West Lothian are back at the top of the indoor bowls A section of the Premier League with just two games to play but the three-in-row defending champions still face a tough challenge to go on and book their place in the playoff final ahead of other joint leaders Blantyre and Midlothian.Read more
The latest round of fixtures in the 10-match section campaign saw Blantyre’s defeat of clear leaders Midlothian allow West Lothian to jump ahead of both on shot margin as a result of a hard fought 12 shot victory (81-69) over Abbeyview at Livingston. Abbeyview are new boys in this seasons premier league but the Fifers from Dunfermline have performed admirably well and were no pushovers for a WL team fired up by the knowledge that if the four-in-row dream was to be kept alive they had to win this one. The visitors arrived at Livingston sharing second place with their immediate opposition and Blantyre so had much to play for themselves and they gave it such a great go that they led on three of the four rinks at one stage or another. In the end they only managed to give the holders of the title a bloody nose on one of the rinks but also impressed with a peel and narrow defeat on two others. But WL had a match-winning hero in the shape of Neil Speirs their Glasgow 2014 gold medal star who made the difference by skipping Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, and ex Bainfield icon figure Paul O’Donnell to a commanding 18 shot win over Robert McFarlane. Speirs made a spectacular start in the shape of a blitz spell of 1, 2, 1, (1), 4, 3, 2 (2), 3, 3 to have McFarlane and Co at his 19-3 mercy after 10-ends and a second half edge of 12-10 saw the home rink contribute a 31-13 victory to the cause.Winning support came from team captain Thomas Mann who was kept hard pressed to skip Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, and James Speirs to a 21-18 success over Jim McGuire.Mann and Co trailed 6-2 before crossing into a 10-6 lead but was back under pressure at 17-12 down after 16 before answering the growing pressure with an exciting recovery run of 2, 5, 1, 1 to regain the initiative at 21-17 playing the last.Meanwhile Calum Logan and his front-three of Richard Mark, Stuart Johnston, and ex Bainfield captain Craig Moss were finding the going tough at 1-6 and 5-11 then 10-14 down to Kenny Bald after 15-ends.Bald was poised to clinch a victory for the visitors but Logan conjured up a magic count of 3 shots at the last end to rescue a 16-16 peel.WL did face a major threat on their rink of Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Jamie Gracie, and Mark Allison as it shaped like a match-losing disaster was on the cards after a Paul Brown dished out a 13-0 mauling over the first five ends.But Allison and Co managed to steady the ship enough to restrict the final damage to a 22-13 defeat.The phase scoring saw WL lose the first seven-ends, 27-21 but edge the second, 27-25, then assert their authority with a 33-17 domination of the third.
Meanwhile Balbardie IBC were already out of the promotion race in Division 1North when making the expensive and relatively meaningless long journey North to Turriff where a commendable effort so them just touched off by four shots, 87-83.The Bathgate based club are at home to foot of the table Dundee this weekend.Opportunity Knocks for the ladies of Balbardie IBC who can snatch the top honours in Division 1C of the national league if able to beat table-toppers East Lothian this weekend on their own patch at the Meadowmill Stadium, Tranent. Babardie need to win as they trail EL by a single point and the travellers are in good form having played well as a team to score a 79-67 victory over Bainfield in last Saturdays match at Bathgate. Pat Purdie set the scene by skipping Maria Adam, Nan Mitchell, and Elise Millar to an inspiring 31-14 win over Anna Anderson. Ally Blagg lost 22-13 but Sharon Leitch and Delia Flannigan edged 18-15 and 17-16 wins over Teresa Blair and Isobel Anderson, respectively.