West Lothian IBC champions Richard Mark and Mark Allison carried the banner into the glamour stage of the Scottish 4 Bowl Pairs Championship having reeled off a an excellent hat trick of wins in the playdown action staged over last weekend at Dalkeith and Tranent.
The WL duo received a bye into the first round proper and launched their campaign at the Midlothian IBC venue with an astonishing 35-11 win over East Fife challengers James and Alex Hunter. Play switched to the East Lothian IBC stadium on Sunday and although the second match was tougher to win the West Lothian challengers produced a well focused performance to beat Douglas McLean and John Harvey of Allander, 20-15. The opposition in the section final (quarters of the event) came in the shape of Tweedbank challengers Craig Martin and Ross Nichol who got into double gigures but crashed out to a 26-12 defeat from Mark and Allison. The semi final line up at Lanarkshire IBC on Saturday 28th March is West Lothian v Craig Lindsay and Paul Foster of Presteick, and the Burnett brothers – Ryan and Darren of Arbroath against Sam Watson and Steven Rankin of Auchinleck.
The Balbardie IBC challenge was in the hands of Peter Lynch and Sandy McDougall who made a good start to beat Ross Kinnell and Graeme Martin of Headwell, 27-22 in their first round tie at Cumbernauld but made a 17-12 exit to Stuart Strachan and Andy Scott of Cowal in the second round. Sadly both local clubs failed to shine at their best in the playdown action of the Ladies 4 Bowl Pairs with Claire Watson and former title winner Wendy Purdie of West Lothian IBC making a 22-13 exit to Karen McAndrew and Ceceilia Smith of East Fife in the first round at East Lothian IBC. And they were joined on the sidelines at the same stage by betty Johnston and Kim Ross of Balbardie IBC who suffered a 24-18 at the hands of East Lothian mother and daughter Rosemary and Gillian Mackintosh at Cumbernauld. The last four line up reads, East Fife v Turriff, and Paisley v Auchinleck.
The Under 25 International Trials take place at Glasgow IBC this Sunday but there is no representation from either West Lothian or Balbardie IBC in the Gents and overall the Lothian content is small with only Daniel Gormley (Bainfield), Ewan Fallen (East Lothian) and Jamie Macnab (Midlothian) featuring in the 32 strong line up. The WLIBC banner is represented in the Ladies trial with Lisa Barrett and Jenifer Richardson featuring in the 24 strong squad and in Lothian terms they are joined by Dee Hoggan and Emma Brown (East), and Stacey Laidlaw (Mid).
The National League action returns to the calendar tomorrow (Sat) with Premier League holders West Lothian IBC facing a tough test at Dalkeith against a Midlothian team that beat them in the opening fixture at Livingston.
Balbardie IBC hold second position in Division 1 North but their prospects look very bleak for their top of the table clash at Arbroath with the home team hot favourites to extend their undefeated run to six games.