Balbardie marched into the quarterfinals stage of the indoor bowls Scottish Team Championship event with a commanding 8-0 win over East Lothian at Falkirk and now meet Tweedbank.
Both clubs have past title-winning form in the event with East Lothian reigning as champions in 1989 and 1991 while Balbardie took the trophy back to Bathgate in 1995 and 2007.The Team Championship is a mixed male/female format embracing Singles/Pairs/Triples/Fours but the headline clash in the Singles was an all male affair featuring two talented exponents in Peter Lynch and John McCrorie. Although better known for their exploits under the outdoor code the battle between the 2003 WL Master and the 2000 national singles champion was expected to be a cracking encounter and it did indeed turn out to be a real humdinger. The confrontation stretched to a near marathon 26-ends and was of epic proportions going right down to the wire before Lynch set the Balbardie pulse rates racing as he clinched a 21-19 victory.
Peels were called again at 14-14 and 15-15 then Lynch carded a magic 3 at end 20 followed by a single to bring the winning post into sharp focus at 19-15 however McCrorie placed the outcome back in the melting pot with a sizzling 1, 2, 1 fight back to 19-19. First Blood can be an inspirational match-changing moment in this form of team play so it was a great morale boost for Balbardie when Lynch edged successive singles in a nail-biting climax to hit 21 on end 26. The Triples was next to finish and it featured Kim Ross, Sharon Leitch, and Walter McDougall of Balbardie against Megan Kivlin, Andy Burt, and Tommy Young. It turned out to be magic carpet ride for Balbardie with McDougall and Co carding a mighty 5 at the first end then repeating the feat on end 4 to lead 13-2 and entering end 8 they had the opposition in their 16-3 grip. Final score, 26-18.
The early tide in the Pairs flowed towards the EL partnership of Janet Dickson and Peter Fallen who lead 7-2 after five ends but a swift change of direction saw Brian Craig and Lorraine Malloy ride the crest of a wave with a surging run of 1, 5, 1, (2), 4, 1, 1, 1 to cross 16-9. The combination of Craig – the reigning WL Master – and Malloy – The Commonwealth Games Internationalist – continued to be on song and a run of 2, 4, 3, to 25-10 saw them contribute a 25-13 victory.
Ewan Shearer skipped his sister Morven, Margo Duff, and Ritchie Templeton from 8-8 after eight ends to a 26-14 win that included a run of 2, 7, 1 and a last end count of 5 against Yvonne Veitch, Gordon Pryde, Janet Fairnie, and Dougie Berwick.
High expectations of a good Scottish Cup run for the ladies of Balbardie came to early grief with the recent champions of the Division1C national league making a traumatic two shot prelim round exit to Bainfield at neutral venue Livingston. Balbardie had finished 10 points and 106 shots superior to Bainfield in the IC league and were obvious formbook favourites to reach the first round proper and they looked set to deliver with just one bowl to come. The match had been played out on a knife-edge from start to finish but was tilted in Balbardie’s direction until a cruel break saw the final delivery from Bainfield skip Isabel Anderson wriggle into the head via a short bowl deflection to count a match winning single. “we were left totally gutted” reflected spokeswoman Ally Blagg. The final score was Balbardie 72 Bainfield 74. The rink scores were, Sharon Leitch 19 Marion Dickson 16; Delia Flannigan 21 Anna Anderson 19; Margo Duff 15 Isabel Anderson 18; Pat Purdie 17 Theresa Blair 21.