Linlithgow’s defence of the WLBA Top Five Singles title has come to a surprise halt having failed to make home green advantage count in a 3-2 defeat from Broxburn that went right down to the wire..
Ace player Gary Smith gave last years champions the perfect start with the former England/Scotland internationalist converting a 17-5 lead into a 21-15 win over Alan Roxburgh in 20-ends. Broxburn‘s quick answer came in the shape of a 21-15 win for Jamie Edwards who stood 15-15 after 14-ends then hit 21 with a big 4, 2 finish against David Alexander. The visitors went 2-1 up in another game of exciting drama with former national champion George Sneddon breaking a 19-19 deadlock with a double to 21 on end 24 to beat Mark Graham. Yet another thrilling climax saw Linlithgow make it 2-2 against the odds with Gary Orr standing 19-17 down before escaping to victory with a mighty count of 4 on end 22 against Brian McMahon.
The final spotlight fell upon home hope Andrew Cruickshanks and vastly experienced campaigner David Wilson and it was the visitor that prevailed having finished the stronger from 10-10 to clinch a 21-14 victory in 24-ends Other results – Pumpherston 2 Whitburn 3; Harrysmuir 1 Bathgate 4; East Calder 3 Watson Memorial 2; Blackburn 3 Bellsburn 2; Harthill 1 Deans 4; Newbridge 4 Ratho 1; Kirkliston 5 Bo’ness 0.
Bellsburn’s first round defeat in the WLBA Top Ten was a real dampener having reached the national semi final stage earlier this year however the magic touch may be emerging in the Top Five as this weeks entry into the second round was fairy-tale stuff.
Buchan Park – a stuffy team – had home advantage and jumped into a 2-0 lead with former gold medal star Kenny Logan winning the opening battle 21-14 against Scott Middlemiss then Billy Irvine adding the 21-15 scalp of Eddie Caulfield. Home spirits were high with talented Under 25 star Steven Fleming leading Alan Murphy 9-3 but the former WL Cricketer dug in as they say then followed through with an immensely strong finish to win 21-12. Barry Sword – the former Dean star – was next in line for Buchan Park but the sea-change in favour of Bellsburn continued with Fund Investment Director Craig Yeaman making all the right choices to bank a 21-14 victory. The final countdown focused on David Ledgerwood for the home side and former teenage star Raymond Watson returning to the limelight after a long absence from the sport. It was the glory days all over again for Watson as he clinched the match victory with a 21-14 scoreline.
Neighbour club Linlithgow are defending the title in the club’s 150th Anniversary Year and they survived a 3-2 thriller at Bridgeness and were joined in round two by other top dogs in the shape of Kirkliston who marched on with a 5-0 win at home to Armadale.
Other results – Pumpherston 4 Winchburgh 1; Whitburn 3 Uphall Station 2; Philpstoun 2 Harrysmuir 3; Kinneil 2 Bathgate 3; East Calder 3 Oakbank 2; Watson Memorial 3 Mid Calder 2; Broxburn 5 Middleton Hall 0; Blackburn 3 Springgrove 2; Harthill 4 Seafield 1; Letham 2 Deans 3; Glenmavis 2 Newbridge 3; Ratho 3 Quueensferry 2