West Lothian powered into the semi finals stage of The Hamilton Trophy with a commanding 41 shot victory (146-105) over North section champions Perthshire that had its foundations laid by an explosive first phase blitz in the clash at Parkview BC, Brechin.Read More
Perthshire had expressed a strong pre-match confidence in their ability to make further progress in a championship not known for its dominance by North section challengers; but were blown well off course by a star studded West Lothian line up.
Even with a region friendly venue to add to their positive state of mind no signs of a serious challenge emerged from a Perthshire team performance that was well and truly stifled by an ambitious opposition determined to fire on all six cylinders. And wins on five rinks supported by a peel on the sixth did reflect a strong overall performance from a team that had just kept its Hamilton Trophy dreams alive by slipping through on the rails to snatch the runners up spot in the toughly competitive East section.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Raymond Logan, Neil Speirs, and Steven Fleming were hard earned outcomes that supported the double digit highlight triumphs served up by Andy Dunnett and Thomas Mann while Grant Logans rescue of a peel was a last gasp affair. In terms of the match statistics West Lothian captured all three of the 7-end phases and enjoyed a shot registering supremacy of 67 to 59 over the 126 ends played. Prospects of an epic battle with a nail biting climax developing were immediately shattered by a phenomenal jump start by WL that accelerated them into a 57-27 dominance of the first phase. Dunnett was the chief destroyer of Perthshire hopes having bombed into an 18-0 lead with a volcanic like eruption of 3, 1, 2, 5, 3, 4 while Mann (11-2) and Fleming (10-4) were also principal contributors to that opening blitz. Having soared into an unexpected comfort zone so early in the battle for supremacy WL traded sensibly on their 30 shot cushion to enjoy narrow advantages of 39-35 and 50-43 on the second and third phases respectively.
Dunnett went on to concede two hefty counts of five but remained well on top to skip Ewan Shearer, Scott Logan, and Calum Logan to a 34-16 win over Dougie Lambert. Mann also dwarfed his opposition straight from the off with counts of 4, 1, 1, 4 to skip Drew Paterson, Blair Mackie, and Sandy McDougall into a 10-0 lead then included a mighty 5 at the 14th as he went on to clinch a 26-14 win over David Hendry. Raymond Logan added 1, 1, 3 to cross into a 14-12 lead after 19 ends then hit the heights with the capture of a magnificent seven shots that enabled him to skip Darren Pearce, Scott Mushet, and Gary Smith to a 21-14 win over Ian Miller. Speirs hit the front with a run of 2, 2, 3, to cross 17-11 after 17 ends; but then had to battle to the line for his 20-18 win over Gordon Baptie. Fleming raced into a 13-4 lead after eight ends but slippage on the run brought sweat to his brow in a 20-18 win over Peter Hosie. Grant Logan shaped up strong with an early 10-3 lead; but only avoided defeat with a four at the last to rescue a 25-25 peel with George Lennon.