Circumstances reduced the playing schedule of Balbardie IBC trio Kim Ross, Sharon Leitch, and Commonwealth Games internationalist Lorraine Malloy to two matches but they won them both to reach the last four stage of the Scottish indoor bowls Triples ChampionshipRead more
Wins over Auchinleck and Midlothian were hard earned with both trios strongly formed and representing the toughest of opposition. West of Scotland IBC was the venue for their playdown action and having already received a bye into the first round proper the Balbardie trio were informed that they were receiving a walkover against Bainfield. Bainfield having taken the decision to withdraw when learning the distressing and disturbing news that lead player Ann Watson had been hospitalised on the day of play as a consequence of a bad fall when taking her dog for an early morning walk. “I slipped on an icy patch of ground and knocked myself unconscious for a spell but did come around then was taken to the A&E for examination that fortunately ruled out any broken bones however I am left bruised and sore”, informed the Bainfield star later. “It was a frightening situation at the time but my husband did get word of my accident and condition to my playing colleagues Mandy O’Donnell and Anna Anderson hoping they could arrange a substitute but their concern for me was such that they decided not to proceed without me and I find that very touching”, she added. Watson had won the national title twice under the Midlothian banner and the former cap had entertained high hopes of helping Bainfield achieve a first in the event. The Bathgate based club have also yet to celebrate a title triumph in the Triples discipline but Leitch and Malloy have experienced the joy of national glory on three occasions, twice in the 4Bowl Pairs and once in the 2 Bowl Pairs. “We compete in the final stages at Lanarkshire IBC on the weekend of Saturday March 28 and its great that we are in with a chance of etching the Balbardie name on the silverware but that will be difficult to achieve as the competition is tough”, said Leitch. The semi finals pitch the Balbardie triple against Blantyre while Falkirk face Stonehaven. The play at WOS saw the Auchinleck trio of Carrie McLean, Hannah Smith, and Isabel McKnight put up a strong performance to lead Balbardie by one shot going into the second last end but Malloy and Co hit the front with a count of 4 then conceded a single to win 16-14. Balbardie probably lined up in the section final as the underdogs against the multi capped Midlothian trio of Gaynor Duncan (15), Jeanette Conlan (72), and three times title winner Sandra McLeish (36). But it was Ross/Leitch/Malloy that hit the ground running to establish a good early lead then a sensible switch to a defensive style of play saw them win 17-9. Midlothian had walked over against Irvine then reached the section finals with wins over Inverclyde (18-11), and Headwell (17-16). East Lothian were defending the national title but their 2015 campaigners Agnes McLeod, Jean Russell, and Janet Fairnie made a 16-11 exit to East Fife in the first round at Perth. The West Lothian banner was prominent though at Perth with Wendy Purdie skipping her mum Sandra and Jennifer Sneddon to wins over Lanarkshire (19-15) and East Fife (17-16) to reach the section final. The final against Jane Brooksby, Maureen Leishman, and Vicki Leishman of Falkirk was an epic battle that went right down to the wire with West Lothian losing 13-12 after an extra-end decider.