The thrills and spills in the first round proper of the ladies Scottish Cup included a bold effort from Balbardie IBC that saw the Bathgate based club suffer a dramatic 14 shot defeat (89-75) from defending champions Midlothian at Edinburgh venue Bainfield.
The margin of victory suggests a comfortable win for last seasons cup winners however it paints a false picture of the melting pot situation entering the 18th end of the 21 end confrontation with Balbardie in with a strong chance of securing a shock victory.
The master scoreboard was showing a 17th end match total of 63-62 in favour of a Division 1 Balbardie team that was sending nervous ripples though the ranks of their Premier League opposition. The winning post was in sight and the momentum going into the final straight was in Balbardie’s favour with the underdogs recovering from a 34-23 loss of the first seven-end phase with a strong 29-19 fight back on the second.
The single shot minus entering the third phase was turned into a single shot plus with a battling 11-9 capture of ends 15, 16 and 17 thereby setting the scene for a final push to clinch what would deservedly be acclaimed as a memorable victory.
The mounting drama did unfold in the shape of a grandstand finish and it was spectacular in style; but sadly it was delivered by Midlothian with the cup holders exploding to a 27-12 superiority that powered them into the second round.
Midlothian’s devastation of the Balbardie challenge was concentrated on just one of the four rinks and astonishingly it was delivered in the shape of a 15-0 crushing of the normally rock solid rink skipped by the formidable Sharon Leitch.
The entire third phase was a catastrophe for former Scotland Cap and her front three of Catherine Lochran, Catherine Shearer, and Kim Ross who were whacked 18-1 on that period having shaped up as being the stars of the show with a 23-7 domination of Annie Rutherford over the previous 14-ends. The 25-24 defeat of the Balbardie trailblazers left Margo Duff as the only positive contributor with the icon figure making a strong recovery from 11-1 down to skip Betty Johnston, Ally Blagg, and Gillian Hamilton to a 23-17 over international star Sandra McLeish.
Angie Uttley did come close to a win but the handicap of a 2-10 setback on the opening phase kept her and her rink of Nan Mitchell, Sarajane Wright, and Lyn McDougall against the collar in a 20-16 defeat from International star Stacey McDougall. Uttley’s sister Delia Flannigan did have Christine Smellie, Lynn Sinclair, and Margaret Scally in touch at 8-10 but that promising effort wasn’t sustained in a 27-12 defeat from opposition captain Shona Johnstone.
Whitburn BC is the venue for 134th AGM of The West Lothian Bowling Association being held tomorrow night (Friday) at 7pm and Secretary Davy Doyle looks forward to a strong turnout of the member clubs.