Balbardie IBC ladies saw their dreams of achieving eventual indoor bowls Scottish Cup glory snuffed out by a 7-3 points defeat at the hands of an Aberdeen opposition that tipped the scales with a stronger finish to their semi final played at the East Fife stadium in Methil.Read More
Pre-match the formbook had suggested a slight edge of favouritism in the direction of the Bathgate based team however that indication wasnt translated to where it matters, on the carpet, and the final outcome of one winning rink and one peel wasnt good enough. The picture that developed from the outset of the match was never a bleak one as the winning line was in sharp focus for both teams as they entered the final straight of the 21-end battle for supremacy. The 15-end snapshot showed Balbardie leading by 9 shots on one rink and 5 on another albeit deficits of 9 and 3 on the other two rinks reflected an epic encounter balanced finely on a knife-edge. The scoring system of 2 points for a win and one for a peel embraced the aggregate shot count of the match and at the 15 end- stage the master scoreboard signalled it was 59-57 in favour of Balbardie. Had the match finished at that point then Balbardie were into the final with a 6-4 victory.
But the final straight was six ends long and the that extended dash towards the finishing line turned out to be punishing one for a Balbardie team that if not running out of steam entirely did suffer damaging setbacks. The stand in return to action of icon figure Margo Duff was heading for a happy outcome as she skipped Sarajane Wright, 13 year old Erin Fraser, and late substitute Morven Shearer into a 16-9 lead over Mary Legge. However a barren spell that lasted an unexpected six ends cost Duff and Co the loss of 9 shots and brought the rink under serious pressure at 18-16 down with two ends to play. Their 1, 1 revival to rescue an 18-18 peel was a spirited one however a win was needed.
Scotland star Lorraine Craig and her front-three of Margaret Armstrong, Nan Mitchell, and Helen Wilson made a disappointing start to trail 15-6 after 12-ends but raised hopes of a strong fight back with a 1, 2, 3 rally to 12-15 however the revival was short lived. The rinks six-end run-in became an experience of nightmare proportions with a single the only answer to losses of 1, 1, (1), 3, 6, 1 that sentenced them to a 27-13 defeat from Lorraine Mearns. The damage was double-edged as the 12-1 setback had a major influence on the shot-aggregate outcome that finished 84-77 in favour of Aberdeen.
Angie Uttley was the Balbardie high-flyer with the former cap skipping Lynn McDougall, Irene Horsburgh, and (sister) Delia Flannigan into an inspiring 20-11 lead then delivering a commanding 26-15 victory over Ann Gauld. Sharon Leitch and her rink of Catherine Lochran, Helen Keys, and Kim Ross were caught cold from the outset and suffered a chilling 19-3 punishment from Margaret Durward after only nine ends played. Leitch and Co did extremely well to win the remaining 12-ends, 17-5; but it came too late to avoid a 24-20 defeat although it did give the team a fighting chance to snatch the match aggregate points. Coatbridge beat title favourites Auchinleck with a 6-4 upset in the other semi final played at Dumbarton. The final takes place at Perth this Saturday.