West Lothian paid the ultimate price of campaign failure for a lack lustre away performance against Borders at Gordon that saw them suffer a hefty 32 shot defeat (126-94) in the final East section match in the Cities and Counties Championship for The Hamilton Trophy.Read More
The stakes were extremely high with a place in the knockout quarterfinals stage being the reward for victory and it was expected that a star studded West Lothian team would be suitably fired up to successfully defend their one point lead over Borders. It was Borders though that produced a lion hearted team effort and playing with the spirit of seemingly having a tiger in their tanks a long-suffering support cheered a victory that was richly deserved. West Lothian were rocked back onto their heels by an opening onslaught that saw Borders zip into a 14 shot lead (23-9) after three ends and although it was the late stages before the high end of the 20’s comfort zone was reached their supremacy had endured from start to finish.
Borders have long been admired and respected as exciting contributors to the reputation of the East being the most competitive of the four national sections; but seldom make the top two so no one will grudge them their 2016 chance of being in the mix to grab what would be their first ever Hamilton Trophy title glory. Defeat on five rinks saw Grant Logan the only skip to deliver a West Lothian win with Raymond Logan, Sandy McDougall, Steven Fleming, Andy Dunnett, and Thomas Mann all suffering setbacks. A Border team with a determination to take no prisoners went immediately onto the attack and dominated the first seven-end phase by a morale boosting 15 shots (45-30) then put West Lothian to the sword with a seven shot (45-38) capture of the second, and a 10 shot supremacy (36-26) on the third. Logan (Grant) benefited from a purple spell of 3, 3, 5, to lead 15-7 then included another mighty count of five as he skipped Drew Paterson, David Lamb, and Mark Allison to a 28-21 win over Stuart White. But the Borders rink skipped by S Richardson inspired the home team effort with a strong performance that crushed Thomas Mann and his front-three of Andy Semple, Greg Baldry, and John Aitken, 25-10. Dunnett and his rink of Ewan Shearer, Jordan Pearce, and Walter McDougall were headed for a thumping at 24-6 down after 13-ends and crashed to a 27-15 defeat from R Nicol. Other Scores : G Forsyth 19 Sandy McDougall 14; A White 18 Steven Fleming 13; K Johnstone 14 Ray Logan 16.
A top versus bottom clash saw strong title-contenders East Lothian sufferer a shock 109-100 defeat away to West Fife but still make safe progress into the knockout stage.
Edinburgh & Leith ended their poor campaign with a 127-92 win at home to Fife County while Midlothian lost 118-113 at home to Stirling County East.
The final East section positions are: East Lothian 11; Borders 10; West Lothian 9; Stirling East 8; Midlothian 8; E&L 6; West Fife 2; Fife 2.