West Lothian were under pressure to deliver a winning performance on a foreign carpet at Arbroath and came up with the goods in the shape of an 85-69 victory that keeps them on the fringe of the main developments in the A section of the indoor bowls Premier League.
WL were only winning for the second time in four games and it was a vital triumph as it keeps the former three-in-a-row national champions within two points of second placed Blantyre and four adrift of undefeated leaders Midlothian. “It is difficult to win away from home in this highly competitive section of the league and to do so is a morale boosting achievement that will optimistically help us build the momentum needed to put pressure on the leaders”, said a spokesman for WL.
Arbroath made the stronger start but only edged the first seven-end phase, 25-22, with West Lothian benefiting from a strong signal flashed by Logan via an 11-3 domination that kept the spirits of the visitors in a high mode. West Lothian came good on the second phase and driven by an 11-4 input from Speirs they captured it 27-19 to turn the tables and read a 49-44 match score in their favour on the master scoreboard.
Entering the third and final phase with the match finely balanced on a knife-edge it was a neck and neck battle on three of the rinks however Logan produced a tremendously strong 12-2 finish that tipped the scales, 36-25, and saved the day for West Lothian. Logan made a blitz start of 3, 1, 4, 1, 2, to power Cameron Greer, Connor McKendrick, and Craig Moss into an 11-1 lead after six ends then included a mighty count of five at end 15 and a run of 3, 2, 1 as he clinched a spectacular 26-9 win over Paul Carnegie.
Allison also made an impressive start to skip James Greenock, Dougie Mitchell, and Stuart Johnston into a 7-1 lead after five ends; but found himself in troubled waters at 19-15 down with just two ends to play against Sandy Pirie. End 20 brought huge relief all round in the WL camp with Allison and Co carding a mighty count of five that eased the match pressures and enabled a 20-20 peel.
Speirs and his rink of Jamie Aitken, Raymond Logan, and Bryan Cooper answered pressure at 12-6 down to Darren Burnett after 11-ends with a 4, 3 revival to cross 13-12 then back in trouble at 14-19 the menace was answered by a magic five that enabled a 21-21 peel. Mann and his front-three of Paul Lynas, Ian Drysdale, and James Speirs faced a 6-1 deficit after six ends then were haunted at 19-11 down with just two ends to play against A Furye; however a 19-18 defeat was enhanced by a one, six finish.