Laurencekirk Ladies reach semi-final

Once again the exploits of the ladies from Laurencekirk Bowling Club occupy centre stage.

Although relative newcomers to the Aberdeen District Ladies Bowling Association (ADLBA) they have this season made their presence felt in the blue riband competition of the Association, the ultra competative Fours League.

On four occasions this summer, teams skipped by Marylen Easton and Betty Ritchie have journeyed to the Granite City where maximum 5 point victories have been recorded against Cults, Polmuir and Seafield (this victory being particularly sweet as the teams were minus high profile members on duty in Ayr) while 2 points were picked up against the might of Balgownie where Betty’s four met their only defeat.

With their total of 17 points they are left high and dry at the top of their Section, their big city rivals trailing in their wake. So now on to the semi final at the Polmuir green in mid August where they will join the two other Section winners plus the runner up with the highest points in battle to claim the coveted title.

Could a wee club from the Mearns secure the Association’s major prize? With this group of ladies nothing can ever be ruled out.

On Wednesday, two of Laurencekirk’s finest Tracy McGillivary and Irene Macdonald enjoyed an experience most bowlers can only visit in dreams when as District 29 Ladies Pairs champions they joined fellow District winners from throughout the length and breadth of the land at the National Final of the event on the greens of the Northfield complex in Ayr.

Unfortunately, be it the occasion or just one of those days, Tracy and Irene struggled to find their true form as they slid to defeat at the hands of the ladies representing the Postal club from North Ayrshire by 21-8.

Although understandably deflated by their early exit they should always remember that to get to Ayr is in itself a great achievment.

The ladies were also involved in friendly competition when two triples travelled to the Inch club in Montrose where they found the hosts in tip top form, well deserving their 33-15 success. Scores (Laurencekirk first): S. Wilson 5 K. Evans 20; B. Ritchie 10 A. Rushmere 13.

In sharp contrast to the high flying ladies in the ADLBA League, Laurencekirk men have found success in the Kincardine League hard to achieve, so much so that with only three games remaining (including the postponed fixture against Marykirk) they find themselves uncomfortably near bottom place.

With Thursday’s opponents Johnshaven in an even more fragile position this was seen as an opportunity to claim an elusive victory and upwards movement to a more respectable position in the table.

Walter Blakeman made a welcome return to skip the home four allowing Arthur Macdonald to drop to third and with Max Harrison and Fraser Young in the front end positions the team had a solid appearance.

Any notion that this might be a walk in the park for the hosts against opponents not accustomed to playing on grass were soon dispelled by Alan Robbie’s tenacious visitors who were ahead for much of the match, 6-3 after six extended to 12-7 after thirteen and at the conclusion of the penultimate end still ahead by 13-10.

On the final end the value of an experienced skip became evident when Walter with his first bowl conjured up 2 shots leaving him one more opportunity to peel the score or win the match for his team.

On delivering his final bowl he exclaimed “It’s too narrow” and so appeared until a friendly wick steered it in for another shot. So at the end of the day the score was peeled at 13-13 leaving Alan and his team feeling they had been robbed and the relieved hosts wearing that got out of jail look.

As Johnshaven were having a new carpet laid the other half of this fixture will take place next week.

No better way to end a busy week than to entertain the Rosemount Vets from Westburn Park in Aberdeen in a friendly fixture. As always the Vets were good company and doughty opponents throughout a splendid afternoon which culminated in victory for the hosts by 58-41.

Scores (Laurencekirk first): J. McNicoll 13 J. Lamond 10; S. McGillivary 14 I. Crighton 11; S. Wilson 16 S. Craig 14; W. Neill 15 S. Ingram 6.

Coming up trumps at Friday’s Hat Night were Betty Hampton and Fraser Young who shared the spoils with Mary Wink and Betty Ritchie, both pairs finishing 9 shots up.

The 100 Club draw for July produced the following winners: £20 Anne Stables; £10 Graeme Godsman; £10 Ivan Reid; £5 Alfie Lawrie.