The opening days play in the Johnston Oils sponsored 18th West Lothian Masters produced two massive shockwaves with two of the 16 seeds departing the scene of the Ł4000 event being contested by a field that is 186 strong.
Bathgate star Cameron Green captured the Signature Green Jacket of the Masters in 2012 and campaigned for the 2016 title as the No8 seed however the 29 year old former junior cap made a first round exit to Steven Fleming of Buchan Park.Read More
Fleming – no mean player and respected as a dangerous opponent – tipped the scales in his 21-19 favour on the 24th end having nosed the jack with his opening bowl to bring the curtain down on what had been an epic battle for supremacy. Greer – a grandson of the late great Mel Muirhead of Uphall Station (Bainfield IBC), Linlithgowshire and Scotland fame – came under early pressure at 10-6 down and remained against the collar at 10-16 and 15-20 but raised hopes of an escape to victory with a 1, 3 fight back to 19-20. Calum Black of Uphall Station carried the No16 seed but the 25 year old recent District Junior Singles champion came to first hurdle grief in the shape of a 21-16 defeat from Alan Patterson of Broxburn in 22-ends. Black had failed to represent his best form when making an early exit in last weeks national championships at Ayr Northfield and his spell in the doldrums did look set to continue when slow out of the blocks to trail Patterson. 18-9. A change of gear saw Black accelerate to 16 with a run of 1, 3, 1, 1, 1 but just when an escape from jail looked on the cards his opponent conjured up a magic count of 3 to sideline the seed.
Frazer Muirhead – uncle of the fallen No8 seed – is bowls royalty being the youngest ever (19) winner of the Scottish then British Isles Singles Title back in 1981 – usually enjoys good runs in the WLM however he has also made an early departure. Muirhead (55) spent all last week on official duty at the national championships and may not have been sufficiently at the sharp end of match fitness to cope with Brian Clarkson of Winchburgh, who won 21-13.
Peter Lynch (47) captured the Masters title in 2003 and although not seeded came into the 2016 event as the District Champion; but the Whitburn star suffered a similar fate as the above Calum Black, making a first round exit at Ayr then suffering a 21-14 defeat from Greg Baldry of Newbridge in the WLM.
Northern cashed in on home green advantage to score a shock 3-2 win over frontline title contenders Craigentinny in the quarterfinals stage of the Edinburgh & Leith Top Five Singles Championship for the Ian McFarlane Trophy.
Craigentinny looked set to do the business when their Scotland cap Andrew Caldwell got the visitors off to a winning start at the 21-9 expense of Darren Prentice having stormed to victory with a whirlwind run of 1, 2, 2, 2, 3 from 11-9 up. But Gordon Wilson Jnr kept the Northern in the picture with a cracking 21-10 win over former national junior singles finalist Josh Spalding having powered to victory in 18 ends with a 4, 1, 2 run to 21.
Craigentinny moved into a 2-1 lead with a tip top performance from Kevin McFarlane rewarded with a 21-9 win in 21 ends over Gordon Wilson Sen; the game changing highlight being a run of 2, 1, 1, 3, 1 that pushed the visitor into a substantial 16-5 lead.
Ian Paterson was next to finish for Craigentinny and the former Tait Trophy Champion was in with a fighting chance of taking the visitors into the semi finals as he stood 18-19 against Andy Reid. Reid – club champion in 2015 – thrilled the home support and put the match outcome into the melting pot by carding a sizzling double to clinch a 21-18 thriller in 24-ends.
The final spotlight focused on Ian Miller for Northern against stalwart E&L Hamilton Trophy star Gordon Bold and at 17-16 in favour of Miller there was sweat on the brows of both camps. Miller landed a 1, 2 to 20 so not quite a killer blow and a hat trick of singles to 19 reeled off by Bold sent the match temperature sky high before Miller settled the issue with a nail biting single to win 21-19 in 27-ends.
Other results; Sighthill 4 Tanfield 1; Mayfield 2 Dean 3; Slateford 3 Maitland 2.