The West Lothian father and son partnership of Alan and Jack Murphy will carry the Bellsburn-Linlithgow banner into the national finals stage of the Bowls Scotland Championships at Ayr Northfield next month having upset the odds in the District Finals played at East Calder on Tuesday night.Read More
Making their first ever appearance in the District Finals showpiece occasion it was a great thrill for 52 year old Alan to skip his 21 year old son to a commanding 14-8 victory in the Pairs, and in underdog circumstances as their opposition came in the shape of Hamilton Trophy stalwarts Drew Paterson and Alec Allan of Newbridge. Paterson and Allan both have national title success on their CV’s – and in Allan’s case a British Isles one as well – so expectation of a Newbridge triumph was high, and looked likely to be delivered when making a strong start to lead 6-1. “We don’t do panic” said Murphy Senior later and the one time teenage cricketer of exciting promise, not fulfilled, went on the offensive to great effect skipping his son on a extended run of 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, (1), 3, 1 that turned the tables 13-7 in their favour. The trading of a single was the signal for an explosion of joy from the Bellsburn support as they cheered a memorable victory that gives them a hoped for but unexpected trip to Ayr.
The final of the Singles featured two top class exponents in the shape of Peter Lynch (Whitburn) and Bryan Cooper (Bathgate); but the expected cracker failed to ignite with 47 year old Lynch dominating the scoring to win 21-9 in 17-ends. “I caught the green a treat to establish a 14-9 lead then hit 21 with a run of 1, 3, 2, 1” described Lynch. Lynch – winner of the WL Masters title in 2003 – is a previous District Champion having at the age of 20 reached the historical ‘last finals occasion’ at Queens Park in 1989 where he lost in the first round to emerging Lanarkshire star Ian Campbell.
The final of The Junior Singles was a last chance saloon scenario for 25 year old Calum Black of Uphall Station who was returning to the venue of his learning years and knowing East Calder like the back of his hand inspired him to a 21-15 win over Jamie Aitken of Newbridge.
Queensferry looked set to sink at 11-7 down in the Triples but their crew of Gary Grant, Neil McLean, and Iain McLean created a finishing wave of 1, 3, 3, 1, 5 that capsized Kirkliston stars Scott Logan, John Aitken, and Calum Logan, 20-11.
Linlithgow looked to be home and dry at 13-6 up in the Fours but Blackburns, Willie Clark, Jock Graham, Tommy Lee, and George Reynolds stormed to a 20-15 victory with a 3, (2), 3, 5, 3 finish against Andrew Grimshaw Jnr, David Alexander, Scott Mushet, and Gary Smith.
West Lothian lived dangerously against tip top East section opposition in the shape of Edinburgh & Leith at Queensferry last Saturday; but despite only having two winning rinks out of six, managed to escape to a dramatic three shot victory.Read More
The major contributor to the final 112-109 totals flashed up on the master scoreboard being the winning performances from the rinks skipped by Raymond Logan, and Andrew Dunnett. Yet the hero figure that tipped the scales in a nail biting climax emerged in the shape of Sandy McDougall whose rink played the final two ends in spotlight isolation and attracted rapturous applause when carding a magic count of 4 followed by the affordable loss of a single. McDougall and his front-three of John Black, Alec Allan, and James Speirs Jnr made their colossal impact on the outcome of the match despite suffering a 22-17 defeat from Robert Marshall.
WL battled against the collar for all but one –the sixth- of the first 17 ends but never allowed E&L to reach a comfort zone although the visitors did show signs of a growing supremacy when going 14 up (59-45) after 10 ends.
End 15 across the six rinks will be hailed as the game-changing moment as WL achieved a 10-0 clean sweep that reduced E&L’s comfortable looking 11 shot lead (77-66) down to a very attackable single shot (77-76) advantage. The phase scoring depicts a battle royal with E&L edging the first seven-ends, 35-34, then capturing the second, 42-32; but WL banking two vital win points with a storming 46-32 fight back on the third.
West Lothian’s chief architect of victory was “Super Ray” Logan who lifted spirits with a run that powered him from 10-8 to 21-8 en route to skipping Steven Forrest, Connor McKendrick, and Gary Smith to a 23-13 win over Darren Hush.
Dunnett pushed on from 12-12 to skip Ewan Shearer, Jordan Pearce, and Walter McDougall to a 19-13 win over Mal Higgenbotham. John Aitken skipped Andy Semple, Greg Baldry, and David Lamb to a 21-21 peel with Paul O’Donnell while Drew Paterson, David Rodgers, Calum Logan, and Grant Logan slipped to a narrow 19-16 defeat from James Hogg. Steven Fleming and his rink of Scott Middlemiss, Blair Mackie, and Mark Allison steadied from 16-7 down in a 21-16 defeat from John McDermott. Other Results : East Lothian 140 Midlothian 113; Borders 128 Fife 105; West Fife 108 Stirling East 129.
