West Lothian gents are in the driving seat as clear-cut table toppers entering the final fixture in the B section of the indoor bowls Premier League; but wound licking reigning national champions East Lothian do have a glimmer of hope.Read More
Last weekends showdown between the joint leaders at Livingston didnt quite reach the heights of the expected epic spectacular with West Lothian dictating the pace from start to finish in an otherwise hard earned 18 shot victory (85-67) over last seasons king pins. The major significance of that penultimate match supremacy is that West Lothian visit Paisley this Saturday with the formbook suggesting that they are nailed on to beat the foot of the table team already sentenced to relegation.
But it is a banana skin that has to be avoided as a shock defeat could wipe out the 2 point and 30 shot advantage they have over an East Lothian side that will be thirsting to register a big home win over far travelled Elgin. WL bring back James Speirs this weekend but slot him in at third with Craig Moss retained at skip and the vastly experienced George Sneddon dropping to the bench.
EL welcomes back two top stars in Joe Mower and Mark Johnston to the exclusion of Lessel Middler and Kevin Cunningham.
Craig Moss emerged the man of the moment in West Lothians triumph over East Lothian with the former Bainfield star elevated to skip by the late call off of James Speirs and grabbing the limelight with a massive contribution. Moss was immediately confronted by a back-end opposition partnership of Scotlands two most capped players in the shape of Willie Wood MBE (93) and Graham Robertson (87) and rose magnificently to that challenge by carding shots on 14 of the 20 ends completed. Starting like a house on fire to lead 13-6 after 11-ends he then added 1, 1, 1, 4, (1), 2, 1 to skip Richard Mark, George Sneddon, and Alan McCormick to 22 -7 then onto a team inspiring 25-8 victory Much is expected of icon figure Neil Speirs on his home carpet and the 2014 Commowealth Games gold medal star duly delivered against another strongly formed East Lothian rink.
Speirs and his front-three of Scott Logan, Dougie Mitchell, and Stuart Johnston were still under pressure at 14-13 up after 17-ends against Lessel Middler, Dean Riva, Scott Kennedy, and Billy Mellors. It was match-changing period when Speirs and Co accelerated to a 24-14 victory with a powerful finishing run of 2, 5, (1), 3.
East Lothian were being hard-pressed to get themselves off the back-foot and in a battle of ding dong exchanges it took a double at the last for Derek Oliver to skip Lewis Betts, David Sked, and Jamie Higgins to an 18-16 win over Calum Logan. EL looked towards icon figure Alex Marshall MBE for a spark of inspiration and the six times world singles champion skipped Mark Yuill, Dougie Berwick, and Stuart Thomson to a 27-20 win over Mark Allison but his magnificent count of seven on the penultimate end came too late effect the final outcome on master scoreboard.
Balbardie gents continued their late revival in scoring an impressive 92-74 away win over third placed East Kilbride in Division 1 South and have at least the glimmer of a hope of avoiding automatic relegation if completing a hat trick of wins with a home triumph over Inverclyde.
East Lothian ladies will be led into battle by skips Emma Logan, Dee Hoggan, Janet Fairnie, and Lauren Baillie (cpt) when they face reigning champions Auchinleck in their playoff semi final of the premier league at Lanarkshire IBC on Saturday.
The sudden passing of Linda Brennan at the age of 51 has put the vast bowls community of Scotland and beyond into a state of shock. Known around the world for her infectious personality, humour, warmth knowledge and passion for the sport her contribution to bowls at all levels is incalculable. Linda – the generous and supportive proprietor of David Gourlay Bowls – played 15 Outdoor and 14 Indoor international series for Scotland under The Middleton Hall and WLIBC banner’s and also raised the profile of her native West Lothian as a member of the Scotland Team in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games