Expectations were high so it was a big disappointment when the strong West Lothian IBC partnership of international stars Calum Logan and Neil Speirs failed to deliver a title winning challenge in the climax to the gents Scottish 2Bowl Pairs Championship at Paisley last weekend.
The high profile West Lothian champions gave the impression they were settling into a comfortable rhythm when carding counts of 1 and 2 that pushed them into a 5-3 lead over Lanarkshire challengers Russell Hinson and Roddy McCready in the opening set of their semi final clash. But the signal turned out to be a false one as it was Lanarkshire that raised their game under pressure to capture the first set, 6-5, having stunned Logan and Speirs with a 2, 1 finish to gain a psychological advantage going into the second set.
Their experience of big time occasions tipped the expectation levels in favour of a fight back from the West Lothian partnership but they dropped an expensive 3 shots on the first end of the second set and remained on the back foot to suffer a 7-2 loss that killed off their title challenge. The form line was of the highest order but Lanarkshire failed to rubber stamp it in the final where they suffered a two sets to one defeat (8-2; 7-8; 7-2) at the hands of Galleon (Kilmarnock) challengers Drew Boyd and John McCabe Jnr.
Meanwhile West Lothian IBC enter this weekends final fixture in the A Division of the gents Premier League in a precarious position with the threat of finishing up in the relegation playoff position a worryingly real one. WL visit a Blantyre team that has difficulty remembering the last time they lost a home league match however they might turn up on the carpet a bit over relaxed as they have already been confirmed as Division champions.
WL enter the final fixture with a plus advantage of 52 shots over Lanarkshire so a win at Blantyre would see them safe however if losing they will have to hop that their relegation zoned rivals leave Paisley (last seasons champions) empty handed. The WL team fighting for survival is, Rink 1. Richard Mark, Blair Mackie, Stuart Johnston, and Mark Allison. Rink 2. Cameron Greer, Raymond Logan, Des Hagart, and Calum Logan. Rink 3. Bryan Cooper, Jamie Aitken, Paul O’Donnell, and Neil Speirs. Rink 4. Craig Moss, Grant Knox, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann (cpt).
Balbardie IBC gents will capture the Division 1North honours if able to beat joint leaders Alloa at Alloa.