Balbardie IBC gents team stamped the merit of their recent elevation to premier league status with a super show performance to beat the Edinburgh Elite from Bainfield in their Scottish Cup first round clash on neutral territory at The Inveralmond Stadium, Livingston.
Bainfield’s status as a premier league club gave Balbardie the opportunity to test their ability to cope with next seaons’s challenges in the highest echelon of the national league system and the outcome in favour of the recently crowned Division 1North champions was an encouraging 91-79 victory. The 12 shot margin was all the more pleasing in that the Bathgate based side tackled the cup tie without the services of regular first team stars Sandy McDougall, Gary Orr, and Graham Keery.
And whilst the rink honours were shared 2-2 the match win scales were tipped in favour of Balbardie by impressive double figure contributions from the rinks skipped by Mark Bonar and Walter McDougall. Bonar’s 33-13 hammering of Bainfield player-manager Gavin Smith was truly inspirational in fashion having skipped John Black, Duncan Smith, and Stevie Fleming into a 16-5 lead after nine ends.
The highlight of Bonar’s lightning start coming in the shape of a thundering run of 1, 1, 2, 6, 1, 1 that powered him into a commanding position from 4-5 then later spells of 3, 1, 3, 1 and 2, 1, 6 destroyed the opposition. McDougall also fired up the Balbardie challenge with a scorching early doors contribution of 1, 6, (2), 1, 1, 1 to skip Tam Whitfield, Craig Sinclair, and John Ellis into a 10-2 lead over John McDermott. Sustained pressure kept McDougall and Co in command of a situation that was reflected by a clear cut 25-11 victory.
Bainfield did make their presence felt with Craig Paterson inflicting 29-16 pain on Andy Jenkins, Lindsay Forrest, Jim Speirs, and Brian Craig having captured 12 of the first 13 ends to zip into a 23-5 lead. And Balbardie suffered a second setback with Stuart Ford, Andy Forrest, Davie Ross, and Ewan Shearer counting a mighty 5 to stay on terms at 12-12 after 10 ends but then slipping to a 26-17 defeat from Scotland cap Colin Hutchison.
Having entered the second round with a premier league scalp Balbardie’s next challenge comes in the shape of a Dundee team that managed to win only 5 of their 11 games in Division 2North.
Meanwhile West Lothian IBC also made it through to the second round with the poorly performing giants of the premier league managing to avoid a banana skin at the 97-69 expense of foot of the table Dumbarton of Division 1South.
West Lothian also have a good second round draw in the shape of middle-table Fraserburgh of Division 2 North.
Bathgate based club Balbardie IBC will bask in next season’s national limelight as the senior club of the area with their new found premier league status set to dwarf the Division 1 image of their Livingston neighbours, West Lothian IBC.
In the coupon buster of all coupon busters the team of international super stars from West Lothian plunged through the relegation trap door having suffered an 81-77 defeat against Division 1North runners up Alloa in the playoff at Cumbernauld the day after the Scottish Cup action.