Laurencekirk win the Bent Cup

With the ladies having already secured the Watkins trophy with victory over their counterparts from Montrose, the teams representing Laurencekirk Bowling Club had high hopes of inflicting a double whammy on their seaside rivals by claiming the coveted Bent Cup.

Their optimism sprang from a super show in the first leg on their home green that allowed them to take a 22 shot advantage into Wednesday evening’s return match at Montrose where the hosts were certain to seek maximum revenge for this reversal. The ensuing match was a tight affair at the midway point of which the hosts had managed to claw back only 4 shots of their deficit. Over the remainder of the contest the visitors held the edge to restrict the margin of their defeat to a mere 2 shots.

Scores (Laurencekirk first): A. Macdonald 10 S. Pirie 15; I. Macdonald 24 R. Christieson 10; J. McNicoll 9 A. Christieson 15; W. Blakeman 9 B. Christie 14. So at the end of a competitive encounter victory on the night went to Montrose by 54-52 but by virtue of their shot advantage from the first leg the Bent Cup returns to Laurencekirk.

Laurencekirk ladies who have enjoyed a fantastic season in Aberdeen District Ladies Bowling Association circles journeyed to the Granite City on Tuesday afternoon to face the might of Whitehall at the semi final stage of the blue riband fours League. Those who feared that this might be a step too far need not have worried as the teams skipped by Marylen Easton and Betty Ritchie both recorded victory to set up an eagerly awaited final against the ladies from Dyce on the Woodend green on Tuesday 23rd.

What a fantastic week it has been for Willie Neill, a man with bowling talent in his hands and anti freeze in his veins, an unmistakable figure on the chilliest of Mearns evenings as he meanders up and down the green in his trademark short sleeved shirt. In addition to playing lead in Irene Macdonald’s winning triple at Montrose he also captured the Willie Bell Shield and partnered Max Harrison to victory in the Men’s Pairs.

In the final of the Willie Bell, a competition open to all male members who have not won the championship, he carried too many guns for Joe Ritchie, an occasional player who probably surprised even himself in getting to his stage. Leading by only 10-6 after nine ends Willie upped the tempo, claiming over the course of the following ten, 11 shots with only 2 in reply to wrap up a comprehensive victory by 21-8.

The final of the Men’s Pairs proved to be a bit of a damp squib thanks to the pairing of Bob Blyth and John McNicoll failing to find their line and length to such an extent that opponents Max Harrison and Willie Neill coasted ahead by 13-1 after nine of the alloted seventeen ends. Things did improve for the Blyth /McNicoll duo over the remainder of the match allowing them to bring respectability to the score but in truth Max and Willie were never really in trouble, well worth their 16-9 success which brings them possession of the Fotheringham Cup for season 2011.

Robert Smith, another who has played his way into several finals including the Men’s Championship where he will cross swords with Doug Henderson, collected his first silverware, the impressive Sherritt Cup, with victory over Sheila Wilson. Sheila made the best possible start collecting a maximum count of 4 on the first of the alloted fifteen ends. Unfortunately for her cause over the remaining fourteen she only picked up a further 6 shots while her opponent claimed 16 and victory by 16-10.

Over the years Marylen Easton and Margaret McNicoll have enjoyed many a close encounter and to the list can be added this season’s final of the Carr Cup which goes to the first to claim eight ends. The writing appeared to be on the wall for Margaret when Marylen went 7-4 ahead, requiring to win just one more end to lift the prize. For three consecutive ends Margaret staved off defeat to peel the score at 7-7 before Marylen claimed the elusive end and the trophy by 8-7.

The tortuous Kincardine League campaign endured by the men from Laurencekirk came to an end on Thursday evening when the previously postponed match with Marykirk was played.

With Walter Blakeman otherwise engaged, Ivan Reid took his place as skip of an experienced home four that included Frank Cannon, Bill Russell and Max Harrison. With Jim Paterson’s visitors taking their time to become accustomed to the green the hosts grabbed the chance to leap ahead by 12-3 after six ends before being on the receiving end of a 1,2,2,3,2 burst that propelled the Marykirk outfit in front by 13-12 at the conclusion of the eleventh.

The hosts then shaded the following four by 4 shots to 3 so that with two ends remaining the score was peeled at 16-16. In gathering gloom the home four collected counts of 1 and 2 to secure victory by 19-16.

Steve McGillivary skip along with team mates Bob Blyth, Alistair Mitchell and Fraser Young found the lethal combination of Raymond McDougall’s hosts and the Marykirk carpet a daunting challenge and were 24-8 in arrears when darkness brought a premature end to their plight.

Included in a very busy week was the welcome visit of three men’s triples from the Brechin Private club for a friendly fixture. On this occasion it was the hosts who claimed the honours with victory by 57-54. Scores (Laurencekirk first): J. McNicoll 9 R. Wood 23; R. Smith 20 C. Porter 2; S. McGillivary 13 A. Towns 13; W. Blakeman 15 A. Gray 16.

Claiming the prize at Friday’s Hat Night was the tip top triple Mary Wink, Andy Wink and Fraser Young who finished 13 shots up.