Portobello IBC’S ladies team are nursing major disappointment after failing to clinch promotion to the Premier League in their play-off match against Whiteinch (Glasgow) at Blantyre.
The margin of defeat was eight shots (80-72) after they put up a bold show that saw the Edinburgh club perform extremely well on two rinks, but they paid the price of double-figure setbacks on each of the other two.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Nicola Barclay and Barbara Kay kept Portobello in the picture, but their combined margin of 24 shots was not enough to compensate for the defeat of Rita Reid and May Brownlee.
Whiteinch arrived in the playoff match having won seven out of eight games to capture the Division 1E title, before beating Division 1F champions, Lanarkshire, while Portobello had topped Division 1C with six wins out of eight.
“We just fell short against a team that was inspired by [current international star] Lorna Cameron,” said Isabel Anderson of Portobello.
Cameron did the Portobello cause severe damage by skipping her rink to a commanding 26-12 victory over a very willing but sometimes luckless Alison McDougall, Liz Parfinowski, Margaret Keenan and Reid.
It was a high-level performance from Cameron that inspired her colleague Christine Condy to inflict major pain on Portobello by skipping her rink to an awesome 29-11 victory over Izzy Dixon, Zandra Kinnear, Margaret Murray and Brownlee.
The Portobello pulse was still beating, however, thanks to Barclay keeping hopes alive by skipping Catherine McLeod, Rosemary Mackintosh and Irene Gray on an exciting magic carpet journey to beat Audrey Cameron, 26-13.
It was tough going over the first 10 ends but from 8-7 Barclay and Co made space to 15-8 with counts of 4, 1, (1), 2 then from 16-11 they produced a grandstand finish of 3, 4, (2), 2, 1 to win by a substantial 13 shots.
Meanwhile, Kay had opened up in flying mode to skip Jackie McFarlane, Isaabel Anderson and Cathy Ward into an 8-1 lead after five ends and, following a fine run of 2, 1, 3, 2, they were 17-7 up on Liz Brown. That rate of scoring was going to be difficult to maintain, though, and with eight ends to complete, a 6-5 share for Kay and Co to win 23-12 was still good stuff but not enough to be hailed the saviours of Portobello.
The other promotion place to the Premier League was claimed by Perth, who beat Buchan 73-63.