SCOTLAND’s under-25 gents’ bowlers have set the bar for the Home Nations after completing a record-extending four-in-a-row streak at the junior international series, writes Matt Osborne.

The squad headed for Glasgow Indoor Bowling Club in the hope of replicating the whitewash victory the squad achieved the last time that the Mount Florida club held the series back in 2015.

On that occasion, all four Scotland rinks remained unbeaten for the entire weekend.

The squad of 2024 was well on track to emulate that success and etch their names into the history books following a 94-53 dismantling of Wales, with all four rinks containing East Lothian representatives in Aaron Betts, Lewis Betts, Danny Stevenson and Dean Riva.

They lined up for the afternoon session against Ireland with their eyes firmly on the prize.

The four rinks once again cleaned the board on their way to a 110-48 win and effectively put one hand on the trophy before facing England.

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The Scots remained the only unbeaten team after two games and knew that a win, draw or even a small scoring loss against their English counterparts on Sunday would be enough to secure the Joyce Brimble Trophy for the fourth series in a row.

England knew they would need a 50-plus shot victory over Scotland in the final session if they were to have any chance of snatching the title.

The visitors raced out of the blocks and hit the front with a 10-shot lead over the opening exchanges.

But Scotland began to impose the performances that had seen them blow away Ireland and Wales on the Saturday and quickly had themselves level and then marginally ahead before reaching the halfway point.

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All four Scottish skips were looking for that perfect series and that looked a distinct possibility as all edged ahead in their individual games.

The close encounter would mean a certain Scotland series win; however, the Scottish squad were firmly focused on finishing the series with victory over England.

Playing end 21 across the carpet, the perfect series was still on the line and hopes of emulating the 2015 whitewash very much alive.

Aaron Betts alongside Ryan Langdon, Blair Davidson and Bradley Buchan, did complete their perfect series with a third victory against England.

The remaining three rinks narrowly missed out by single-shot margins but it was more than enough to see the entire Scotland squad secure the Brimble Trophy for a record-breaking fourth successive time ahead of a youthful-looking Wales side.

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Meanwhile, closer to home, East Lothian and Midlothian ladies lock horns this weekend at Meadowmill for a place in the knockout stages of the Greengauge Scottish League.

The two are separated by shot difference at the top of the table and both sides have only lost one game in the season so far. Play is scheduled for a 2pm start.

Finally, the East Lothian gents will complete their league section as they head to Blantyre in their final fixture.

Mathematically, progression is possible but it would require a series of fortunate results, as well as a sizeable win at the tricky Blantyre carpet.