Bowls: Portobello’s Four battle to final slot

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Portobello will be represented in the final stages of the national indoor bowls championships to be staged at Coatbridge over the weekend of March 31 and April 1 in the Fours by Izzy Dixon, Margaret Murray, Irene Gray and Isobel Anderson.

Anderson and Co, champions at Portobello, beat Ardrossan, East Kilbride and Edinburgh rivals Bainfield in the playdowns at Lanarkshire IBC.

The Portobello rink received a bye in the prelim round and they started their campaign proper with a testing match against Ardrossan, winning 16-13.

East Kilbride provided the opposition in the second round but they found Portobello too hot to handle as Anderson skipped her rink to a resounding 28-15 victory that set up a quarter-final clash against Bainfield.

It was an Edinburgh derby with an extra edge, with the winners being rewarded with a place on the national final stage and the pre-match odds probably favoured the Bainfield rink including Susan Allan, Anne Watson and Alison Ross.

Ross and Co had hit the campaign trail running with a 22-6 devastation of Coatbridge in the preliminary round then they showed good and solid determination with a battling 21-17 win over Allander.

Bainfield then faced section favourites Midlothian, whose line-up was Joyce Green, Megan Grantham, Gaynor Blair and five-times title winner Sandra McLeish.

But the Bainfield champions turned in a sparkling performance that resulted in them dishing out a 25-16 exit to the stars of the Dalkeith stadium.

Midlothian had coasted to a 23-12 win over Stirling in the preliminary round but were less convincing as they were forced to battle all the way to beat Fintry 24-21 in the first round.

The section final did bowls in the Capital City proud as both rinks went at each other hammer and tongs but, in a thrilling climax, the bragging rights went to Portobello as Anderson and Co edged a 21-19 victory.

West Lothian were in action at Portobello and put up a very strong show before losing out to Whiteinch in the section final. Junior Cap Jenifer Richardson skipped Helen Macdonald, Margaret Russell and Lisa Barrett to a 25-10 win over Tweedbank then beat Alloa 25-15 and enjoyed a 24-20 success over Teviotdale.

However, the West Lothian champions lost 20-9 to Audrey Cameron, Anne Marie Taggart, Liz Brown and Lorna Cameron of Whiteinch.

East Lothian made a 26-19 exit to Teviotdale in the prelim round and were joined by Balbardie who lost 27-29 to East Fife.

Portobello face Dumbarton in their semi-final while Whiteinch tackle Elgin.