by Garry Hood

FORMER Annbank bowler David Gourlay produced a week of stunning performances to take the World Bowls Tour's International Open title at Blackpool's Newton Hall Indoor Bowling Club for the fourth time, having also lost in four finals.

Gourlay- now based in Sitges on Spain's north east coast - started off the week with a 13-8, 7-5 win over fellow Scot Steven Allan before dispatching another fellow countryman in Wayne Hogg with a 7-6, 8-4 victory.

Next up was England's Mark Royal, and Gourlay won a tight game 8-7, 8-3 to book a semi final spot against England's on-form Nicky Brett.

The Englishman took the first set 8-7 before Gourlay hit back in the second with some telling bowls, taking the set 9-8 before booking his place in the final with a 2-0 tie break win,.

Only England's Jamie Chestney, who also scraped into the final on a tie break against Alex Marshall, now stood in Gourlay's way. However, the on form Gourlay wasn't going to be denied his 13th World Bowls Tour title, and the up and coming Englishman was dispatched in straight sets 11-9, 10-6.

Given that former World Indoor champion Gourlay only plays bowls in the WBT competitions now, and won't play bowls again until November, it makes his victory all the more remarkable.

Scotland's ladies side took the home international series when they defeated England 129-110 in the final match of the series in Wales. As is usually the case, both teams had defeated Wales and Ireland to set up the last day decider.