West Lothian feature in a top of the bill match this Saturday and have home environment advantage at Kirkliston against undefeated section leaders East Lothian who hope to have world stage star Alex Marshall MBE – expected to fly in from Australia on Friday night – in their line up. The other fixtures are Edinburgh & Leith v Midlothian at Northern; Borders v West Fife at Jedburgh: Fife v Stirling East at Strathmiglo.
Andrew Semple of Newbridge stepped up his defence of the Jack High Insurance sponsored WLBA Junior Open title, for The Fred Meikle Trophy, with a hard fought 21-19 victory over Mark McCullagh of Buchan Park in Monday nights second round action. The quarterfinals action this Monday night coming features cracking encounters in the shape of, Calum Logan (Kirkliston) v Jordan Pearce (Kirkliston), Andrew Semple (Newbridge) v Connor McKendrick (Middleton Hall), both at Buchan Park; also Kyle Brodley (Kirkliston) v Steven Fleming (Buchan Park); Shaun Cairns (Harrysmuir) v Blair Mackie (Newbridge) both at Ratho.
Whitburn booked their place in tomorrow nights (Fri) semi final action of The Kelso Cup at Broxburn with a 39-29 win over West Calder, and will face a Newbridge opposition that progressed at the 36-21 expense of Kinneil.
Buchan Park impressed with a 35-28 victory over Bathgate, and will line up in their semi final against a Bellsburn team that dealt a 35-21 exit to Broxburn.
West Lothian powered to a spectacular 71 shot victory (155-84) over Stirling County East at Burn head, Lambert, in match three of The Cities and Counties Championship, for the iconic Hamilton Trophy.Read More
The demolition of the home based opposition was engineered in exciting style by brilliant double figure triumphs for the rinks skipped by Andy Dennett, Raymond Logan, and Steve Fleming, ably supported by harder fought wins for Thomas Mann, and Sandy McDougall. Grant Logan almost made it a clean sweep; but losing a single at the last forced him to settle for a peel that wasn’t considered a negative in a magnificent team performance.
WL hit the ground running and led from start to finish having established an early authority via an 18 shot lead (28-10) after three ends then entering the comfort zone of the high 20’s (26) with an 8-0 on clean sweep the next end. The completion of end seven saw the master scoreboard signalling a massive 40 shot lead (60-20) for the rampant visitors then a quieter 38-31 (+7) outcome of the second phase was followed by the 57-33 (+24) supremacy of the third. Dunnett won 15 of his 21 ends and included a run of 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1 as he skipped Ewan Shearer, Jamie Aitken, and Walter McDougall to a 28-8 win over C Ross.
Logan (Ray) celebrated a mighty 5 at the third end and a magnificent 7 at 20th as he skipped Steven Forrest, Connor McKendrick, and Gary Smith to a 32-13 win over Gary Rowan. Fleming zipped into a 14-1 lead after eight ends en route to skipping Scott Middlemiss, Blair Mackie, and Mark Allison to a 31-13 win over Simon Thomson.
Mann trade comfortably from 14-5 to beat Stuart Hogg, 21-13, and McDougall battled on from 21-21 to score a 29-23 win over Stuart Williamson while Grant Logan was held to a 14-14 peel by D Couper. It was a major bonus for WL when the news broke that their first match conquerors, Midlothian, had suffered a shock 46 shot home defeat at Newbattle (137-91) from Borders.
Elsewhere in the East section, leaders East Lothian made it three wins in three by crushing Fife County by 53 shots (145-92) at Leslie, and Edinburgh &Leith best West Fife 130-90 (+40) at Wardie.
WL continue their campaign with a massive clash this Saturday at Queesnferry against visitors Edinburgh & Leith for which John Aiken steps up for the unavailable Thomas Mann at skip while David Lamb coming in at third, and Jordan Pearce of Kirkliston takes over from Jamie Aitken at second to Andy Dunnett.
The Under 25 brigade of the WLBA slipped to a narrow four shot defeat at home to Dumbartonshire at Uphall Station in the Scottish League Cup. The rink scores were, Greg Baldry 23-12; Connor McKendricj 25-20; Scott McMaster 15-15; Calum Black 19-19; Jordan Pearce 20-24; Jamie Aitken 13-29.
Monday nights Last 16 line up in the Jack High Insurance sponsored WLBA Junior Open for the Fred Meikle Trophy features; Calum Logan v Jame Aitken; Jamie Deegan v Jordan Pearce; Andrew Semple (H) v Mark McCullagh; at Harrysmuir – Connor McKendrick v Calum Black; Kyle Brodley v Greg Baldry; at Kirkliston – Jamie Edwards v Steven Fleming; Alan Paterson v Shaun Cairns, Ryan miller v Blair Mackie; at Pumpherston.
Friday nights quarterfinals of The Kelso Cup features; Buchan Park v Bathgate at East Calder; Bellsburn v broxburn at Pumpherston; Kinneil v Newbridge at Buchan Park; West Calder v Winchburgh at Newbridge.
WL Under 25’s face Ayrshire at Larkhall this Sunday in the opening round of the Jim Bell Scottish Cup.
