It was celebration high fives all round for the home side at the Dalkeith indoor bowls stadium with Midlothian stretching their undefeated run to five out of five with a 78-73 victory over Arbroath in the A Division of the gents premier league.
The win was an expected form book one over the relegation zoned visitors however the five shot margin was much closer to a coupon-buster result than predicted with Arbroath ruffling the home feathers and introducing anxious thoughts to the Midlothian camp. “Arbroath attacked us from the outset but we were dealing okay with their onslaught to stand 17-17 after four ends however they did rock us back on our heels with follow on counts of 5-1, and 8-0 that in a twinkle had the master scoreboard showing us 12 shots adrift”, reflected Midlothian team manager Frank Gray.
“We did have signs of a major concern at that time with our rink skipped by Colin Walker being gubbed 12-0 and with Colin normally being a safe pair of hands the negative thought of is our bubble about to burst did float into my mind”. “We didn’t achieve an immediate bounce back but we did stay stand-fast as a team and made a gradual progression towards a 52-52 peel with 14-ends played and I then felt the ball was back in our court”.
“We went on to peak at 13 up (72-59) after 17 ends but even so we were left biting our nails and defending a slim and vulnerable two shot advantage entering our last end and their was huge relief when AJ (Sandy) Knight clinched the match points with a magic count of three shots”. Knight and Walker both ended up losing out to their respective oppositions however Midlothian were carried over the winning line by the double figure triumphs delivered by the Peacock brothers – Billy and David. Analysis of the phase scoring paints a fair picture of a match fought out on a knife-edge with Midlothian losing the first seven-ends, 32-25, then showing true grit to capture the second, 27-20, and the third, 26-21. Walker improved from 0-13, 2-21, and 5-22 to close to 14-22 but then conceded 2, 2, 1, 2 to suffer a 29-14 defeat from Davy Garvie. Knight crossed to 13-11 with a run of 1, 4, 1, 1 but the soon to be last end hero slipped to an 18-16 defeat Paul Carnegie. Peacock (Billy) enjoyed highlights that included a magnificent seven on end three and a run of 2, 2, 1, 2, (1), 4 then 4, 1, (1), 1, 1 to beat Sandy Pirie, 26-14. Peacock (David) was lifted into a 12-6 lead with a mighty five at end seven and later run of 2, 2, 3 inspired a 22-12 win over Andy Furye.
West Lothian continue to endure miserable times in the A Division of the gents indoor bowls premier league with the not-so-long-ago three -in-a-row champions suffering a heavy and damaging 28 shot defeat at home to Blantyre. The 88-60 setback was West Lothian’s third defeat in five leaving them to enter the second half of the campaign six points adrift of table-toppers Midlothian and four behind second placed Blantyre.
Blantyre inflicted punishment on the home rinks skipped by Calum Logan, James Speirs, and Neil Speirs with Thomas Mann the only one spared defeat in the shape of the team captain finishing with a peel. Mann was heading for a win when skipping Nathan McKendrick, Grant Knox, and Jamie Gracie on a run of 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 to lead 14-11 before conceding 1, 2 against Stewart Anderson. Lean times for Logan and his front-three of Blair Mackie, Barry Sword, and Cameron Greer included dropping a seven at end 19 in a 24-12 defeat from Scott Bishop, Speirs (James) and his rink of James Greenock, Dougie Mitchell, and Craig Moss stood 12-6 up before a 1, 2, 1, (1), 5, 3 (3), 2, 4, 3, (1) collapse led to a 27-17 defeat from Brian Irvine. Speirs (Neil) skipped Jamie Aitken, Raymond Logan, and Paul O’Donnell into a 13-8 lead but finished up being outgunned, 23-17 by Iain McLean.