Lorna Smith of Linlithgow and West Lothian fought a gallant campaign to bring the world outdoor bowls Champion of Champions title to Scotland for the first time and only failed to do so at the final hurdle in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Smith produced a magnificent effort in her section winning all of her 11 games to finish top then, having qualified directly for a place in the semi-finals, she repeated her earlier win over former world champion Carmen Anderson.
Australian Karen Murphy topped her section despite losing on three occasions.
The final had all the makings of being a real cracker between two legendary exponents of the sport but 39-year-old Murphy was more used to the fast conditions that prevailed, and kept Smith on the back foot to win the first set 10-6 then the second 11-6.
“The wind made it very difficult over the last couple of days on these fast greens. In the final Karen mastered the conditions better than I did and therefore deserved her victory,’’ said Smith.
Balbardie IBC suffered their first setback in the gents Division 1C campaign of the national league when slipping to a 76-66 away defeat from Tweedbank at Galashiels but remain in the driving seat with just two games to play.
Ewan Shearer skipped Alistair Wilson, John Giolgley and Ian Drysdale to an excellent 27-10 win over Malcolm Thin but Peter Lynch, Andy Forrest, Mark Bonar and Sandy McDougall lost 18-15 to Kenny Johnstone.
The real damage was done by the heavier defeats of the rinks skipped by Jimmy Mallon and Gary Orr who took over from absent stars Walter McDougall and Graeme Byrne.
Mallon and his front-three of Craig Kirkwood, Andy Jenkins, and Jim Speirs failed to register at 16 of the 21 ends and slumped to a 25-10 defeat from Stuart White while Ralph Nicol inflicted 23-14 pain on Graeme Keery, Davie Ross, Diz Drysdale and Orr.
Balbardie get a great chance to redeem themselves this weekend when they entertain Teviotdale at Bathgate. Byrne and McDougall remain absentees so team manager Bill Black goes with the same personnel but has reshaped his line up.
Gary Orr skips Peter Lynch, Andy Jenkins and Jim Mallon while Jim Speirs skips Keer, Ross and Drysdale while Kirkwood leads for Sandy McDougall.
West Lothian IBC, the A section leaders of the Premier League, scored a commendable 83-77 away win over Aberdeen.
Calum Logan will captain Scotland’s recently announced Under 25 International Team at County Antrim in February while the WLIBC are also celebrating the continued selection of Lisa Barrett and Jenifer Richardson for the women’s event at Nottingham, also in February.