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.