Balbardie gents flirtation with the indoor bowls Premier League has proved to be short lived with the star select of the Bathgate based club making a quick return to Division 1 status having only managed to win three of their 10 games in the top flightRead More
There was a glimmer of hope of escaping the automatic foot of the table relegation spot entering the final fixture against fellow strugglers Paisley in the B Division but even with home environment advantage the last chance saloon scenario ended in defeat. With the stakes high for both teams the battle for survival was an epic one and so finely balanced for a while – that the required Balbardie target of a 30 shot victory always looked to be out of reach.
The final result was a narrow seven shot defeat (85-78) for the home side and a surprise bonus for Paisley is that their fifth win from 10 hoisted them clear of the relegation positions in a leapfrog over Aberdeen who crashed to a costly 94-68 away defeat at Ardrossan.
The unfolding drama at Bathgate so the home spirits sink as they slipped from a 5 shot deficit ( 37-32) after eight ends to a soul destroying 21 (79-58) with just four more ends to play so their bold effort to reduce their margin of defeat to a single figure came much too late. Wins on the rinks skipped by Gary Orr, and Walter McDougall gave the home support something to shout about; but their colleagues Sandy McDougall and Ewan Shearer were outgunned by their respective opposition. The phase scoring reflects a Paisley effort resolute on what was unknown territory to them with the visitors edging the first seven-end phase, 33-28, and the second, 28-24, then restricting Balbardie to a 26-24 capture of the third.
Shearer and his rink of Calum Black, Lindsay Forrest, and Davie Ross were destroyed early doors by a 4, 6, 1, 4 blitz to trail 15-4 and the later heavy loss of a five contributed to a punishing 29-17 defeat from Callum Taggart. Sandy McDougall and his front-three of Duncan Smith, Stuart Ford, and Mark Bonar found themselves on the wrong side of a 17-7 scoreline after 13-ends and suffered a 24-14 defeat from John Gilmartin.
Gary Orr tore into his opposition with counts of 2, 1, 6, 1, 1 to skip Graham Keery, Scott McMaster, and Brian Craig into a 14-3 lead and but for the loss of a six at end 13 would have done even better than his 27-19 win over Graham Dolan. Walter McDougall added a six to skip Tam Whitfield, Andy Forrest, and John Ellis into a 15-11 lead after 13-ends and went onto register a 20-13 win over Derek Moffat.