WENDY Purdie and Jennifer Richardson combined their brand of exciting skills to bring national title glory to West Lothian having captured the 2-Bowl Pairs crown in the joint Scottish Championship finals staged at the West of Scotland stadium over last weekend.
Whilst the partnership from West Lothian IBC hit the heights in great style there was double heartache for their Balbardie IBC neighbours with Lorraine Malloy in the Singles and the Andrew Chapman/Ewan Shearer challenge in the 2-Bowl Pairs both suffering dramatic exits in their respective semi finals.
Purdie spent her formative years as a member of Bainfield and was already a prolific winner of domestic titles before a change of geography led to a transfer of allegiance to the Inveralmond stadium at Livingston.
The 38-year-old mother of two (daughters) played three international series for Scotland under the Bainfield banner and has achieved the same number of caps to date representing West Lothian.
And she has proved to be a treasured acquisition for WL having brought the club its first ever national singles crown when capturing the blue ribbon title of the championships in 2008.
The 2009 season brought Purdie further national success as she skipped Angie Uttley to the 4-Bowl Pairs title then she doubled up by skipping Irene Taylor Jennifer Sneddon and Uttley to glory in the Fours as well.
And now with the 2010 season still to bring her title opportunities in the British Isles Championships at Perth come March she has added to her national honours by skipping 19-year-old budding star Jennifer to her first Scottish title.
The West Lothian partnership faced Margaret Craig and Rhona Jarvis of Garioch (Inverurie) in the semi final action at the WOS venue and thrilled their travelling support with a superb performance to win in straight sets.
The WL champions answered the loss of a single on the opening end with a run of 3, 1, 1, 1, and they went on to dominate the first set, 7-1 then the duo remained in tip-top form to capture the second set, 7-2.
Ardrossan beat Karen Dawson and Ceri Ann Davies, 2-1 in the other semi final so it was Janice Dougal and Michelle Cooper who lined up as the opposition to West Lothian in the final.
The contest wasn't plain sailing for the West Lothian partnership with Ardrossan well in command to capture the first set by a comfortable 7-3 margin, however capitulation wasn't in the thoughts of Richardson/Purdie and they ran away with the second set.
A 3-3 deadlock in the third and final set was broken by the WL challengers who raised their game with a 2, 1 reply and having made that space they clinched the title with a single to win the decider 7-3.
“Although the seasons have been split by the summer break this success means I have won three national titles in the one calendar year and that is more than you even dream about,” summed up the WL skip.
“And I hope this success will be a stepping stone to even bigger things for Jennifer who will benefit greatly from this experience,” she added.
West Lothian IBC came into the final days play double handed with 18-year-old Lisa Barrett bidding to avenge the defeat she suffered at the hand of Michelle Cooper in the 2008 final of the Junior Singles.
But having impressed with her 21-10 win over Ailsa Robertson of Dundee in the semi final stage Barrett found Cooper a different kettle of fish and the Ardrossan star powered to a 21-14 success in the first of her two finals,.
Cooper was winning the junior singles title for a record-equalling third time so that is a measure of what Barrett was up against however the teenager did give a good account of herself and was considered unlucky to lose a 3 when attempting a conversion at 9-6 down.
Balbardie IBC were double-handed going into the showpiece climax to the joint national championships and expectations of title success were high however both dreams were shattered in nail biting circumstances.
Lorraine Malloy carried the banner of the Bathgate-based club in the ladies singles and her ambition was to couple up the indoor title with the outdoor one she captured at Ayr Northfield back in August.
And despite facing the toughest of challenges in the semi finals she shaped up as the likely winner against defending champion Julie Forrest of Teviotdale whose own driving mission was to reign as champion for a record-equalling fourth time.
Both players contributed to an epic battle that became excitingly deadlocked at 16-16 before Forrest edged ahead with a single then suffered great anguish when Malloy thrilled her support by carding a full house 4 to 20.
Malloy surely had victory firmly in her grasp but the tensions multiplied as Forrest kept her hopes alive with two singles to 19 then the Border challenger stole the show with a magnificent count of 2 to triumph 21-20.
Forrest went on to complete a successful defence of the title with a 21-14 win over Caroline Brown of Blantyre, a three-times former winner of the junior crown, who had defeated Kathy Houston of Paisley, 21-5 in her semi final.
Balbardie were represented in the gents 2-Bowl Pairs by Andy Chapman and outdoor cap Ewan Shearer, and they put up a bold show against Steven Tywnholm and world-stage figure David Gourlay of Glasgow in their semi final.
The cold facts are that they went down in two straight sets but the drama behind their defeat was intense as they had finished peels on both sets but then lost in melting pot extra-end deciders.
The final was won however by Colin McBride and Stewart Anderson of Auchinleck who claimed the title with set scores of 9-3, and 6-3.
Mike Stepney of Elgin captured the gents Singles title proper with a 21-6 win over Andrew Furye of Arbroath.