West Lothian are back in the driving seat in the race to qualify for the knockout stage of The Cities and Counties Championship for The Hamilton Trophy and bid to retain pole position when tackling East Lothian at Buchan Park (Broxburn) this Saturday.Read More
Team manager Gordon Logan has announced an unchanged team that means last gasp sub Gary Grant of Queensferry retains his place having been called up to replace late call-off Scott Logan.
East Lothian have been an exceptionally strong force in recent years however did stumble out of contention in last season campaign and have made a nightmare start to 2018 with three defeats in five games. Last weekends 18 shot defeat on home ground at Haddington from neighbour rivals Midlothian has forced the Garden County into making five changes in personnel and the situation looks ripe for WL making it five wins out of six.
However WL did appear to be on shaky ground themselves at home to fellow joint leaders Edinburgh & Leith at Deans last weekend when fighting against the collar at 14 shots down ( 94-80) entering the final straight of ends 18 to 21. It’s a match that E&L should have gone on to win but WL staged a mighty impressive fight back that saw them escape from jail with an impressively strong team effort that powered them to a 29-14 supremacy and a nerve tingling single shot victory (109-108). Wins on the rinks delivered by Thomas Mann, Steven Fleming, Neil Speirs, and Andy Dunnett were hard-earned single digit affairs that were just enough to cover the defeat of Grant Logan and Raymond Logan. The phase scores were, 29-40; 37-37; and 43-31 while the end counts saw WL register at 62 and E&L 64.
Mann added 4, 1, 2 to skip Calum Black, Gary Orr, and Gary Smith into a 13-6 lead then answered match pressures on the four end run with counts of 2, 1, 2, (2) to beat Paul Veitch, 22-17. Fleming and his rink of Jordan Pearce, Paul Sweeney, and Greg Logan were all square at 13-13 after 15 ends then made the vital contribution of 1, 1, 1, 2, (4), 2 to beat the previously undefeated Andrew Ramsay, 20-17. Speirs picked up a welcome 5 at end 12 to skip Steven Forrest, Mark Allison, and Bryan Cooper into a 13-10 lead then answered pressure at 16-16 with a 1, 1, 2, (2) finish to beat John Ramsay, 20-18. Dunnett was heading for a first defeat when trailing James Hogg, 19-11 after 16 ends but thrilled the crowded Deans banking with a thundering finish of 3, 3, (1), 1, 3 to win an epic 21-20 battle.
Grant Logan and his front-three of Jamie Edwards, Blair Mackie, and James Speirs suffered a 10 end drought and only managed to count at seven of their 21-ends but their losses weren’t heavy in a 17-9 defeat from Robert Marshall. Raymond Logan probably played ‘the bowl of the match’ when killing a close head of 3 shots against him with an inch perfect draw to a hidden jack then from 11-17 skipped Darren Pearce, Barry Sword, and Sandy McDougall to 17-19 with a gold plated finish of 1, 2, (2), 3.
Other results saw triple joint leaders West Fife suffer a costly 121-130 defeat at home to Stirling County East while Borders won 127-85 at home to Fife County.
This weekends other fixtures in the East section sees E&L at home to Midlothian at Carrick Knowe; Borders host West Fife at Chirnside; Fife entertain Stirling East at Windygates.