Veteran and past national champion Ken Walker proved the old dog is still alive when he reached the final of the UK Open Singles.
Walker (77) was in fine form, showing touches of the old master with straight sets victories in all his matches.
Walker will face Southland champion Brian Harvey in the decider on August 20.
Unlike Walker, Harvey stumbled a bit on his journey, securing his place in the final with a series of tie-breaks as he progressed from the other side of the draw.
A nervous start meant he lost the first set of the day against David Natta 10-4, but came back in the second to turn the score in his favor and take the tie-break, which he won 2-1.
Staying alive in the competition didn’t get any easier for Harvey in his second round game against Queenstown’s Nick Buttar in a match that ebbed and flowed before Harvey progressed 2-0 in the tiebreak.
Harvey’s progress to the final led to another epic meeting with Ross Brown in the semi-finals.
After losing the first set 0-10, Harvey survived to win the hard-fought second set 9-7 to force a tie-break, which he won 2-0 to advance to the final.
It wasn’t such a productive weekend for Black Jack and tournament favorite Sheldon Bagri-Hawley, who lost at the UK Open Singles quarter-final stage to Canterbury Under-26’s Liam O’Connor 9-8, 1-11, 2-0.
It was a poor start to the weekend for Bagri-Hawley, who was knocked out in the first round of the fast and furious singles in Shanghai by Tommy McGregor 26-17 and Grant Simpson 31-26 on Friday night. Simpson advanced to the semifinals when he was eliminated by Battar 31-17.
Battar then defeated Gareth Seddon 31-27 and Brent McEwan 31-21 in the final to retain the title he won last year.
But in the final act of the weekend, Bagri-Hawley (27) won the regional Scottish singles, coming straight from the top drawer.
Showing little respect for his opponents at the top of the draw, he went through the competition without dropping a single set. His only test came in the second set of the final, which pitted him against Central Otago’s Ethan Flynn (29) in a battle of the next generation of representative bowlers.
After Bagree-Hawley won the first set 11-4, Flynn responded with a strong draw game that forced Bagree-Hawley to play deep, only to prevent the set from going to a tiebreak when he hit a draw shot with his final cup to lock the settings to 9-9.
But there is consolation for Flynn as when the national finals are held in Invercargill in September, Bagri-Howley will be on the Gold Coast playing for the Black Jacks in the World Bowls Championship and will not be able to play in the national final.
By finishing second, Flynn automatically earns a place in the Scottish Singles National Final with a chance to compete in the World Final later this year if he wins it.
Last year’s Scottish regional singles champion, Murray Wilson, failed to make it past the second round of the Scotland and Great Britain competition.