Midlothian ladies stepped up their defence of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup with a strong performance that powered them into the quarterfinals stage with a spectacular 50 shot victory (106-56) over Edinburgh challengers Bainfield at The Alex Marshall Arena in East Lothian.
The result was a formbook one with the class attack style that reflected the premier league status of Midlothian dwarfing the bold and determined but unsustainable effort produced by a Bainfield opposition that had finished third in Division 1C. “Bainfield did make their presence felt against us an did manage to get their nose in front during the early stages of the match but we eventually got their measure on all four rinks and finished commanding winners”, reflected Midlothian team captain Shona Johnstone.
Johnstone went on to point out that the high quality performance delivered by the cup holders was welcomed in great delight by the Midlothian camp as team selection had become a nightmare with several late call-offs. The absence of Ellie Borthwick, Margaret Porter, and legend figure Janette Conlan was covered by call-ups for Norma Shillinglaw, Mary Clement, and Rose McGlashan; but led to a restructure across the four rinks.
It was a welcome stabilizing factor and confidence booster however that all four regular Midlothian skips were on parade in the shape of the tried and trusted Sandra McLeish, Annie Rutherford, Stacey McDougall, and team leader Shona Johnstone. McLeish – she of TV Umpire fame and winner of 36 caps – stepped up to the plate in magnificent style to deliver an inspirational performance in skipping Sandra Muir, Norma Shillinglaw, and Grace McGregor to a massive 22 shot victory. It greatly helped the Midlothian cause that the victim of the McLeish onslaught was Bainfield’s icon figure Mandy O’Donnell and her rink of Heather Stoddart, Chloe Thomson, and Rita Reid.
McLeish first threw down the gauntlet with a run of 1, 1, 6 to lead 8-1 after four ends but peels were called at 8-8 before an explosive response from the Midlothian rink resulted in an extended blitz spell of 3, (2), 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 1, 3 that demolished O’Donnell and Co, 32-10. Rutherford also inflicted double figure pain on Bainfield having skipped Dorothy Millar, Rose McGlashan, and Annette Wilson on a run of 3, 4, 3, 3, 1 to lead 14-5 then stay on strongly to score a 29-14 victory over Davina Crawford, Betty Eaton, Isobel Anderson, and Marion Dickson.
McDougall found the early stages tough going against Gladys Christie, Cathie Falconer, Isa Wilson, and Anne Watson but battled back from 4-9 to 12-11 then having dropped a five responded with a six as she skipped Lorna Goldsmith, Mary Clement, and May Brownlee to a 26-19 victory. Johnstone made it a four out of four supremacy by skipping Elaine Young, Alison Plenderleith, and Janette McVicar to a 19-13 win over Aimee Roberston, Karen Tumblety, Susan Allan, and Anna Anderson.