Midlothian IBC is strongly served by its ladies section and their latest title contribution came at the weekend with a magnificent team performance at Dundee to capture The Scottish Cup against Auchinleck in a hard fought final
The final outcome was a 71-63 victory for Midlothian with the winning contributions from the rinks skipped by Stacey Laidlaw and Jeanette Conlan more than covering the losses Auchinleck inflicted upon Sandra McLeish and Shona Johnstone. The match was a classic encounter of epic proportion with the running information on the major scoreboard reflecting a battle for supremacy that was being fought out on a knife-edge from start to finish. The glamour end of season climax to the ladies indoor bowls season was enhanced by the high echelon reputation of both teams with each a giant of the premier league, and
Auchinleck the defending cup champions. Peels were called at 17-17 after five ends then from 27-26 after eight a three end run of 6-2, 4-1, 3-2 pushed Midlothian into an encouraging nine shot lead (40-31) however stayed in the picture with a 6-1 reply on end 12. Midlothian couldn’t shake off their rivals and end 17 saw Auchinleck card a 6-2 across the carpet that edged them into a 54-53 lead thereby keeping the temperature of the final at a melting pot high level. The lead changed hands on end 18 with Midlothian carding 5-3 to cross 58-57 then the Dalkeith support cheered their stadiums elite to a cup clinching finish of 5-1, 4-1, 4-4.
The phase analysis of the final shows Midlothian edged out 22-24 over the first seven-ends but answer that pressure with a 25-18 capture of the second then put up a strong resistance to celebrate a 24-21 success on the third. “Auchinleck kept us under constant pressure all the way but a strong mixture of skill and spirit saw us deliver a brilliant team performance and a memorable first time title triumph in the cup”, reflected team captain Shona Johnstone. Stacey Laidlaw – recently crowned British Isles Junior Singles and Fours champion – set the foundation for Midlothian’s success by skipping Susan Liddle, Elian Young, and Kelly McDougall to a 20-11 win over H Kay. The highlight of their game coming in the shape of a purple patch spell that accelerated them from 10-5 up after nine ends to 20-6 after seventeen. Jeanette Conlan – Scotland’s most capped player – turned on the style when the pressure on her was at its highest, serving up a majestic 3, 1, 1, 3 finish to skip Dorothy Millar, Alicia Wilson, and Anne Rutherford to a 21-14 win over Jean Sykes.
Sandra McLeish dropped a single at the last to be piped 18-17 by J Williamson but just prior to that had skipped Sandra Muir, Norma Shillinglaw, and Grace McGregor to a gold value run of 2, 2, 2. Shona Johnstone slipped from 9-10 to 9-20 in a spell that will have disturbed he, and suffered a 20-13 defeat but she fulfilled her team captain role by skipping May Brownlee, Jeanette McVicar, and Gaynor Duncan to an inspired 2, 1, 1 finish when the match chips were really down.