It’s not that long ago that Midlothian dominated the ladies indoor bowls premier league scene with a hat trick of title wins in 2005/6/7 and again in 2010/11/12 but a lean spell since looks set to continue following the weekends defeat from Auchinleck.
Auchinleck emerged clear cut winners celebrating a 38 shot triumph (101-63) that pushed them two points clear of the chasing pack having won five of their six games while Midlothian’s third defeat left them four points adrift of the leaders. Midlothian had lost the first match of the season at home to Auchinleck so expectations of gaining revenge on their visit to Ayrshire weren’t high and not helped by the absence of several major players.
The missing persons included international stars Jeanette Conlan and Sandra McLeish and they were joined for one reason or another by May Brownlee, Liz France, plus Pat and Susan Liddle. Midlothian took the chance to give further experience to teenagers Elle Borthwick and Lorna Goldsmith and in terms of sheer determination the presence of Charlene Williamson so soon after undergoing surgery was both admirable and commendable.
“We travelled knowing that a win by 15 shots would put us top of the league on shot margin and we did have a self belief but knowing it was a tall order for a team line up that due to circumstances was experimental”, said spokeswoman Shona Johnstone. Johnstone and fellow skips Stacey McDougall and Margaret Porter all lost while Annie Rutheford emerged from a hard fought battle with a peel.
The first phase of the match flashed a warning single to Midlothian with the visitors showing 29-20 adrift on the master scoreboard after the opening seven-ends and their situation became more dire as the home team dominated the second phase, 37-15.
Midlothian enjoyed their best spell on the third and final phase but still didn’t get the measure of an opposition that wont it, 35-28. McDougall (Stacey) and her rink of Lorna Goldsmith, Mary Clement, and Alison Plenderleith suffered extremely lean times in a crushing 33-11 defeat that saw them count at only five of the 21-ends against Sophie William.
Johnstone (Shona) and her front-three of Elle Borthwick, Charlene Williamson, and Janette McVicar were within striking distance at 9-9 and 12-15 but only added one shot for the loss of 9 on the run in and slipped to a 24-13 defeat from Hannah Smith. Porter (Margaret) carded 2, 5 to skip Sandra Muir, Norma Shillinglaw, and Grace McGregor into contention at 14-17 after 15-ends and caused a stir with another five at end 19 to peel at 20-20 but slipped to a 25-20 defeat from Heather Kay. Rutherford (Annie) carried the fight into the home camp to skip Dorothy Miller, Elaine Young, and Annette Wilson into a 15-12 lead after 15-ends but finally settled for a 19-19 peel with Isabel McKnight.