West Lothian gents travel north to Arbroath this Saturday to launch their Scottish Cup campaign against Division 2 opposition Garioch of Inverurie in a prelim round clash the premier league stars are expected to win.
Balbardie face fellow Division 1 opposition in the shape of Tweedbank at East Lothian but the struggling Bathgate based club had yet to announce their intended line up.
West Lothian gents have zoomed up the table in Section A of the Premier League and having escaped the relegation zone their latest 94-60 win at home to Lanarkshire pushed them into second place albeit 8 points behind undefeated leaders Falkirk.
Wins on the three rinks skipped respectively by James Speirs, Calum Logan, and Neil Speirs plus a peel for Craig Moss reflected a strong team performance in front of a cheered up home crowd at the Inveralmond Stadium. The match highest flyers was the rink of Richard Mark, the returning Thomas Mann, Gary Orr, and James Speirs who looked well fired up on rocket fuel as they delivered a super sonic 32-14 win over R Gordon. The chief support came from Calum Logan and his front three of Darren Pearce, Raymond Logan, and Cameron Greer who zipped to a convincing 24-13 victory over J Simpson. Win number three was served up Neil Speirs and his rink of Bryan Cooper, Ian Drysdale, and Jamie Aitken who battled with determination to gain a hard fought 20-15 win over P Simpson. The closest outcome of the match saw the rink of George Sneddon, Connor McKendrick, and Mark Allison forced to settle for an 18-18 peel with G Neilson.
Balbardie gents face the real threat of relegation from Section A of Division 1 following an 80-74 defeat at home to table-toppers Fraserburgh that leaves them a single point ahead of bottom rung club Headwell.
The final fixtures a week on Saturday give Balbardie a tough visit to second from top Cumbernauld while Headwell face less formidable opposition when they travel to Dundee.
The sad passing of Willie Duff of Balbardie IBC is being mourned nationwide as the highly respected past president of the national body (SIBA) made a vast contribution to the sport both at local and national levels and in 2015 was made an Honorary Life Member of the ruling body.
Willie’s funeral is today (Thur) at Armadale Parish Church (10am) then West Lothian Crematorium, Livingston (11am) and the thoughts of the bowls community at this sad time are with his wife Margo and extended family.