The Balbardie IBC banner will be represented in the showcase final stage of the gents Scottish Triples Championship at Aberdeen over the weekend of March 25/26 with the trio of Andy Jenkins, Kenny Martin, and Ewan Shearer winning through from the playdown section hosted by Glasgow venue Whiteinch.Read More
Shearer and his front-two defied the odds, big time, on two occasions as they reeled off a super hat trick of wins that saw them clip the wings of Stirling in the first round proper, Midlothian in the second round, and Bainfield in the section final.
The pathway to title glory is fraught with danger as it now stands blocked in the semi finals by East Lothian super trio Mark Johnston, Willie Wood MBE, and Derek Oliver. And it will take a giant-killing performance of fairy-tale proportion to win that challenge against three players of huge international reputation, however the qualifying scalps captured by Balbardie included that of similar big gun trios from Midlothian and Bainfield.
The pre-match odds sentencing the Bathgate based trio to underdogs status against Billy Peacock, Colin Walker, and David Peacock from The Dalkeith Stadium then Chris Downie, Colin Hutchison, and Gavin Smith from The Hutchison Crossway Stadium.
The section final against Bainfield was a real humdinger affair that could have, but didn’t, seen the Edinburgh Elite moving out of sight over three astonishing opening ends. First end drama saw Balbardie hold a single shot that was vulnerable to a take-out that would yield a six shot reward to Bainfield; but Smith’s bullet like strike resulted in a burnt end. The replayed end was completely dominated by Bainfield resulting in Shearer going to the mat with a full house count of nine shots against him however the composed Balbardie skip managed to cut his loss down to a four.Shearer was then forced into more heroic action on end two where with six shots against him the stalwart outdoor cap played a brilliant bowl into the head that reduced his loss to a single. More heart in the mouth drama on the third end once again ended in frustrating pain for a Bainfield trio that saw their hold of five shots converted to one shot against with Shearer continuing his spell of magic deliveries with a perfect last bowl draw that killed the lot So, 5-1 to Bainfield when, but for Shearer, it would have been 20-0 and game over.
The single to Balbardie gave Shearer and Co the chance to change the jack length and the tactical adjustment worked wonders for the front-end who immediately began to challenge the brilliance of Downie and Hutchison. Peels were called at 11-11 then that deadlock was broken by yet another game-changing moment with Balbardie carding a mighty five that thrust them into the driving seat.
Bainfield kept their fading hopes alive with successive singles that closed them to 16-13 entering the last end however their qualifying fate was sealed by the loss of a double that clinched an 18-13 win for Balbardie.
Midlothian carded two super counts of six as they moved into an 18-12 lead over Balbardie in their second round clash and then held three on the next end but astonishingly conceded six as the result of Shearer smashing the jack into the ditch.
Initially for a four shot conversion to which the on-fire skip superbly drew two more shots to the edge of the ditch.
Suddenly, at 18-18, it was all to play for with the finishing line fast approaching and it was Balbardie that delivered the goods to edge a 22-20 victory. Balbardie launched their campaign with a commanding 19-8 win over Stirling.
Meanwhile the West Lothian IBC challenge in the hands of Bryan Cooper, Stuart Johnston, and Mark Allison got off to an encouraging start with wins over Galleon (18-17), and East Kilbride (22-18); but a nail biting second round encounter saw them piped 15-14 by Bainfield.
The strongly formed Balbardie IBC ladies trio of Kim Ross, Sharon Leitch, and Lorraine Craig served up a strong performance to beat Headwell, 26-13, in the first round proper of the Scottish Triples Playdown action at Whiteinch. But their challenge proved short lived as they bowed out to a 17-15 second round defeat from an East Kilbride opposition that snatched victory with a 2, 2 finish.
West Lothian IBC resumes their gents national league programme this weekend with a visit to Abbeyview in fixture number seven of Division 1 North.
WL dominate the league table with six wins out of six but their bid to extend that run to a magnificent seven looks to be in jeopardy from an Abbeyview opposition that is defending an undefeated home record. The WL line up is announced as follows, Rink 1. Jamie Gracie, Raymond Logan, Cameron Greer, and Mark Allison. Rink 2. Paul Lynas, Blair Mackie, Des Hagart, and Calum Logan. Rink 3. Bryan cooper, Connor McKendrick, Stuart Johnston, and James Speirs. Rink 4. Grant Knox, Ian Drysdale, Craig Moss, and Thomas Mann.
Meanwhile, the survival prospects of the Balbardie gents team in Division B of The Premier League look very grim as they hold up the table some four points adrift of Lanarkshire, Paisley and Aberdeen. Their quest for vital points this weekend takes them to joint leaders Ardrossan and the encouraging factor is the home game at Bathgate resulted in a handsome 22 shot win for Balbardie. No team had been announced at the time of writing.
West Lothian IBC ladies have home advantage in their top of the table clash with Division 1 East leaders Bainfield while Balbardie have a day off in the East Division of The Premier League.