Newbridge BC is the centre of the universe for local bowlers this Sunday with the final days play in the Johnston Oils sponsored 18th West Lothian Masters featuring the Last Eight qualifiers engaging in the battle to capture the £1000 title and Signature Green Jacket.Read More
The schedule of play is 11am for the Quarter Finals; 1-30pm for the Semi Finals; and 4pm for the Final.
Tonight’s (Thur) play features the last 32 in action at venues, Glenmavis, East Calder, Linlithgow, and Whitburn then followed by the Section Finals on Friday at Buchan Park and Bathgate.
George Sneddon is one challenger of Super Star reputation that won’t be in the running to become the celebrated 2016 WLM having made an exit in Tuesday nights second round however the 66 year old Broxburn veteran will capture part of the limelight as he is being inducted into The Hall Of Fame. Sixteen Seeds featured in the 186 strong field but two of then didn’t survive the opening first round play on Monday and on Tuesday four more failed to reach the Last 64 at which stage the Tony Macaroni Restaurant in Livingston was gifting a £10 voucher prize to each of the second round winners.
The opening play claimed No 8 seed Cameron Greer of Bathgate and his No16 counterpart Calum Black of Uphall Station as first round fallers. Greer (29) captured the WLM title in 2012; but the former junior cap and champion of the WLBA Junior Open in 2013 saw his 2016 challenge ended by a 21-19 defeat from the notable Steven Fleming of Buchan Park, after an epic 24-end battle.
Black (24) has suffered a depressing few days on the green-green grass with the District Junior Singles champion making a first round exit in the Nationals at Ayr Northfield then bowing out of The Masters to a 21-16 defeat from Alan Patterson of Broxburn. 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 the skills of 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.
Day Two of The WLM brought the pain of defeat to four seeds in the shape of Andrew Semple (No 11) of Newbridge; Alec Allan (No12) of Newbridge; Colin Cruickshanks (No13) of Pumpherston; and the daddy of them all in the shape of Big John Aitken, the holder and No1 seed from Kirkliston. It will be an insiders joke that Aitken (61) passed up the chance of a free tuck in at Tony Macaroni’s however the legendary Scotland Cap and four times WLM failed to reach the heights in a 21-9 defeat from the talented Blair Mackie of Newbridge. Semple (25) crashed out to a heavy 21-11 defeat from Keith Taylor of Bathgate who engaged a higher gear from 14-11 and accelerated to 21 with a powerful run of 1, 1, 2, 3.
Allan (54) – runner up in the 2013 Masters – faced a hot potato in Bathgate star David McCormick and an epic 22-end encounter saw the seed always in with a chance but from 14-15 edged out 17-21. Cruickshanks (31) produced a battling performance to stand 17-17 with Martin Healey of West Calder the killer punches were landed by the non-seed in the shape of a 2, 2 finish to win a 23-end thriller.
Notable non-seeds to join George Sneddon on the sidelines included such as, Jordan Pearce and Nathan McKendrick (Kirkliston); Brian Saunders (Bathgate), and Jamie Aitken of Newbridge. Scotmid Co-op and Jack High Insurance also give headline support to the WLM while the Last 16 in the event will each receive a £10 prize voucher from Sainsbury’s Livingston.
The richly talented Uphall Station partnership of Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland promoted the West Lothian Banner into the national headlines limelight last weekend by capturing the Ladies Pairs Crown at the Bowls Scotland finals staged at Ayr Northfield. An excited WL support hailed a spectacularly strong performance in the final that powered the former three times national champions to a glorious fourth title, at the 21-7 expense of Auchinleck duo Hannah Smith and Claire Johnston. There pathway into the final saw the Steven/McLelland partnership beat, Balerno (17-11); Newbattle (23-9); Stonehaven (25-9); and in the semi finals, Kippen (25-3). The previous title wins achieved by the duo came in 2006, 2008, and 2014
Edinburgh and Midlothian ended up title –free zones however East Lothian hit the jackpot with four mainstream titles captured by The Garden County, namely Derek Oliver (21-3) in the gents singles, Gordon White (21-20) in the gents junior singles, Megan Kivlin (21-16) in the ladies junior singles; Dee Hoggan and John McCrorie (16-15) in the Mixed Pairs.
Meanwhile Lorna Smith made a bold bid to make the final of the ladies singles for a phenomenal fifth time in a row but the three in a row champion and former World No1 suffered a narrow failure in losing a 21-18 battle to eventual winner Donna Fleming of Busby in the semi finals stage.