Bowls: Laidlaw high is followed by a low

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Midlothian indoor bowls champion Stacey Laidlaw beat last season’s national singles champion Lynn Stein of East Fife in the first round of the Ladies’ Champion of Champions event at Cumbernauld but saw her bid for title glory dashed in the second round.

Stein has 36 caps but Laidlaw was undaunted by her reputation and the 22-year-old 
Junior Scotland star showed great nerve to share a testing first set 8-8 and then command the second 10-5.

Laidlaw – holder of the national 4-bowl pairs title with world stage star Carol Ashby – then struggled to cope with three times Scottish Junior Singles champion Caroline Brown in her next match which the 24 times capped challenger from Blantyre won in straight sets.

Wendy Purdie – national champion in 2008 and winner of 27 caps – carried the West Lothian banner into first round action against 30 times capped Kim Watt of Stonehaven and made a 2-0 exit going down 9-4, 7-6.

The luck of the draw didn’t favour young East Lothian champion Emma Brown with her six caps being measured against the 48 of five times national champion Julie Forrest of Teviotdale. Brown led 7-6 going into the last end of the first set but conceded a double to be piped 8-7 then showed tremendous skill to win the second 10-4 and force a tie break which Forrest edged 2-1.

Forrest went on to beat Kim Watt in the second round 9-9, 8-6 to set up a semi-final clash against Lorna Cameron of Whiteinch, which she won in straight sets, 14-8, 8-5.

The other finalist is Michelle Cooper of Ardrossan who beat Ailsa Robertson of Dundee.

Meanwhile, the playdown action of the Men’s national singles at Cumbernauld saw Portobello champion Ian Fleming make a 21-8 exit to Dougie Berwick of East Lothian in the prelim round.

Fleming was joined on the sidelines by Balbardie champion Ewan Shearer who crashed to a 21-10 defeat from Gary Kean of Perth but the biggest casualty was Ronnie Duncan of Midlothian who lost a 21-18 battle against Andrew Furye of Arbroath.

Berwick lost 21-18 exit to Gordon McKenzie of Coatbridge in the first round but Bainfield star Craig Moss carded wins over Paul Brown of Abbeyview 21-16; Darren Coupar of Falkirk 21-13, and McKenzie of Coatbridge 21-13.

Moss then succumbed 21-20 to Thomas Mann of West Lothian and he goes forward to Falkirk on the weekend of 
January 12/13 to play Darren Gaultieri of Whiteinch in the semi-finals while the other challengers are Jonathan Ross of Paisley and Steven Allan of Alloa.