Scottish bowlers confident for Gold Coast medal challenge

Scotland's World Championship bowls team with their medals
Scotland returned with one silver and four bronze medals

Alex Marshall thinks winning five medals in the harsh conditions of Christchurch will prepare Scotland well for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Scots won one silver and four bronzes at the World Bowls Championships in New Zealand.

"I thought the team did fantastically well to medal in five of the eight events and just to miss out in the other three," said captain Marshall.

"It was a great team effort in difficult conditions."

Marshall was one of three former world indoor singles champions in the Scotland squad and was a double gold medal winner at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

But he was satisfied with the medal haul, including his own bronzes in the pairs and fours, in New Zealand despite the lack of golds.

"You were playing in 50-60mph winds, so conditions were very different to what they are in the UK, so we are very pleased," Marshall told BBC Scotland.

"I was very happy with two bronze medals - playing with Paul Foster in the pairs and just missing out by a couple of shots to the Aussies and we got well beat by the Kiwis in the final of the fours, but the score wasn't a fair reflection."

Lesley Doig
Lesley Doig was Scotland's top performer in her first international

Although Marshall captained the Scots in New Zealand, he still has to win a place in the Scotland team to compete in Australia's Gold Coast.

"I am 50 next year, so I'm getting on a bit now, but I try to improve each year I play and hopefully I'll be selected for Broad Beach and it is something I'll look forward to," he said.

"It is going to be very hard back over in the southern hemisphere, but I think we will be more prepared as we've been there before and we'll be going over with plenty of confidence."

Representing Scotland for the first time, Lesley Doig was her country's top performer in New Zealand, winning silver in the women's singles and taking bronze in the pairs along with Lauren Baillie.

However, she is not taking it for granted that she will be on the plane for the Gold Coast.

"I didn't expect to be coming home with a silver and bronze, so I definitely achieved more than I expected and I'm really chuffed," she said.

"There's a lot of good up-and-coming players in Scotland, so you can never assume anything.

"But, if I stick in and keep playing well, hopefully I'll make it into that team.

"You are out there playing against the best players in the world, so to have beaten some of them out there means everything."

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