Four Fairlie women were bowled over after scooping an unexpected bronze medal at the sport’s national championships.

Wilma Rodger, Mags McNeill, Frances Mackay and Susan Agnew blew away the competition to be only the second ever team from Fairlie Bowling Club to win a national medal.

The ladies competed in the over 55 fours section of the Scottish Championships in Ayr, and Wilma says even making it past the first round defied their expectations for the competition.

She explained: “We won the North Ayrshire Championship in June at West Kilbride, so we then got to represent the area at the Scottish finals.

“It’s basically a knockout format and we went down there expecting to only play one game, but we ended up going further than a senior fours team from Fairlie ever had.

“We reached the semi-finals and it was a close game, but unfortunately we just missed out on the final.

“They give the two losing teams from the semi a bronze medal which is nice, and it saved us from having to play another game in the heat.”

Wilma admits she thought she was a jinx for her team after having a poor record in previous national championships.

She said: “This was my fourth time getting to the Scottish Championships and I had never got past the first round before.

“I wasn’t very hopeful of progressing, and I honestly felt like I was a bad omen for the rest of my team.

“However we just kept winning and we were cheered on by a good support from Fairlie in the stands.

“It is the biggest day for bowling in Scotland, with the sun shining and the stands full it couldn’t have been any better.”

Wilma believes the win is a historic moment for the club, with only one other national medal in its history.

She added: “As far as I know the only others from Fairlie Bowling Club that have won a medal was a mixed pairs team a few years ago.

“It is a really big occasion for the whole club, and we have had loads of messages from members congratulating us.

“The bowling scene in this area is fantastic, with three clubs in Largs, West Kilbride, Skelmorlie and ourselves.

“The sport is only growing more popular after the pandemic, and we can’t wait to see where it goes next.”