Midlothian’s home and away wins last season over three-in-a-row indoor bowls Premier League Champions West Lothian caused a stir and the eventual downfall of the defending champions and the elite of the Dalkeith Stadium continue to have the upper hand over their star studded counterparts from Livingston.
Ronnie Duncan remains an absentee in the Midlothian line up but his fellow internationalist colleague Colin Walker was a welcomed back to make his seasonal debut under team manager Frank Gray. Walker as it so happens didn’t enjoy the best of results on his rink and neither did icon figure David Peacock; but the two skipped by Billy Peacock and Sandy (AJ) Knight combined strongly enough to steer the home side to a 76-69 victory.
The narrow seven shot margin reflects a tough and exciting battle fought out on a
tightrope situation with the pendulum poised to swing in favour of the visitors when
West Lothian nosed into a 55-51 lead after 14 ends and stayed in front on the 15th and 16th But it was the business end that found West Lothian wanting in their opening defeat from Paisley at Livingston and here again when the chips were down they were outfought as Midlothian delivered the killer blows.
End 17 was significant with Midlothian carding 7-1 across the carpet to regain the lead on the master scoreboard (66-62) and the team’s late supremacy reached nine shots (76-67) entering the final ends. “Beating a team of West Lothian’s star studded structure for a third time in a row is a massive result for us and what impressed me most was that having slipped from ten shots up to four down we didn’t panic or fold under that pressure”, reflected Gray.
Midlothian made an encouraging start to edge the first seven-end phase, 25-21 then overtaken by the 34-26 loss of the second bounced back to win the match with a spirited 25-14 domination of the third phase.
Billy Peacock raised the Dalkeith roof with a mighty count of 5 on end 15 that saw him skip Colin Cook, Andy Caldwell, and Danny McDougall into an 18-12 lead then on to a 24-14 win over Paul Lynas, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann. AJ Knight inspired the Midlothian challenge with a whirlwind start to skip Ian Forbes (cpt) Ian Fleming, and Lindsay Plenderleith into an 18-4 lead after 13-ends against James Greenock, George Sneddon, Jamie Gracie, and Mark Allison. There was a slip on the run in but Knight and Co retained the upper hand to triumph 22-12.
West Lothian did make two winning impressions and both were good starting with Neil Speirs producing a tip top performance to skip Bryan Cooper, Raymond Logan, and Paul O’Donnell to a 21-12 win over Jamie Hanlan, Dougie Russell, Colin Macfarlane and Colin Walker.
Calum Logan also put in a star performance to skip Cameron Greer, Blair Mackie, and Craig Moss into a 19-13 lead then on to a 22-18 win over Neil Linton, Jamie Macnab, Craig Hodge, and David Peacock.