Laurencekirk ladies win Watkins Cup

The ladies from Laurencekirk Bowling Club had the opportunity to claim their first silverware of the season last Wednesday afternoon when, boosted by a 5 shot advantage from the first leg, they travelled to face their counterparts from Montrose in the return match to decide the destination of the Watkins Cup.

Margaret Mitchell, Tracy McGillivary and skip Marylen Easton trailed early in their tussle with R. Fairweather’s trio before a count of 6 on the sixth allowed them to nose in front by 7-4, a lead that was gradually eroded so that at the conclusion of the ninth the score was peeled at 8-8.

Over the course of the remaining six ends, Marylen and her team just held sway, picking up 6 shots with only 5 against, to claim the spoils by 14-13.

Betty Ritchie skip, with team mates Sheila Wilson and Margaret McNicoll were involved in a tight contest with I. Donald’s experienced home triple who led by 4-2 after six ends and 10-8 after twelve.

The remaining three ends were equally shared, both teams picking up 2 shots, allowing the hosts to claim success by the narrow margin of 12-10.

So at the end of a fascinating afternoon’s bowling, victory on the day went to Montrose by 25-24 but by virtue of their advantage from the first leg the Watkins Cup returned to Laurencekirk after a gap of several years.

As the Kincardine League draws towards a conclusion, the teams from Laurencekirk are still struggling to make an impact and with battle hardened Auchenblae as opponents on Thursday evening an improved performance would be required to prevent further heartache.

The home four Alistair Mitchell, Max Harrison, John McNicoll and skip Arthur Macdonald enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges with Alistair Jamieson’s visitors to lead by 8-6 after seven ends.

They were then swept away by an Auchenblae avalanche, picking up only 2 further shots while their rampant opponents collected 23 on their way to a comprehensive victory by 29-10.

Ivan Reid was at the helm of an experimental away outfit which included Jim Lovegrove, Fraser Young and Doug Henderson for the daunting visit to the Auchenblae green where Bill Aitken’s hosts (and swarms of midges) reign supreme.

Not overawed the Laurencekirk quartet gave a solid performance to lead by 5-3 after seven and were still ahead by 11-7 at the conclusion of the twelfth.

Then on unlucky end 13 all their previous good work went to waste when they played a series of loose bowls to lose 7 shots. The hosts, now with a spring in their step, racked up the pressure over the remaining four ends, picking up 4 shots with only 2 in reply to secure victory by 18-13.

So near but yet so far for the visiting Laurencekirk lads. Beaten, bitten but not disgraced.

Earlier in the week four triples from Edzell, welcome visitors for a friendly fixture, soon found the Laurencekirk green to their liking as they romped to victory by 61-49.

Scores (Laurencekirk first): M. Harrison 16 Edzell 11; W. Neill 13 I Collie 15; A. Macdonald 12 J. Smith 16; S. McGillivary 8 E. Spark 19.

Kingpins at Friday’s Hat Night were Betty Hampton, Alistair Mitchell and Steve McGillivary who finished 18 shots up.

All members extend good wishes to Tracy McGillivary and Irene Macdonald, who as District 29 Ladies Pairs champions, travel to the National Finals in Ayr next week where if they display their true form they will be hard to beat. Good luck and enjoy the experience.