts of Commonwealth Games

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Scotland's Neil Speirs (L) and David Peacock react to a ball thrown by teammate Darren Burnett during the mens' Triples Lawn Bowling competition against India at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT)
Scotland's Neil Speirs (L) and David Peacock react to a ball thrown by teammate Darren Burnett during the mens' Triples Lawn Bowling competition against India at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT)

By James Reid, Sportsbeat

It was all smiles in Leamington as Scotland’s lawn bowls men’s triples eased through to the knockout stages of the Commonwealth Games with a perfect record.

Stewart Anderson, Iain McLean, and Darren Burnett edged out New Zealand 15-14 in a thrilling final end to seal their third win from three and progress to the quarterfinals in style.

It was the first time the trio had looked remotely troubled at Victoria Park, after easing past Malta and India on Friday, and 2018 gold medallist Burnett is pleased with their early form.

“We’ve played well every game,” said Burnett. “That is what we’re here to do. It is not as easy as it sounds but we got there.

“It was good to get over the line in a game like that – we knew we topped the group regardless but when you are playing against a country like that, this could be the quarter-final, semi-final, or the final so it’s good to get one over the line.

“The guys were amazing again so if they keep that up, we’re going to be hard to beat.”

The lead constantly changed first-hand rink six, with neither team able to pull clear of the other until Scotland won the final end by a point to seal victory.

The final end was met with a mighty cheer from the crowd which contained a vocal Scottish contingent, something McLean believes will help their performances.

“It’s brilliant, it really is,” said McLean. “It’s the extra man and great to have that support.

“You feel good when you’ve got people cheering you on, and when you feel good you play well and I think that showed.

“When you’ve got those people there it spurs you on to win the game.

“We played a cracking last end there with the pressure on us, we’ve all played well – it’s confidence that if you’re in that situation again you know you can do it.”

The trio now face a wait to see who they will face in Sunday’s quarterfinals, where they will hope to progress to Monday’s medal matches.

Scotland took gold in the event in 2018 and will be the ones to beat but Anderson insists they are just focused on their own game.

“Everybody will be looking at us as the team to beat, but we don’t – we just look at every team and try and beat every team,” said Anderson.

“We can get better every game that we play but I think we played rather well in the first three games.

“A pressure game there and now we look forward to the quarter-final draw, and whoever we play we’ll be at the top of our game as always.”

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