East Lothian gents marched into the semi final stage of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup with a commanding 35 shot victory (87-52) over Balbardie at Dunfermline venue Abbeyview, having increased the power of their attack with a strong second half performance.Read More
Wins on all four rinks – skipped by Jamie Higgins, Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver, and team captain Scott Kennedy – served to keep the spirits high in an East Lothian camp fired up to land to etch their name on the coveted silverware for would be a sixth time in 11 years. “Balbardie have achieved premier league status next season by winning the Division 1North league title and were also enjoying a good cup run so that level of current form had to be treated with the utmost respect by us so we were on our toes and led from start to finish”, reflected spokesman Scott Kennedy. Whilst the first of the three seven-end phases was indeed fiercely fought by the aiming high Bathgate based team the opening honours were captured by East Lothian with the giants of the premier league well enough pleased to be leading 29-21.
The next three ends were game-changers in the shape of a 5-2, 9-1, 5-0, acceleration from East Lothian that increased their match lead from eight to 24 with the master scoreboard now showing 48-24 in their favour. The second phase was duly dominated 28-16 by the stars from the garden county and their supremacy confirmed by a 30-15 grip of the third. “We started well but fell apart in the second half with the gulf in class very apparent and sending an early signal ahead of life in the premier league that our strong competitive spine and spirit needs to be supported by a higher quality depth”, said a spokesman for Balbardie. The rink scores were, Scott Kennedy 27 Sandy McDougall 12; Jamie Higgins 22 Jim Speirs 10; Billy Mellors 25 Walter McDougall 18; Derek Oliver 13 Ewan Shearer 12.
Midlothian’s most recent capture of the cup reaches back to 2004 – they lost the 2009 final – but expectations for a 2016 triumph continued to be elevated with the team producing an encouraging performance to beat quarterfinal opponents Turriff by 34 shots (90-56) at Dundee. Billy Peacock produced the headline performance with a 21 shot victory that was supported by a 10 and 3 shot contribution from Danny McDougall and AJ Knight respectively while David Peacock finished peels.
West Lothian’s disastrous season – relegated from the premier league – could yet finish with a bit of much needed shine as the cup holders managed to beat Division 2 opposition Elgin, 78-64, at Aberdeen, the margin unconvincing over lowly opposition; but they are into the semi finals.