STEWART MEIKLE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL READERS A HAPPY CHRISTMAS
Balbardie IBC stars Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Craig were in sparkling form to serve up a hat trick of dazzling performances to capture the qualifying honours in the playdown action of the Ladies 4Bowl Scottish Pairs Championship.Read More
Parading their skills at Midlothian IBC the Bathgate based partnership conjured up magic wins over Lanarkshire, Stirling, and East Fife to book their place in the showcase stage of the national championship down for decision at Coatbridge in the New Year.
Saturday the 24th of February sets up the exciting opportunity for the highly successful Leitch/Craig partnership to go on an capture the coveted Scottish Title for a third time having triggered celebrations in 2006 and 2011 and just failing to do so in last seasons final.
Their pathway into the section final at the Dalkeith Stadium commenced with a super-charged display that powered them to a commanding 24-14 win over Maureen Stark and Joyce Brand of Lanarkshire. Stirling presented the second round opposition but their duo of J Dunn and M Holden suffered a crushing 25-7 defeat at the hands of the fired up Balbardie champions. The section final produced an epic encounter between four players of International class status with Leitch (9 caps) and Craig (30) going head to head with the East Fife partnership of Karen McAndrew (3) and Celia Smith (54). East Fife looked set for victory holding an 18-13 lead with three ends to play; but Balbardie staged a spectacular escape to a 19-18 victory by combining a ‘never say die’ spirit with strong nerve and brilliant stroke conversion play. Leitch dominated the build up of the third last end but saw her efforts ruined when Smith ditched the jack to hold a single; but the shot bowl – a non toucher – was on the carpet and Craig brilliantly bulleted it out to card a double to 15.
Craig faced further intense pressure on the penultimate end but thrilled the enthralled banking with a spectacular double-bowl take out that yielded a 3 shot reward to 18-18. The knife-edge situation of peels playing the last saw the Dalkeith Stadium become a cauldron of excited anticipation and the closing scene of the drama saw Leitch and Craig edge a nail-biting single to bask in the limelight of a winners applause.
The opposition in the semi finals comes in the shape of Rosie wood and Catherine McIntosh of Stonehaven while Janette Weadon and Jean McFedries of Galleon face Anne Marie Taggart and Laura Welsh of Whiteinch.
Meanwhile West Lothian IBC champions Ann Muirhead and Jenifer Richardson defeated Headwell in the prelim round but lost to Galleon in the first round proper.
Play in the Gents equivalent saw West Lothian’s Cameron Greer and Calum Logan edged out 20-19 by Galleon in the prelim round while Brian Craig and Sandy McDougall of Balbardie made a 21-20 exit to Abbeyview in the first round.