If the Midlothian bubble was going to burst after five wins out of five in the A section of the indoor bowls premier league then it was most likely to be pricked by a Blantyre gents team that is invincible at home having gone six seasons with a defeat.
Blantyre have also been in recent high flying mode with four wins out of five so something had to give when the teams clashed at the weekend and it turned out to be Midlothian returning to Dalkeith nursing the wounds of a 19 shot defeat. Billy Peacock continued his undefeated run by skipping his rink of Colin Cook, Andy Caldwell, and Danny McDougall to a narrow win but fellow skips Colin Walker, AJ Knight, and David Peacock, were unable to cope with their respective opposition.
“The Blantyre carpet is notorious for its unfriendly characteristics that challenge the skills and patience of visiting teams but it also has to be said that they are solid performers as a unit and boast several big star names” reflected Midlothian manager Frank Gray. “It is obviously no disgrace to lose at this toughest of venues and we did compete very well on two of the three phases so the setback hasn’t knocked our positive outlook or our team spirit which remains strong”, he added.
The phase scoring highlights the middle seven-ends as the main discomfort zone of a Midlothian team that sagged to the tune of a 33-16 setback and masks the encouraging qualities of just being edged out 28-24 on the first, and nosing the third, 24-22. Midlothian’s first taste of defeat this campaign means they now share top of the table spot with their conquerors however Blantyre get the nod with a superior shot margin plus of 198 to 50.
Peacock (Billy) kicked on from 10-10 to 17 with a run of 1, 5, 1 then completing just 19 of the 21 ends held on to skip his rink to a 17-15 win over John Meikle. Walker was heading in the wrong direction at 14-8 down but several ends later stirred things up by skipping Jack Macnab, Drew Pearson, and Colin Macfarlane to a super count of 6 before conceding a single at the last cost him a 22-20 defeat from Scott Bishop.
Knight and his rink of Ian Forbes, Kevin McDougall, and Lindsay Plenderleith conceded 4, 4 to stand 20-10 down then lost 24-15 to Iain McLean. Peacock (David) and his front-three of Jamie Macnab, Ryan Yuill, and Craig Hodge lost 22-12 to Brian Irvine.