Midlothian stars Gaynor Duncan and Stacey McDougall made a bold effort to bring the ladies Scottish indoor bowls 2Bowl Pairs title back to the Dalkeith Stadium for the first time; but fell at the final hurdle. Their dreams of glory denied by the defending champions.
The climax to a clutch of national championships were hosted by Paisley IBC and the Midlothian interest in the ladies 2Bowl Pairs saw international colleagues Duncan and McDougall face an opening semi final challenge against Laura Hall and Gail Notman of East Kilbride. The Midlothian champions opened in strong fashion and cheered up their support with a 4-1 lead that progressed into an almost nailed on first set winning opportunity at 5-2 entering the last end. However a dramatic hike in the match temperature came as a result of East Kilbride conjuring up a magic count of three that forced the opening set into an extra-end decider – the outcome of which was a winning (6-5) single to Midlothian. Midlothian treated the fright of their lives experience as a wake up call and a suitably inspired response saw McDougall skip Duncan to a runaway 11-0 victory on the second set – clinching the match with a super-duper run of 2, 4, 1, 2, 2.
The final was expected to bring an encounter against defending champions Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton of Arbroath and that is what transpired with The Smokies partnership delivering a two sets to nil win over Carol Condy and Janette Bray of Coatbridge in their semi final. Arbroath’s path into the final had also been endangered by the threat of a first set stumble having had to pull out all of the stops to clinch their 6-5 win via an extra-end single. They went on to dominate the second set and won it, 8-2.
The final started badly for Midlothian in the shape of a 6-1 deficit after four ends but expectations soared with a spirited 2, 2, fight back to 5-6 however a tension filled last end saw Arbroath edge a single to win the set, 7-5. Hopes of a second set revival were never fuelled by shots appearing on the Midlothian side of the scorecard, in fact the experienced Dalkeith partnership only managed to count one single in a 6-1 loss. “Losing out in a national final certainly brings pain and dampens your immediate spirits however there is no doubt that winning the title two years in a row is great feat for which Leanne and Caroline must be congratulated”, echoed the Midlothian duo.