Wallace and Brown claim bowls Commonwealth gold for Scotland

Wallace and Brown claim bowls Commonwealth gold for Scotland

Scotland claimed its third gold medal of the Commonwealth Games as Kevin Wallace and Garry Brown beat Australia to win the para lawn bowls men’s pairs title.

Brown was only called up to the team just weeks before the Games after Garry Hood was removed, but the pair refused to let that get in their way.

The duo beat Australian pair Damien Delgado and Chris Flavel 16-7, claiming revenge for their group stage defeat.

It will take me a good long while to get that through my head,” said Brown.

“What a team, they’ve supported me all the way through it.

“A late call-up and the team just got together; Kevin basically guided me all the way through it.”

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, compromises of over 250 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Wallace and Brown hit it off immediately in Leamington Spa and looked contenders for the gold medal from the outset.

But Wallace believes they saved their best bowls for the final.

“I said during the week I was saving that wee bit for the final when I wasn’t playing great,” said Wallace. “Well, we delivered today.

“Garry smashed it, I’m so proud of him, stepping in late. You just know what you must do when you pull that Scotland top on.

“It means the world to us; it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

The pair were cheered on throughout by a strong and vocal Scottish contingent in the crowds that made it sound like the games were being held in Barrhead rather than Birmingham at times.

Wallace even had friends make the trip over from Spain to see him play in the final, and the duo believed such strong support made the difference.

“Kevin told me his friends were coming back from Spain for the final, and I was like ‘okay we need to win the gold then, don’t we?’”, joked Brown.

Such support might have seen others wilt under the pressure, but not Wallace and Brown, who remained calm amongst the idyllic surroundings of Victoria Park to claim Scotland’s third gold of the 2022 Games.

“We just played the game as it came, we knew they were going to be tough,” said Wallace. “They’re a great team but we really gelled today.

“We were phenomenal right from the word go. It’s a phenomenal achievement.”

There was also a medal for legendary pair Alex “Tattie” Marshall and Paul Foster, as they bounced back from a disappointing defeat in the men’s pairs semi-finals to take bronze.

The pair added yet another medal to their collections, now a combined total of 13, with a comfortable 25-5 victory over Northern Ireland’s Sam Barkley and Martin McHugh.

And the duo insisted they were always confident of victory in Leamington Spa.

“To get any medal at a Commonwealth Games is a great achievement,” said Foster, who won his sixth medal.

“[There was] disappointment from yesterday but we’re both experienced enough to put that behind us.

“We recharged last night, went through a few things, and then came out all guns blazing.

“Tattie played well today, I was happy with how I played, and we deserved to get the bronze medal.

“Any time I failed; Tattie was there to do the business.”

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