Balbardie IBC ladies served up a stunning performance to land a shock knockout blow that sent hot pre-match favourites East Lothian tumbling out of the Scottish Cup after their quarterfinal battle played at neutral venue, Bainfield.Read More
The 8-2 points win for Balbardie was a tale of the unexpected with wins for the rinks skipped by Lorraine Craig, Josie Bachini, and Sharon Leitch backed up by a handsome winning aggregate.
East Lothian’s form lines of finishing second to Midlothian and 10 points ahead of Balbardie in the recently completed East Premier League plus a victory over the strong Dalkeith outfit in the Cup suggested their Bathgate based opponents would be cannon fodder.
But the lite looking Balbardie line up turned out to be packed with super troopers and their aggressively high spirited enthusiasm overwhelmed an East Lothian team that had both class and backbone but were forced in most cases to operate on the back foot. “The final outcome was a fair result as Balbardie played an attacking game that we simply could not respond to”, reflected EL team manager Sheena Currie.
Craig was in effervescent mood to skip Betty Johnston, Nan Mitchell, and Helen Wilson to an inspiring 13 shot victory over recent World Bowls bronze medallist Lauren Baillie.
But the top skip acclaim was magnificently earned by Josie Bachini who was on song to call the tune in harmony with Sarajane Wright, Erin Fraser, and Margaret Scally in a 17 shot triumph over internationalist Yvonne Veitch.
Win number three came in the shape of a hard fought three shot victory for Irene Horsburgh, Helen Keys, Kim Ross, and Sharon Leith over Janet Fairnie. The only setback for Balbardie came in the shape of a 16 shot defeat at the hands of international star Emma Logan for the rink of Nicole Flannigan, Lynn McDougall, Delia Flannigan, and Angie Uttley.
The semi final date for the jubilant Balbardie squad is Saturday April 1 with East Fife IBC the venue and Aberdeen the opposition. The other challengers are, Coatbridge v Auchinleck.
Aberdeen IBC is the venue this weekend for the final stages of the National Championship disciplines of – ladies and gents – Pairs, Triples, Fours, and Under 18 Singles.
West Lothian IBC contest the gents Pairs with international stars Thomas Mann and Calum Logan going head to head in their semi final with fellow Scotland colleagues Robert Gordon and Robert Grant of Lanarkshire. Paul Foster MBE skips Craig Lindsay for Prestwick against Norman Barker and Michael Stepney of Elgin in the other semi final.
The Balbardie banner has a presence in the ladies Pairs and in the capable hands of 2006 and 2011 national champions Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Craig who face Michelle Keenan and Emma McIntyre of Dumbarton in their semi final. Midlothian and Arbroath contest the other semi final.
There is also a Balbardie challenge in the gents Triples and it represents a thrilling opportunity for Andrew Jenkins, Kenny Martin, and Ewan Shearer to parade their skills against East Lothian royalty in the shape of Mark Johnston, Willie Wood MBE, and Derek Oliver. It is Inverclyde v Garioch in the other semi final.