Midlothian ladies stepped up their defence of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup with a strong team performance to beat neighbour club East Lothian by a comfortable 16 shot margin (99-83) in the quarterfinals match played at Edinburgh venue Bainfield
The path into the semi finals was mapped out by winning performances on the rinks skipped by Stacey McDougall, Grace McGregor, and team captain Shona Johnstone with the only blip being the defeat of Anne Rutherford by Alicia Irvine. The final outcome did reflect the painting of the formbook picture with the Premier League status of the cup holders dwarfing the Division 1 ranking of an East Lothian team further challenged by the absence of star trio Emma Logan, Janet Fairnie, and Nancy McNeil.
Midlothian also faced selection challenges with the Dalkeith team missing familiar faces in high profile international figures in the shape of Jeanette Conlan and Sandra McLeish, joined on the absentee list by Margaret Porter. However the intensity of the clash was flavoured and heightened by its local derby context and the competitive rivalry served to ensure the exchanges were of high tempo and temperature, producing moments of great drama and thrilling excitement.
The opening exchanges tipped the scales menacingly in favour of Midlothian who produced a powerfu effort across the four rinks to capture the first seven-end phase, 46-25.
East Lothian did steady the ship on the second phase but Midlothian edged it 30-27 to take a substantial 24 shot lead into the third and final phase, a comfort zone that cushioned them against the bold 31-23 fight back from their garden county opponents. McDougall set the heather on fire for Midlothian over the first 10-ends and included telling counts of 5, 4, and 6 as she skipped Lorna Goldsmith, Alison Plenderleith, and Mary Brownlee into a 22-4 lead then onto a 29-18 win over Pat Turner, Catherine Jones, Rosemary Mackintosh, and Irene Gray.
McGregor carded a super 6 on end five but in company with Sandra Muir, Charlene Willimson, and Janette McVicar were soon rocked back onto their heels to trail 15-11 after nine ends to Margaret Devine, Irene Combe, Gillian Mackintosh, and Yvonne Veitch. But the Midlothian rink exploded back into the picture with a run of 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, 4, 1 to cross 24-15 and went on to win 26-18.
Johnstone struggled against the collar for the most part but produced a 4, 1, finish to skip Ellie Borthwick, Liz France, and Mary Clements to a 23-17 win over Mags Thomson.
Rutherford and her rink of Dorothy Millar, Elaine Young, and Annette Wilson, looked nailed on for victory at 17-3 up but losses that included 5, 1, (2), 4, 1, 7, 5 saw them collapse to a 30-21 defeat from Margaret Murray, Jean Russell, June Rutherford, and Irvine.