Bowls: Midlothian duo turn on the style in Pairs

Stacey McDougall, pictured, was in fine from alongside Gaynor Duncan at Livingston

Stacey McDougall, pictured, was in fine from alongside Gaynor Duncan at Livingston

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Midlothian duo Gaynor Duncan and Stacey McDougall reeled off a hat-trick of wins to dominate their qualifying section at the women’s indoor bowls Scottish Pairs Championship at the Inveralmond Stadium, Livingston.

Having received a bye into the first-round proper, the duo delivered impressive wins over Teviotdale, Fintry and Abbeyview to claim a place in the last-four stage at Falkirk IBC on the April 2-3.

Teviotdale, represented by 2004 champions Joyce Dickie and Julie Forrest – a record six times Singles champion – provided a stiff test in the opener. Midlothian grabbed the initiative with an early run of 2, 1, 2, 1 to lead 11-4 then led 18-10 but came under intense pressure at 18-17 before conjuring up a magic finish of 2, 1, (1), 2 to clinch a 23-18 victory.

Fintry’s mother-and-daughter pairing Maude and Lauren McGowan held a 7-4 lead after eight ends before the picture was transformed in Midlothian’s favour by explosive counts of six and five on ends nine and 13 respectively, which contributed to an 18-8 acceleration that cushioned the late loss of 2, 1, 2 in a 21-17 victory.

The section final pitched Midlothian against Abbeyview (Dunfermline) challengers Gemma Forrester and Lynn Lees, who had impressed against Stirling (34-6) and East Fife (20-13) but were to find Duncan and McDougall a different kettle of fish. McDougall skipped her lead into an early 12-2 advantage then, finding themselves on the figure of 13 on end 13, claimed a full-house count of eight to have the opposition at their 21-7 mercy. The Midlothian partnership did stumble over the eight-end run-in but picked themselves up well enough to celebrate a 24-15 victory.

The semi-finals pitch Midlothian against twice champions Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Malloy of Balbardie while Blantyre take on Arbroath in the other tie.

The East Lothian challenge was short-lived after an agonising defeat by Perth. EL’s Margaret Thomson and Yvonne Veitch were leading 14-7 after seven ends against Susan Myles and Maureen Morrison but the Perth pair crossed to 19-14 with a strong run of 2, 1, 1, 4, 2, 2 with just three ends to play.

East Lothian counts of 3 and 4 saw them lead 21-19 entering the last but dropping a three cost them a 22-21 loss.