Gaw delighted to taste British Isles glory after pulling off a remarkable comeback
Cameron Gaw yesterday produced an astonishing revival to capture the British Isles Under-25 singles title at sunny Ayr Northfield.
The Donaghadee lad was staring down the barrel of defeat against an in-form Danny Mills when he took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Mills built up a substantial 20-14 lead after 23 gruelling ends, played in ridiculous temperatures, and the young Englishman required merely one more shot to get him over the finish line.
The red and white ribbons were already being prepared when Gaw went to work.
He picked up two singles, a two, another single, and, with Mills visibly wilting in the Scottish sunshine, Gaw produced a killer double on the 28th end to claim a famous victory.
"It will take some time for this to sink in," he said. "To be honest, I'd almost given up hope but thought, 'At least I'll go down with a fight'.
"When I managed to pull a few shots back, Danny started to become frustrated, so I kept at it and it paid off. This is one of the best victories of my life."
And it was a great day for Irish teenage sensation Colm O'Brien, who picked up the Youth Singles (Under-18) trophy for the first time.
He turned in a sublime showing to defeat Scotland's David Eaton, ensuring Ireland would keep a firm grip on the title won by Jack Moffett 12 months ago.
However, Terry Crawford and Gary Eaton failed to make it a hat-trick.
They were involved in a hectic battle with Jersey's Ross Davis and Malsom de Sousa for 15 ends - the score was 12-12 - but when the Salisbury boys dropped a count of six on the next end, it snapped their challenge.
Results: Singles: K James (Wales) 8 L Ridout (England) 21.
Under-18 singles: C O'Brien (Ireland) 21 D Eaton (Scotland) 18.Under-25 singles: C Gaw (Ireland) 21 D Mills (England) 20
Pairs: T Crawford, G Eaton (Ireland) 12 R Davis, Malcolm D Sousa (Jersey) 20.
Triples: R Owen (Wales) 25 T Greechan (Jersey) 9.
Fours: J Hogg (Scotland) 21 M Le Ber (Guernsey) 10.
Senior fours: D Snell (England) 17 J Prunty (Scotland) 14.
Meanwhile, buoyed by his fantastic performance yesterday, young Gaw will this morning pull on the shirt of his country for the first time when Ireland face Wales in their opening match in the Home International Series.
He is one of three new caps involved in the clash. Gaw is joined by Matthew Hastings and Jack Moffett, while Gary McCloy, Colin Hogg and Stephen Millane are recalled to the side.
Even though Neil Booth's boys racked up an impressive 133-98 win against England last season at Leamington Spa, they could still only manage to finish in third place.
The Irish boss is hoping to fare better this time.
"It was a case of so near, yet so far," said Booth. "We were narrowly beaten by both Wales and Scotland in our two other games, so were not far away."
Today: Home International Series: Morning session: Scotland v England; Ireland v Wales.
Afternoon session: Scotland v Wales; England v Ireland.