Lorna Smith, of Linlithgow and West Lothian, is the star female figure set to parade her skills in this weeks Finals Stage of the Bowls Scotland National Championships at Ayr Northfield with the former Word No1 bidding to capture the Singles crown for a fourth time in five years.Read More
Smith’s phenomenal feat of three title wins in a row was followed by a shock defeat in last years final and the question now being asked far and wide is “has her spell of dominance now been broken”. Mental Strength is a major feature of the Smith make up and combined with her supremely consistent high performance levels over many years there is an understandably air of self assurance about her play.
Smith’s shock defeat in the 2015 final does nothing to diminish her reputation as a giant of the sport but it did show that she is vulnerable when unable to hit top form and it may encourage her opponents to have a real go. Her first round test comes in the shape of fellow Scotland cap Lynn Lees of Townhill (Dunfermline) while other notable names in the 32 strong line up includes former national champions Karen Dawson of Denny (2003) and Marie Todd of Newtown St Boswells (2008). Hope springs eternal but ladies national title celebrations are extremely rare occasions in the Capital City with the Edinburgh fraternity of female bowlers notoriously shy of basking in the limelight of Scottish Championship success.
Mary Price of Sighthill did team up with her grandson John McDermott to capture The Mixed Pairs crown in 2014 and Mandy O’Donnell of Bainfield hoisted the Junior Singles Trophy above her head in 2010. It was, the since celebrated, French Lady Juliette Sharpe of Wardie that last brought the Singles title proper back to Edinburgh in 1967 so current campaigners Wilma MacDonald of Goldenacre and Hilda Melrose of Sighthill have massive time gap to bridge. Melrose has two bites of the cherry this week as she plays lead to her husband Adam in the Mixed Pairs and with that discipline swinging into action today it brings her the benefit of acclimatisation to the greens and the occasion.
Christine Curran of Polton is the spearhead figure for the Midlothian challenge in these championships while Louise Morgan of Cockenzie & Port Seton fills that role for East Lothian. It is the Edinburgh outskirts that enjoy the highest profiles in the quest to capture the Pairs Crown with West Lothian based three times champions Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station bidding to add to their triumphs of 2006, 2008, and 2014.
But East Lothian aces Leanne and Lauren Baillie have an even better record with the Cockenzie and Port Seton sisters act much fancied to trigger the title winning salute for a fifth time having done so in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The Edinburgh banner is represented by Muriel Clelland and Katherine Beveridge of Wardie also Margaret Turner and multiple club champion Helen Girdler of Balerno while Newbattle duo Margaret Gardiner and Helen Duncanson fly the flag for Midlothian. Currie celebrated title glory in 2000 and Joan Ballantyne is back skipping a new front-end in Jean Smith and Margaret Barrie while Nicola Barclay of London Road Foundry is at the helm for Vicki Mackay and Pat Turner.
Colinton sisters Linda Pica and Sandra Slater are no strangers to the national stage at Ayr in the company of Cathy Stark and the three are joined this week by Bette Jackson, at second, in a bid to capture the Seniors Fours title.
The West Lothian banner in the Seniors Singles is carried by a weel kent figure in the shape of former cap Angela Uttley of Glenmavis who won four of the six finals she reached in The Edinburgh Open Singles at Balgreen. Uttley also contested the all West Lothian singles final proper in 2012 and was just touched off in a 21-20 thriller with Lorna Smith. Jean Meiklejohn of Corstorphine and Rosemary Mackintosh of London Road Foundry represent the Edinburgh challenge, both are stalwart campaigners and expected to be up a good show,
The talented Mackintosh clan are further represented in the Mixed Pairs with daughter Gillian and son Scott bidding to repeat their 2011 title triumph.
A prominent show is also hoped for from 2000 national singles champion John McCrorie who skips his niece Dee Hoggan of Tranent.
DISTRICT – SINGLES – Fr/Sat/Sun 13 Lorna Smith Linlithgow 14 Wilma MacDonald Goldenacre 15 Hilda Melrose Sighthill 16 Christine Curran Polton 17 Louise Morgan Cockenzie & Port SetonRead MoreDISTRICT – JUNIOR SINGLES – Sat/Sun Taylor Nicol Deans , Nicole McLean Canfield. Megan Kivlin East Lothian Co-op
DISTRICT – PAIRS – Thur/Sat/Sun 13 Uphall Station Sandra Steven & Kirsteen McLelland 14 Wardie Muriel Clelland & Katherine Beveridge 15 Balerno Margaret Turner & Helen Girdler 16 Newbattle Margaret Gardiner & Helen Duncanson 17 Cockenzie & Port Seton Leanne Baillie & Lauren Baillie
DISTRICT – TRIPLES – Fri/Sat/Sun 13 Deans Mary McGinty, Debbie Holcroft & Jodie Nicol 14 London Road Foundry Vicki Mackay, Pat Turner & Nicola Barclay 15 Currie Jean Smith, Margaret Barrie & Joan Ballantyne 16 Gorebridge Libby Walde, Jackie Walkingshaw & Margaret Charters 17 Castlepark Jean Russell, Margaret Thomson & Janet Fairnie
DISTRICT – FOURS – Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun 13 Buchan Park Marguerite Bradbury, Jinty Little, Margaret Kain & Jennifer Sneddon 14 Jessfield Cathy Drummond, Isabella McDonald, Janice Pelosi & Susan Bauld 15 Juniper Green Liz Davidson, Fay Allan, Lorina Jenkins & Linda McWilliams 16 Polton Charlene Williamson, Hazel Miller, Evelyn Fleming & Margaret Porter 17 East Linton Hazel Fender, Amy Newlands, Jennifer Newlands & Dawn Murdoch
DISTRICT – SENIORS SINGLES – Tue/Wed/Thur 13 Angela Uttley Glenmavis 14 Rosemary Mackintosh London Road Foundry 15 Jean Meiklejohn Corstorphine 16 Annie Rutherford Buccleuch 17 Margaret Thomson Castlepark
DISTRICT – SENIORS FOURS – Tue/Wed/Thur 13 Newbridge Carol Doyle, Isobel Sweeney, Kathy Sharpe & Margaret Archer 14 Hillside Lorraine Livingston, Mary Hartley, Cathy Ward & June Woodall 15 Colinton Linda Pica, Bette Jackson, Sandra Slater & Cathy Stark 16 Polton Charlene Williamson, Liz France, Margaret Porter & Christine Curran 17 Gullane Irene Cunningham, Susan Crooks, Alicia Irvine & June Rutherford