Bowls: Quarter-final challenge just too steep

Lorna Smith of Linlithgow enjoyed convincing wins in the Seniors Singles
Lorna Smith of Linlithgow enjoyed convincing wins in the Seniors Singles
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The Edinburgh support ended up with very little to shout about during yesterday’s play in the Bowls Scotland National Championships at Ayr Northfield.

BJ Smith skipped Jean Lavin to a commanding 22-10 win over Thurso in the morning’s second round having led 12-3 after ten ends then, nine ends into their third-round tie, they led Rita Smith and Gary 
Malcolmson of Polmaise 14-5.

“I must confess I saw the semi-final looming as we were playing well as a partnership, however, the roof started to cave in over the remaining eight ends,” said BJ Smith.

Polmaise found a higher gear under pressure and closed the gap with a run of 3, 2, 3 to 13 before Hillside arrested their alarming slide with a good double to 16. It was short-lived, however, with the opposition producing a storming run of 1, 1, 3, 2 to win 20-16.

“You don’t get many chances of starring on the national stage approaching the twilight years of your career so I am hugely disappointed at letting this chance slip,” added BJ Smith.

Parkside fielded a rink that looked promising in the Fours but the line-up of Derek Smith, Willie Watson, Paul Veitch and Robert Donaldson failed to deliver an effective challenge and made a first-round exit to Inverness.

The outcome did hang in the balance at 8-8 after ten ends but it was Inverness that broke the deadlock with a run of 1, 3, 1 and they went on to clinch a 16-10 victory.

Malcolm Cook showed early promise of boosting the spirits of the Edinburgh support with a strong second-round performance to beat Andy Murray of Stonehouse 21-11 in the Seniors Singles but the Beechwood star failed to sparkle in the third round against Sandy Lawrence of Bankfoot.

Cook led 9-8 but lost his way in alarming fashion and crashed to a 21-9 defeat.

Diane Bell of London Road Foundry kicked on from 
13-13 to lead Catherine Kinnear of Rattray 18-13 in the second round of the Seniors Singles but found herself 20-19 down before clinching her third round place with a double to 21.

Bell’s dream of a place in the semi–finals was dashed by her 21-4 exit to high-profile challenger Jean Sykes of Cumnock.

In her previous round, Sykes had been tested by Margaret Thomson of Castlepark 
before beating her East Lothian 
challenger 21-15.

It fell to Lorna Smith of Linlithgow to bring some cheer to the Lothian area in the Seniors Singles with the current holder of the Singles title proper defeating Jean Hamilton of Dunfermline 21-7, then Jeannie Ritchie of Kilbarchan by the same score.

West Lothian served up one of the day’s most exciting dramas as Ann Muirhead, Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station escaped from jail to reach the semi-finals stage of the Two Bowl Triples.

The Station trio had survived a tough time in the morning’s second-round play to beat Denny 12-11, 9-4 in the sets play format of the event before a catastrophic opening set against local club Newton Park saw them suffer a 12-3 setback.

The exit door loomed at 8-6 down and shots against playing the last end of the second set but an outrageous result from a wayward runner from Mclelland produced a three-shot 
reward to set up a tiebreak.

The Uphall Station trio played the three-end decider superbly to capture it 4-0.

More heartbreak for Hillside, this time in the Seniors Fours, saw the rink of Lorraine Livingstone, Mary Hartley, Maureen Munro and Cathy Ward lose a double at the last to be pipped 15-14 by Aberfeldy.

The Bonnyrigg Seniors rink skipped by Lindsey Plenderleith beat Killermont 20-12, then Polmuir 13-9, to reach the semis.