Midlothian’s campaign in the East section of the Cities and Counties Bowls Championship got off to a disappointing start as they are nursing the wounds of a 115-111 defeat at the hands of Fife County at Strathmiglo.
The 21 end confrontation across the six rinks produced a knife-edged encounter with Midlothian always knocking on the door of victory but unable to cope with the pressures of an exciting climax as last end drama tipped the match scales in favour of the Fifers. Wins for the Midlothian rinks skipped by Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker were good ones and Colin MacFarlane only went down by a single shot but double figure defeats for David Peacock, Kevin McDougall, and Ramsay Blair cost the visitors dear. “We crossed the Forth quietly confident of obtaining a favourable result and the outlook did look good for us on occasions but there was a lack of sharpness in some areas and Fife County punished us for that”, reflected team manager Drew Pearson. Midlothian made an encouraging start to lead 18-8 after two ends but they didn’t kick on as well as Pearson hoped albeit they did enough to capture the first of the three seven-end phases, 40-33.
The rinks skipped by Blair and McDougall struggled to get to grips with their respective oppositions (4-8 and 5-10), and it was an early signal that along with Peacock this wasn’t going to be their day. Duncan and Walker remained strong in their second phase contributions (13-4 and 10-4) but MacFarlane (3-10), and Peacock (3-11), joined Blair (2-7) and McDougall (4-9), on the slippy slope to a 45-35 fight back by the home team. The outcome of the match did remain in a melting pot situation as the battle for supremacy was ding-dong and end 15 produced the tightrope situation of an 82-82 peel on the major scoreboard.
End 16 promised to be a game-changer in favour of Midlothian with Blair and Walker both contributing a 5 and McDougall a 4 towards a 15-5 count across the green that pushed the visitors into a 10 shot lead (97-87). Midlothian were unable to turn the screw but still managed to take a 2 shot lead into the final end (109-107) but a nightmare climax saw a 2-8 collapse cost them a four shot defeat. Duncan celebrated the major highlight of a carding a magnificent 7 at end 14 as he went on to skip Jamie MacNab, David Lawrence, and Danny McDougall to an impressive 33-12 win over Tom Pettigrew. Walker included a run of 3, 2, 5, to accelerate into a 23-10 lead after 16 ends and he went on to skip Neil Linton, Lindsay Plenderleith, and Craig Hodge to a 24-15 win over Andrew Pearson. MacFarlane made a great 1, 5, 1, 1, 1 start to lead 9-0 but is still took a 2, 1, 1 finish to skip Tom Moffatt, Robert Campbell, and Colin Bonnar to damage limiting 17-16 defeat from James Forbes. Peacock carded six singles and three doubles in a 22-12 defeat from Gary Mackie; McDougall slipped from 6-10 to a 26-14 defeat from Wayne Hogg; Blair lost 4 at the last in a 23-12 defeat from David Comrie.