West Lothian bounced back from their opening match defeat in the Cities & Counties Championship with a strong performance to beat Fife County by 25 shots (123-98) on home territory at East Calder.Read More
Wins on five rinks – skipped by Ray Logan, Thomas Mann, Grant Logan, Andy Dunnett, and Sandy McDougall – were hard fought battles on three of them while the only setback was suffered by Stevie Fleming. Whilst WL had the visitors continuously against the collar from the second end onwards it was late in the game before the home side entered the comfort zone of the 20’s plus and indeed there was only nine shots in it entering the 15th end, The three- phase analysis shows WL being hard pushed to gain a 7 shot edge (41-34) on the first then a 2 shot advantage (36-34) on the second; but confirm their supremacy with a 16 shot (46-30) domination of the third. End 17 was positively significant and seen as the match clincher in the shape of a 13-0 clean sweep that accelerated the match lead on the master scoreboard from 12 to 25 (101-76). McDougall led that charge with a super count of six.
It was a much earlier count of a six – at the second end -that sparked a top performance from ‘Super Ray’ Logan who went on to skip Steven Forrest, Connor McKendrick, and Gary Smith to a 26-9 win over Gary Mackie. Mann raced into a 10-1 lead then from 18-8 produced a strong finish to skip Andy Semple, Greg Baldry, and John Aitken to a 27-11 win over Calum Young.
Grant Logan kicked on from 8-7 to skip Drew Paterson, David Rodgers, and Calum Logan to a 22-16 win over David Comrie while a three at the last saw Ewan Shearer, Jamie Aitken, Mark Allison, and Andy Dunnett steal a 19-18 win over James Forbes.
McDougall came back from 10-15 to skip John Black, Alec Allan, and James Speirs to a 20-19 win over James Fernie; but there was no way back for Scott Middlemiss, Blair Mackie, Walter McDougall and Stevie Fleming in a 25-9 defeat from Alan Pearson. Team manager Gordon Logan has switched Mark Allison and Walter McDougall to play third to Stevie Fleming and Andy Dunnett respectively for this Saturday’s away match against Stirling County East at Burnhead BC, Larbert.
West Lothian’s Under 25 brigade looked set for victory when establishing a comfort zone lead of 21 shots after five ends against Renfrewshire at Linlithgow in the Scottish League Cup, but that early promise suffered a serious collapse to a 28 shot defeat.(107-135). Rink scores – Greg Baldry 10 –30; Jamie Aitken 18-25; Connort McKendrick 21-27; Scott McMaster 19-22; Calum Black 21-18; Jordan Pearce 18-13. WL continue their campaign with a home match against Dumbartonshire at Uphall Station this Sunday.
Play in the Jack High Insurance sponsored WLBA Junior Open for the Under 30’s Meikle Trophy saw defending champion Andy Semple of Newbridge beat Kyle McCorisken of Middleton Hall, 21-14, in a prelim tie and he now faces Cameron Fraser of Whitburn at Pumpherston on Monday Night.
Uphall Station captured the scalp of Kirkliston (32-24) in the first round proper of The Kelso Cup and tomorrow night (Fri) face Newbridge at Linlithgow.
Whilst defeat for West Lothian in their opening match of The Hamilton Trophy isn’t the end of the world their 10 shots defeat (116-106) at the hands of Midlothian at Buchan Park (Broxburn) is a disappointing result.Read More
Midlothian produced the goods when questions were being asked of both teams in the closing stages and it may be that a more vigorous pre-campaign build up programme brought vital benefits to the visitors in terms of sharper match fitness, stronger mentality focus, and the stamina to last out the 21-ends.
WL did have their moments and it is to their credit that they absorbed the shock of a 13-0 loss on the first end to quickly bounce back and establish a substantial 15 shot lead (47-32) after seven ends. But the accelerator pedal couldn’t be found leading to steady inroads being made by Midlothian who having cut their deficit to a single shot (78-77) entering end 15 hit the front with a 7-3 score at the next then pressed on to clinch a hard fought victory.
World stage star Ronnie Duncan was the stand out figure across the green and the visitor probably made the difference as he skipped his rink to a handsome 24-11 win over Drew Paterson, David Lamb, Calum Logan and Grant Logan.The other five rinks were all close encounters; Sandy McDougall 20 David Peacock 16; Neil Speirs 21 Scott Briggs 17; Ray Logan 18 Danny McDougall 19; Steven Fleming 18 Colin MacFarlane 19; Thomas Mann 18 Colin Walker 21. West Lothian bid to pick up the pieces this weekend and enjoy home advantage against Fife County at East Calder. Jamie Aitken and David Rodgers come in for absentees David Lamb and Neil Speirs.
A dark cloud over Newbridge last Sunday saw the West Lothian champions make a shock 6-2 exit to far travelled Stranraer of Wigtownshire in the prelim round of The Co-operative Funeralcare Inter County Top Ten Tournament.
The Under 25 brigade of West Lothian B.A. hit the ground running with a 127-109 away win over Stirling in the Scottish League Cup. This weekend’s match is against Renfrewshire at Linlithgow on Sunday (2pm).