Russell strikes gold with Scottish hat-trick

Hayley Russell. Picture: Steve Reid (133367-513)
Hayley Russell. Picture: Steve Reid (133367-513)
Former Pompey player Eoin Hand, right

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Hayley Russell has secured her third Scottish Open victory.

The Hilsea talent returned to Livingston to complete a stunning hat-trick last month.

A gruelling competition, which saw her play 21 games in a day, ended in a comprehensive 225-pin success for Russell.

She admitted the familiar surroundings of the venue played a major part in her run to glory – even if she faced a string of new opponents.

Russell said: ‘It was nice to go back somewhere where I have some positive memories.

‘It was quite daunting, though, as there were a few more girls this year.

‘I started to get really tired at the end.

‘It was 21 games we played in a day, that’s a lot to take.

‘I was still winning but I remember thinking I was getting really lazy.

‘But I got the energy from somewhere and punched in these three great last strikes.

‘I ended up winning by 225 pins.

‘It was a great experience and really exciting as it was my first win with my married name.

‘Everyone knew me as Hayley White but I wanted a new beginning as Hayley Russell.’

After nine qualifying games, Russell was already 100 pins ahead of her rivals.

The field was cut to eight after qualifying with the Portsmouth star moving through in top spot.

By the time the competition was reduced to the final four, Russell had built up a 180-pin cushion.

At this stage she faced the fourth-ranked player – and was given a shock.

‘She bowled a really big game – 265 pins to my 190,’ said Russell.

‘In one game she got 95 pins back on me. I didn’t know what was happening!’

However, Russell refocused to win her remaining games and make sure of the title.

The prolific bowler has no immediate plans to target more honours, though.

She said: ‘I have enough rivalry at home – my husband is a bowler.

‘I’m still playing tournaments and other things but it’s more of a watch this space really.

‘Who knows what could happen?’