Midlothian motor to top of ladies’ Premier League

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Midlothian ladies’ 2016/17 campaign in the East Premier League has hit the ground running with the bowlers from the Dalkeith Stadium reeling off a hat-trick of wins to establish a two-point lead at the top of the table.

Wins over local rivals East Lothian (81-74) then Bathgate-based Balbardie (89-60) were both tough away fixtures. Midlothian then backed that up with a fine home performance to beat previously-undefeated East Fife by 82-69.

“We are delighted to get our season off to such a great start especially as several of our notable players were unavailable. To beat three strong teams in such circumstances demonstrates our strength in depth,” said team spokeswoman Shona Johnstone, who is a skip spearhead figure along with Sandra McLeish, Margaret Porter and Anne Rutherford.

Johnstone’s latest contribution against East Fife was to skip Ellie Borthwick, Elizabeth France and Susan Liddle to a hard-fought 20-15 win over Scotland cap Julie Sword.

The game-changing spell in the 21-end match came on ends 12, 13, 14, and 15 with Johnstone and Co exploding from 8-10 to 18-10 with a run of 1, 3, 3, 3. McLeish opened with all guns blazing and a run of 1, 3, 4, 2 to lead 10-0 set the scene for her skipping Sandra Muir, Alison Plenderleith and Grace MacGregor to a 19-17 win over Ruth Stewart.

Rutherford stormed from 11-7 to 26-7 with a whirlwind run of 5, 2, 5, 3 then skipped Pat Liddle, Jean Lavin, and Mary Clement to a 28-14 win over Kate McAndrew.

However, Porter and her rink of Lorna Goldsmith, Norma Shillinglaw and Jeanette McVicar were always up against it in a 23-15 defeat from Alice Fyall.

Meanwhile, East Lothian have two points from two matches having bounced back from their defeat at home to Midlothian to score an encouraging 83-77 away win over Abbeyview.

This weekend’s fixtures feature East Lothian at home to East Fife while foot-of-the-table Balbardie are at home to Abbeyview.Midlothian are idle.

West Lothian IBC prop up the East Division 1 league and seek to break their duck at the expense of Headwell with home advantage at Livingston.