West Lothian IBCs bid to capture the Scottish Under 35 Cup for a magnificent seventh time came to grief at the last hurdle, the young stars from the Inveralmond Stadium in Livingston left frustrated by a 6-4 points defeat from Blantyre.Read More
The final played at Stirling was a hard fought battle and winning performances by the WL rinks skipped by Bryan Cooper and Calum Logan kept the team in the picture but ultimately failed to prevent Blantyre celebrating the title glory for a sixth time. It was the two points from the match aggregate that tipped the scales in favour of Blantyre with their 12 shot surplus (88-76) heavily influenced by the wins achieved by Stewart Anderson and Mark OHagan over Craig Moss and Cameron Greer, respectively.
Both teams were strongly formed with players of international status in each line up bringing additional glamour to the occasion and a knife-edge situation was always evident from the fierce exchanges in the battle for supremacy. The completion of End 13 brought encouragement to a West Lothian camp enthused by a Master Scoreboard reading that flashed the signal of a 7-3 lead with scoreline advantages for Moss, Cooper, and Logan supported by a 47-47 share of the match aggregate. Moss wasnt in a comfort zone but had a 5 shot lead over Anderson while Cooper, Logan and the aggregate were all cliff edged affairs however Cameron Greer was 8 shots adrift and under the cosh from OHagan.
End 14 was the trigger of game-changing events with Moss dropping 5 shots to Anderson, a mighty contribution from the world stage star that gave a great boost to his Blantyre colleagues. End 16 turned out to be a landslide moment for Blantyre side that wreaked havoc in WL ranks with world stage figure Iain McLean carding a mighty 5 against Cooper, OHagan a 4 against Greer, and Anderson a 3 against Moss.
A 12-1 score across the carpet thrust Blantyre into an 11 shot lead on the aggregate score (66-55) while Anderson crossed Moss, 16-14, and McLean crossed Cooper, 15-14, these outcomes transforming the main picture into an 8-2 deficit for West Lothian. Cooper fought back in the final straight to capture two points for WL and Logan stayed strong to clinch another two points however there was to be no way back for Moss or Greer. Moss had skipped Ryan Miller, Connor McKendrick, and Scott Logan into a 10-4 lead over Anderson then led 13-8; but a significant 17-4 collapse on the long run in cost them a 25-17 defeat.
Greer and his front-three of Jenifer Richardson, Jamie Deegan, and James Greenock suffered a 15-2 mauling from OHagan over the first nine ends and their best moments of a 1, 2, 4 finish came too late in a 24-17 defeat. Logan and his rink of Jordan Pearce, Scott McMaster, and Blair Mackie were in dire trouble at 12-3 down after eight ends; but closed to 10-13 then carded 1, 3, 2, 1, 1 to cross to 18 then held on to edge a 20-19 win over Irvine. Cooper slipped from 12-7 to 14-15 then carded 4, 2 to regain the initiative at 20-15 then held on to skip Nathan McKendrick, Darren Pearce, and Jamie Aitken to a 22-20 win over McLean.