Bowls: Portobello’s Four aim for national title

Portobello Ladies Fours will represent the Capital challenge at the finals of the Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships at Coatbridge this weekend.

The rink of Izzy Dixon, Margaret Murray, Irene Gray and Isabel Anderson can hopefully achieve a second national title for the club to add to the one Nicola Barclay captured in the Ladies Junior Singles in the 2007 championships.

Anderson is at the helm of a rink that is experienced at national league level and she skips her Portobello Four against Dumbarton in the semi-final on Saturday at 9.30am.

“We are all excited at the prospect of being central figures in a national showcase event and quite determined not to be overawed by the occasion and to give 100 per cent effort,” said Anderson.

The other semi-final, between Elgin and Glasgow club Whiteinch, will be at 2.00pm with the final following on Sunday.

The Fours silverware has previously nestled in the trophy cabinet of clubs in the Capital on three occasions with Bainfield successful in 1979 and the now-defunct Edinburgh IBC triumphant in 1982 and 1998.

Balbardie IBC have a great record in the Ladies Four-Bowl Pairs at these Championships and Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Malloy are bidding to bring the title back to Bathgate for the club’s fourth time.

Both players enjoy international status and have tremendous previous form in the Pairs event having captured the title in 2006 then again last year.

Ardrossan achieved the follow-on in seasons 2007 and 2008 so a title success for the two Balbardie stars won’t be unique, however, if they pull it off then they will be only the second partnership to do so since the inception of the event in 1972.


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The Balbardie club champions will also be bidding to enter the record book as the first partnership to win the national title for a third time but there will be no easy passage to etching their name on the silverware as the 2012 line-up is extremely competitive.

Malloy will skip Leitch against Ann Marie Fletcher and Cathy Houston of Paisley in the semi-final on Saturday at 2.00pm and the winners will go on to contest the final on Sunday against Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton of Arbroath or Stacey Laidlaw and world star Carol Ashby of Midlothian.

The Midlothian duo are top-notch and the hope at Dalkeith is that their domestic champions can produce the form as a partnership that has earned them a formidable reputation as singles players.

The semi-finals in the Ladies Triples feature Teviotdale against Blantyre and Arbroath against host club Coatbridge.