Balbardie duo stay on course for Pairs title

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Balbardie IBC partnership Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Malloy kept their dream of a third Scottish Pairs title alive with a superb hat-trick of winning performances in the qualifying action of this year’s championship.

Wins over West of Scotland, Galleon and Prestwick secured a place in the last-four to be played at Falkirk on April 2-3.

Malloy and Leitch won the event in seasons 2006 and 2011 and it would be fairytale stuff if that five-year winning sequence were continued.

However, the opposition that lies ahead is all top class in the shape of Midlothian’s Gaynor Duncan and Stacey McDougall, Claire Walker and Margaret Letham of Blantyre and Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton of Arbroath.

Balbardie launched their campaign in the first-round proper at Coatbridge with a powerful display to crush Janette Moore and Helen Torrance of West of Scotland 30-13.

Galleon (Kilmarnock) duo Janette Weadon and Jean McFedries were next up but Leitch and Malloy marched into the section final with a 23-11 victory.

In the quarter-finals, Balbardie were too strong for exciting young Prestwick teenagers Rebecca Houston and Louise Noon although they were mightily impressed by the duo – aged just 14 and 16 – during their 23-7 success.

West Lothian IBC’s Jenifer Richardson and Lisa Barrett are two young full caps with a promising future and they showed up well to beat Falkirk 23-8 in the prelim round but were then pipped in a 24-23 ding-dong with Prestwick.

Bainfield‘s Karen Tumblety and Marion Dickson were also drawn to compete in the section hosted by Coatbridge and they opened in the prelim round with a 25-15 win over Cathy Morrison and Alison Strachan of Cowal.

Their first-round clash proved to be a tough one but the hard-fought battle saw Bainfield emerge the victors with a 19-16 edge over Laura Hall and Rosemary Hill of East Kilbride.

Their run was ended, though, in a 27-12 defeat to eye-catching Prestwick performers Houston and Noon.