Bowls: Midlothian pair lose final to defending champs

Stacey McDougall, above, made it to the final alongside Gaynor Duncan
Stacey McDougall, above, made it to the final alongside Gaynor Duncan
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Midlothian bowlers Gaynor Duncan and Stacey McDougall made a bold effort to bring the Scottish Indoor 2Bowl Pairs title back to the Dalkeith Stadium for the first time but fell at the final hurdle, their bid denied by the defending champions.

The climax to the event at Paisley IBC saw international colleagues Duncan and McDougall face an opening semi-final challenge against Laura Hall and Gail Notman of East Kilbride.

The Midlothian duo opened in strong fashion and took a 4-1 lead that progressed into an almost nailed-on first-set winning opportunity at 5-2 entering the last end.

However, East Kilbride conjuring up a magic count of three that forced the opening set into an extra-end decider – the outcome of which was a winning single to Midlothian.

An inspired response saw McDougall skip Duncan to a runaway 11-0 victory in the second set to clinch the match with a super run of 2, 4, 1, 2, 2.

The final brought a meeting against last year’s winners Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton of Arbroath after they had delivered a two-sets-to-nil win over Carol Condy and Janette Bray of Coatbridge in their semi-final.

Arbroath’s path into the final had also been endangered by the threat of a first set stumble, having had to pull out all of the stops to clinch their 6-5 win via an extra-end single. They went on to dominate the second set and won it 8-2.

The final started badly for Midlothian in the shape of a 6-1 deficit after four ends but expectations soared with a spirited 2, 2 fightback to 5-6. However, a tension-filled last end saw Arbroath edge a single to win the set 7-5.

Hopes of a second-set revival were dashed as the experienced Midlothian partnership only managed to count one single in a 6-1 loss.