Bainfield ladies suffered heartbreak as they went down to an agonising single-shot defeat inflicted upon them by West Lothian in a tense Division 1C national league clash at Livingston.
West Lothian managed to steal an 81-80 victory over their Edinburgh visitors and it was delivered in dramatic circumstances via a last-end count of five by Ann Clark against the Bainfield rink of Annette Wilson, Davina Crawford, Betty Eaton and skip Marion Dickson.
Dickson faced a head with three shots again her when taking to the mat to deliver the first of her two bowls and elected for a draw to kill approach, but such inch-perfect stuff under intense pressure is a challenging skill.
Her on-track effort just pulled up short enough to change nothing, allowing Clark to hike up the pressure by adding a fourth shot.
“It was my choice to strike with my second bowl and with the jack my target felt happy about its direction, only for my heart to sink when missing it by a whisker,” reflected Dickson.
“I have had nightmares about it since, but my success rate generally with strikes is in the high zone, so I feel from a tactical point of view my choice of stroke was sound enough, especially as my first bowl had fallen short.”
The pulse rates were still racing as the master scoreboard was now flashing an 80-80 peel, setting Clark the nerve-wracking task of drawing a match-winning fifth shot with the final bowl of the match, which she did in great style.
West Lothian had edged the first seven ends, 29-28, then added the second, 27-16, but were put under pressure by a 36-25 fight-back from Bainfield on the third.
Wins on the Bainfield rinks skipped by Anna Anderson and Rita Reid combined to contribute a plus of 12 shot to the visitors cause but they were just touched off by the defeat of Anne Watson and Dickson.
Anderson raised spirits with a run of 4, 2, 4, 1 to lead 22-14 and went on to beat Lisa Barrett, 24-17 while Reid promised much with an exciting 11-1 lead, but had to settle for an 18-13 win over Jean Brown.
Dickson added 3, 1, 5 to cross 18-17 before piped 23-21 by Clark, while Watson lost 28-17 to Jennifer Sneddon.