Balbardie IBC gents produced a brilliant away win over joint leaders Ardrossan that has thrown the struggling Bathgate based stars a slim lifeline in their bid to retain Premier League status.Read More
Defeat would have cut Balbardie adrift at the foot of table however the visitors caused a major upset to score a deserved 74-68 victory that with three games to go gives them a fighting chance of avoiding the automatic drop back into Division 1. The league table after seven games played reading; East Lothian 10, Ardrossan 8, Lanarkshire 8, Aberdeen 6, Paisley 6, Balbardie 4. The Balbardie programme to be completed in the New Year is, at home to Aberdeen, away to East Lothian, at home to Paisley.
Both Balbardie wins have come at the expense of Ardrossan with their 90-68 win at Bathgate generating some rays of hope that the Bathgate travellers could somehow inflict a first home defeat on the Ayrshire outfit. The massive underdogs put in a tremendous effort that produced an epic battle from start to finish with neither team reaching a comfort zone as they went toe to toe in a battle for supremacy that was fought out on a blow for blow tightrope situation. “The final outcome was a fantastic one for us and I would say this is the best performance I have seen from the team and one that gives us a semblance of hope” was the view expressed by spokesman Stuart Ford.
Wins for the rinks skipped by Sandy McDougall and Ewan Shearer delivered the exciting win for Balbardie while it was an important contribution that the defeat suffered by Gary Orr and Walter McDougall were single figure ones. Sandy McDougall was the Balbardie hero figure as he captured 13 of the 21 ends to skip Duncan Smith, John Ellis, and Mark Bonar to a 25-8 win that included a crucial late run of 1, 1, 5, 2, 1 against S Wilson. Shearer only made it by the skin of his teeth but had skipped Calum Black, Lindsay Forrest, and Davie Ross into a 17-9 lead before settling for a 17-16 win over M Williamson. Orr and his rink of Graham Keery, Scott McMaster, and Brian Craig were in contention at 13-14 but slipped to a 22-19 defeat from D O’Rourke while Tam Whitfield, Andy Forrest, Jim Speirs and Walter McDougall llsot 22-13 to D Crawford.
The high-flying gents of West Lothian IBC hit winning heights for the seventh time out of seven in Division 1 North as they winged their way to a 90-76 victory in a tough away assignment at Abbeyview. The league table going into the Festive Season break reads, West Lothian 14, Elgin 10, Abbeyview 6, Turriff 4, Arbroath 4, Headwell 4.
West Lothian ladies were involved in a top of the table clash with leaders Bainfield at Livingston where the home team came off second best having suffered an 88-67 defeat that saw the home side only managing one winning rink. The home teams best spell came in the third and final phase but their spirited 33-26 fight back was too little too late having been outgunned 32-14 and 30-20 over the first 14-ends. Carole Clarkson made the only winning impression having zipped from 13-17 to 27-19 as she skipped Sandra Purdie, Liz Rogers, and summer signing Ally Blagg (from Balbardie) to victory over Marion Dickson. Other scores- Jean brown 7 Mandy Jenkin 28; Lisa Barrett 14 Isabel Anderson 19; Jennifer Sneddon 19 Anna Anderson 22.
International caps Thomas Mann and Calum Logan represent the WLIBC in this weekends playdown action of the Scottish 4Bowl Pairs Championship while Tam Whitfield and Mark Bonar do the honours for Balbardie.
Big gun duo Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Malloy carry the banner for Balbardie in the ladies version while its Lisa Barrett and Jennifer Sneddon for WLIBC.