Midlothian ladies travelled the road and the miles to Dundee to face a tough battle against Arbroath in their semi final of the Inter Club League Championship and an on song performance saw the stars from The Dalkeith Stadium call the tune with a five shot victory (90-85).Read More
Arbroath’s record of only one defeat in eight to finish top of Premier Division North flashed a strong signal of danger from a team that had reached the previous two finals; but Midlothians form line of eights straight in wins in Premier Division East suggested a slight edge in their favour.
The Midlothian club have good history in the championship with a hat trick of title triumphs in 2005/6/7 and again in 2010/11/12 contributing to eight inscriptions on the high prestige silverware in all. Their performance at Dundee saw Midlothian misfire badly on one rink; but rise in magnificent fashion to that challenge with winning contributions from Stacey McDougall, Shona Johnstone, and Sandra McLeish.
Given that the match scales reflected a knife-edge balance of 83-82 entering the final ends across the carpet it was a sensational moment when the rink skipped by world stage star McDougall carded a mighty count of five shots.
The phase scoring reflects the attack and counter attack nature of an epic battle with Midlothian capturing the first seven – end phase by nine shots (41-32); but losing the second by 10 (18-28) before going right down to the wire with a nail-biting 31-25 edge of the third.
Both teams had morale boosting moments in the opening stages of play and a tremendous uplift for Arbroath came in the shape of Leanne Furye launching a blitz of 4, 1, 4, 1, 1, 5 that assaulted the confidence of May Brownlee and her rink. There was instant retaliation though from the Midlothian camp and it was led by a blistering run of 5, 2, 6 from Stacey McDougall to lead 13-0 then supported by a temperature raising contribution from Sandra McLeish of 1, 3, 2, 1, 4 to lead 11-2. Brownlee and her rink of Charlene Williamson, Liz Halliday, and Sandra Wilson continued to suffer hard times, ending up with a nightmare defeat of 38-9 at the hands of 33 times capped Furye.
McDougall and her front-three of Lorna Goldsmith , Jill Wilson, and Susan Liddle, did have their comfort zone challenged at times but kept responding and a finishing run of 1, 2, 5 delivered a 33-15 win over Susan Christie.
Johnstone added 1, 3, 2, 1 to skip Ellie Borthwick, Janette McVicar, and Margaret Porter into a 12-4 lead then soon carded 2, 1, 4 to 19-8 on the road to a 26-16 win over Sheila Geddes. McLeish skipped Sandra Muir, Pat Liddle, and Grace McGregor into a healthy 21-10 lead before settling for a 22-16 win over Kathleen Gordon.
Meanwhile Auchinleck stepped up their defence of the title with a 106-67 win over Whiteinch at East Kilbride.