Midlothian’s two-pronged attack on two national titles in the final stages of The Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships played at Falkirk over the weekend ended in disappointment with defeat in both the Gents Fours and the Ladies PairsRead More
The semi final play did produce an encouraging highlight win for international caps Gaynor Duncan and Stacey McDougall in the Pairs with the stars of the Dalkeith Stadium producing an outstanding 22-9 win over Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Malloy of Balbardie.
The Bathgate based duo had the ambition of capturing the title for a third time having etched their names on the coveted silverware in 2006 and 2011; but their prospects of continuing the five-year sequence never looked bright at any stage of their semi final. There 3-2 lead after four ends soon evaporated with a their Midlothian counterparts carding a 2, 1, 3 response and an 8-3 advantage that brought more confidence into the early play of Duncan and McDougall. Midlothian did drop four singles to 8-6 but answered that danger single with a five end run that produced counts of 4, 1, 1, 1, 2 that powered them into a 17-6 lead then at 17-9 they clinched their place in the final with a run of 1, 1, 3 to 22.
The final pitched the Midlothian partnership into a title duel against fellow caps Claire Walker and Margaret Letham of Blantyre who had booked their place with a good 20-14 win over Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton of Arbroath. Blantyre dominated the early stages of the final to lead 11-4 after eight ends but the temperature was raised by a sizzling run of 4, 3, 1 that saw Midlothian cross 12-11 then exchange a single to show 13-12 ahead after 13 ends. The graveyard figure of 13 is always one players like to escape from as quickly as possible but Midlothian stayed trapped for five ends during which Blantyre carded counts of 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, that powered them into a 19-13 lead. With just three ends left to play it was a daunting uphill challenge that faced Midlothian and it proved beyond them in a 20-15 defeat.
Meanwhile the semi final stage of the Gents Fours saw the high expectations for the Midlothian rink of Ian Forbes, Ronnie Duncan, Billy Peacock, and Colin Walker dashed by an 18-15 defeat from an Aberdeen rink skipped by Kevin Pirie. Walker and Co opened with an exciting count of 4 on end one but it became evident at 10-11 after 13 ends that any thoughts of plane sailing weren’t going o be in the expected direction of Midlothian. And it was Aberdeen that grabbed the initiative with a run of 2, 1, 3, that thrust them firmly into the driving seat at 17-10 and they duly converted into a well-earned victory.
“The best rink won and of that there is no doubt but from a Midlothian point of view the thought is that Ronnie (Duncan) and Colin Walker) are not long returned from the super fast conditions of New Zealand and not being sharply tuned to slower conditions cost them a slight edge in their play”, was a view expressed. Aberdeen went on to suffer a 20-16 defeat in the final from Mark McGowan, John Paul McParland, Robert Gordon, and Robert Grant of Larnarkshire.