Kirkliston will defend the WLBA Top Five Singles title against Glenmavis; but only after the record 13 times champions survived a semi final battle that went right down to the wire against Bathgate High on Thursday night at Uphall Station.Read More
A rerun of last years final saw Kirkliston retain the upper hand over their strongly competitive Bathgate High rivals who claimed Mark Allison and Calum Logan as victims at the hands of Brian Saunders and Alan McCormick, respectively. But the supremacy of ‘The Cheesetown Boys’ was confirmed by winning contributions from Grant Logan, Neil Speirs, and Steven Forrest.
Bathgate drew first blood and did so in exciting swashbuckling style with Brian Saunders powering into an 11-1 lead then going on to savage Mark Allison, 21-6 in 16-ends. Kirkliston immediately countered that setback with a spectacular performance from Grant Logan against fellow Champion of Champions figure in the shape of David McCormick. Logan – a four times WL Master – hit the lids to burst into an 8-0 lead then raced to 20-3 with great acceleration that included a run of 2, 1, 1, 2 1, 2, 1 and clinched a 21-8 victory in 20-ends. Bathgate went 2-1 up with Alan McCormick producing the stronger finish from 13-13 to beat Calum Logan, 21-14, in 21-ends.
Neil Speirs put the match outcome into the melting pot with the 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal hero making a sizzling start to lead Cameron Greer, 10-2, then answering testing pressure at 14-11 with a sharply focused finish to win 21-14 in 23-ends. The final spotlight switched full beam onto Forrest versus Hilson with the balance tilted in the 17-11 favour of the real Cheesetown Boy, born and bred; and it remained so at 19-14.
Hilson, a former Champion of Champions, saved game- and match- against him with a converted single to 15 then having conceded a single to 20 forced Forrest to burn the next head and conjured up a magic count of 3 to 18. Forrest dominated the build up of the next head to lay for 21 but was vulnerable to a game losing count at the back however Hilson missed with his runner and it was game over at 21-18 after 25-ends.
Meanwhile Glenmavis – also a Bathgate club – proved too strong for their Winchburgh opposition at Middleton Hall and powered into the final with a 5-0 win. Brian Craig 21 Joe Arthurs 9; Mark Bonar 21 Andrew Walker 7; Walter McDougall 21 David Gemmell 10; Tam Whitfield 21 Pat Gourlay 14; Davie Ross 21 Brian Clarkson 19.