Midlothian gents saw their realistic dreams of capturing the top of the table honours in the A Division of the indoor bowls Premier League crushed to smithereens with a 15 shot defeat at home to relegation zoned visitors Lanarkshire.
The penultimate fixture in the 10 match programme brought heartache to The Dalkeith Stadium with Midlothian suffering their first defeat on the home carpet and the pain of their shock 97-82 setback was magnified by the news that joint leaders Blantyre had scored an away win over defending national champions Paisley.
Blantyre had entered match number nine with the massive shot margin plus of 167 so the sequence of results meant that Midlothian could now do no better than finishing second- a repeat of last season’s top two. Lanarkshire arrived at Dalkeith fighting for the preservation of their premier league status and although still searching for a first away win their position looked a false one thereby suggesting they represented a dangerous threat.
Midlothian’s desire not to sleepwalk into a banana skin situation was translated in the most positive of manners with the home support immediately in raptures as they applauded a whirlwind start to lead 15-0.c“Everything in our garden did look rosy at that stage and whether it led to complacency in the ranks I don’t know for sure but our killer instinct never reared its head and it became a painful sight to watch our campaign ambitions destroyed by an inspired Lanarkshire revival” said Gray.
Defeat on their home carpet for the rinks skipped by Sandy Knight, Colin Macfarlane, and Billy Peacock came as a great disappointment with gold medal icon figure David Peacock the only homer to make a winning impression.cMidlothian peaked at 17 shots up (26-9) after for ends but the value of that exciting start had been greatly reduced to eight with a first phase seven-end score of 34-26. cThe Lanarkshire fight back continued with the visitors dictating the second phase pace to win it 33-27 but leaving Midlothian still showing ahead by a short neck so it was shell-shock trauma when the title contenders bombed 21-38 when the going became tough. Peacock (Billy) saw his impressive eight wins in a row record ended by a 23-14 defeat from 33 times capped Robert Grant having made a great start to lead 8-0 but suffering a collapse from 12-12. Other scores; D Peacock 22 J Simpson 17; C Macfarlane 25 R Gordon 34; S Knight 21 S Hume 23.