On a miserable Friday afternoon Sheila Wilson and her partner Robert Smith faced the challenge of Margaret McNicoll and Arthur Macdonald in the final of the 2-4-2 Pairs, the only competition still undecided at Laurencekirk Bowling Club. Making light of the conditions the Wilson/Smith combo were in devastating form, a 7-1 advantage after four ends was extended to 13-1 at the conclusion of the seventh. A single count on the eighth brought a little relief to Margaret and Arthur before they fell once more under the cosh of their rampant opponents who constructed a 2,2,1 burst that increased their lead to 18-2.
Although six ends of the match remained such was the weather and plight of the McNicoll/ Macdonald duo that they called it a day after playing only four during which they conceded a further 5 shots while collecting only 3. So victors by the handsome margin of 23-5 Sheila and Robert departed the green soaked but smiling to become the first holders of the splendid E.L.L.Cup [the initials being those of the grandchildren of Max Harrison who kindly donated the trophy].
This action brought to an end another rollercoaster year which for some brought great reward and for others bitter disappointment. Looking back over the season even the most chauvinistic from the ranks of the male membership could deny that the ladies have been the season’s stars. Tracy McGillivary and Irene Macdonald set the tone when in the National Championships they won the District 29 Ladies Pairs and by doing so booked their place in the finals at the Ayr Northfield complex. Having been members of the Aberdeen District Ladies Bowling Association [ADLBA] for only three years the Laurencekirk ladies raised quite a few eyebrows amongst their counterparts in the big Granite City clubs by winning the ultra competitive League following their victory over Dyce on the Woodend green. The most notable feature of this fantastic achievement was that most of the club’s small but talented group of ladies was involved. Also on an individual front Betty Ritchie, Margaret McNicoll and Irene Macdonald were regular members of the ADLBA team that reached the last four of the Scottish District championship. The ladies were also involved in a double whammy over Montrose by winning the Watkins Cup and joining their male club mates in securing the Bent Cup. Irene Macdonald has had a great season, for in addition to her above mentioned achievement, she claimed her first Ladies Championship crown and with Robert Smith securing for the first time the Men’s equivalent both the clubhouse Championship boards are adorned with new names for the first time since season 2002. This has been a vintage year for Robert who ended the season with five trophies in the bag while Doug Henderson should be proud of his record in reaching four finals although success was achieved on only one occasion. Competing in the A&K League for the first time the men found the going tough with many of the Counties top players in opposition and only a maximum point victory over Portlethen in the final game of the season prevented a total whitewash. Still many will have benefited from the experience as only by playing against the best can a bowler’s own game improve. The Kincardine League campaign was also littered with disappointment with a final League position at the wrong end of the table.
On the financial front there was good news for the club when, thanks to the untiring efforts of President Margaret McNicoll and her committee, a grant of £4000 was obtained from the Lottery Funded Awards For All Scotland. This will enable sorely needed roof repairs to be carried out on the ancient but iconic clubhouse.
Trophy winners for season 2011 are as follows: McMillan Cup (Men’s Champion) R. Smith, runner-up D. Henderson; Fraser Fashion Cup (Ladies Champion) I. Macdonald, runner up B. Ritchie; Fotheringham Cup (Men’s Pairs) M. Harrison & W. Neill, runners-up R. Blyth & J. McNicoll; Jolly Cup (Club Triples B. Hampton, A. Wink & A. Mitchell, runners-up M. Mitchell, I. Macdonald & J. McNicoll; Watson Cup (Club Mixed Pairs) R. Smith & M. Easton, runners-up M. Harrison & I. Macdonald; Taylor Cup (Men’s 2 Bowl Handicap) R. Smith, runner-up D. Henderson.
Eccles Cup (Men’s 8 Shots) D. Henderson, runner-up R. Smith; Willie Bell Shield (Men’s Non Champion) W. Neill, runner-up J. Ritchie; Blakeman Shield (Senior Citizens) M. Easton, runner-up D. Henderson; Sherrit Cup (Club Open) R. Smith, runner-up S. Wilson; Kenneth Duncan Shield (2 Bowl Pairs) T. McGillivary & M. Easton, runners-up I. Macdonald & W. Neill; Mearns Tractor Shield (4 Bowl Pairs/ 8 Ends) W. Neill & S. McGillivary, runners-up T. McGillivary & R. Smith; Royal Hotel Shield (BBQ 7 Ends) A. Macdonald, runner-up S. McGillivary; Stables Trophy (Club 7 Ends) S. McGillivary, runner-up S. Wilson; E.L.L. Cup (2-4-2 Pairs) S. Wilson & R. Smith, runners-up M. McNicoll & A. Macdonald; Dinnis Mitchell Cup (3 Bowl Pairs Round Robin) A. Wink & M.Easton, runners-up M. Wink & M. Harrison.
Morrison Cup (Ladies Handicap) T. McGillivary, runner-up M. McNicoll; Carr Cup (Ladies 8 Shots) M. Easton, runner-up M. McNicoll; Carnie Cup (Ladies 2 Bowl) I. Macdonald, runner-up Marylen Easton; Consolation Cup (Ladies Non Winners Singles) T. McGillivary, runner-up M. Mitchell; Brown Cup (Ladies Round Robin) E. Thomson & I. MacPhail, runners-up M. Young & M. McNicoll; Sommerville Shield (Ladies Champion of Champions) M. Easton.
The final 100 Club draw of the season produced the following winners: £20 Doreen Mearns; £10 Willie Robb; £10 Moira Taylor; £5 Fraser Young.
Lucky winners in the season long raffle were: £50 Derek Nelson; £30 R. Harrison; £20 M. Thomson; £20 Mrs Pettit; £5 Nicola Thomson.
Amid all the euphoria surrounding the presentation of trophies many of the older generation will remember with sadness the death of former member Elsie Glegg who for many years had been a stalwart of the club. In her heyday Elsie was a match for most on the green, her quiet and mannerly demeanour a far cry from today’s world of high fives. Sympathy is extended to her remaining family members.