Bowls: Portobello in pole position for bowls title

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The ladies of Portobello IBC face a major challenge in the New Year, as a positive result against lowly Teviotdale at Hawick in their final match in Division 1C of the national indoor bowls league could see them finish top of the table.

After Portobello won their Edinburgh derby against joint leaders Bainfield 102-74, the climax to the race for a place in the knockout stage of the event is set to be a three-horse affair, with West Lothian in the driving seat but only on shot margin from Portobello who share the 12-point mark but trail by 81 shots.

East Lothian were the pre-campaign favourites but find themselves two points off the pace, however they have a menacing shot margin of 68 over West Lothian and meet the leaders at Tranent in their final match.

If East Lothian win as expected then the spotlight will focus on Portobello who would need a single point at least to be crowned champions of the Division. However the carpet at Hawick is deemed to be a quirky playing surface combined with the fact that Teviotdale have a good home record there.

East Lothian team manager Sheena Currie summed up her sides situation: “Shot margin is our major weapon so our task is to beat West Lothian then hope that Portobello get tripped up against Teviotdale.”

The penultimate round of fixtures saw West Lothian enjoy a 102-80 win over Teviotdale at Livingston and East Lothian edge Tweedbank out 87-83 at Galashiels.

Portobello had the upper hand on all three of the 7-end phases, winning the first 31-25, the second 36-22 and the third 35-27.

Harriet Munro delivered the best result of the match, with the club champion including a strong finish of 4, 3, (2), 4 as she skipped Izzy Dixon, Liz Parfinowskie, and Cathy Ward to a 28-14 win over Marion Dixon.

May Brownlee enjoyed twin highlights of a super 6 at the fourth end then a much later run of 4, 4, 2, 2, 5 as she skipped Helen Dougall, Alison McDougall and Cathy Jones to a 30-18 win over Ann Watson.

Isabel Anderson cashed in on a run of 3, 3, 6, 1 to lead 20-5 then skip Jacky McFarlane Zandra Kinnear and Margaret Murray to a 24-17 win over Anna Anderson.

Kathryn O’Donnell kept Bainfield on the map with a 25-20 win over Rita Reid.