Northern Ireland won their second medal of the Games but had to settle for silver after South Africa won 19-10 in the men's triples bowls final.
The defeat meant a losing end to retiring skip Neil Booth's international career in triples.
Along with Paul Daly and Neil Mulholland, Booth, 46, helped narrow the gap to 14-10 with four ends to go.
But South Africa held on to take gold while Wales beat Australia 16-13 in the third and fourth place match.
The Wales trio of Paul Taylor, Jonathan Tomlinson and Marc Wyatt trailed for the only time after the seventh end before pulling clear to claim their country's first bowling medal of the Games.
Northern Ireland skip Booth was hoping to clinch a second Commonwealth Games gold medal 16 years after his fours triumph in Kuala Lumpur.
However, they were always in arrears against the South Africans as Bobby Donnelly, Prince Nelounde and Petrus Breitenbach collected the Rainbow Nation's sixth gold of Glasgow 2014.
The South Africans picked up 11 shots in the space of seven ends to surge 14-3 ahead.
Booth's men responded with seven shots in three ends to raise faint hopes of a comeback, but a double for South Africa in the 15th exchange put them back on course for victory.
The Northern Irish skip acknowledged that disappointment was his immediate emotion after the game but said that his team should look back on the triples campaign with "pride".
"Irish bowls is in safe hands," said Booth of his younger team-mates Daly and Mulholland.
"These guys are super players and they will go on to win many more medals."
The NI women's triples team of Donna McCloy, Barbara Cameron and Jennifer Dowds lost their opening pool match to England.