Balbardie IBC gents enter the last chance saloon this weekend in their battle to escape automatic relegation from the B Division of the Premier League and the result they have to produce is a 30 shot victory over fellow strugglers Paisley.Read More
Paisley visit The Park of Peace Stadium in Bathgate defending a two point advantage and a shot margin plus of 58 over a Balbardie team that has to pick itself up from suffering a massive 51 shot hammering on last weekends visit to league leaders East Lothian.
Balbardie entered that penultimate fixture seeking to complete a hat trick of ‘escape’ wins but knew their chances were extremely slim against a home opposition chasing a victory that would clinch a place in the playoff final.
The wounds from there excessive margin of defeat were painfully salted by the news that fellow relegation zoned clubs Paisley and Aberdeen had both won – Paisley edging a 70-68 win at home to Ardrossan and Aberdeen inflicting an 82-58 defeat on visitors Lanarkshire.
It is only two seasons ago that Paisley were crowned Premier League Champions so the visitors can’t be viewed as a pushover and the visitors have their own incentive as a big win over Balbardie could see them leapfrog an Aberdeen team that makes the long trek to Ardrossan. “At least we enter our final match with a glimmer of hope so it is vital that our focus is sharp and our team spirit strong” said spokesman Stuart Ford.
Balbardie welcome back Mark Bonar for the game with Andy Jenkins moving to the reserve bench.
EL beat Balbardie on all four rinks but a strong finish of 3, 1, 1 from Graham Keery, Scott McMaster, Brian Craig and Gary Orr saw them go close in a 19-17 defeat from soon to be Scotland team captain, Scott Kennedy.
Ewan Shearer and his front-three of Calum Black, Stuart Ford, and Davie Ross crashed to a 23-10 defeat from Graham Robertson while Duncan Smith, Andy Jenkins, Lindsay Forrest and Sandy McDougall were crushed 31-14 by Joe Mower. Walter McDougall and his rink of Tam Whitfield, Andy Forrest, and John Ellis conceded a five and a six in a punishing 31-12 defeat from Derek Oliver.
Meanwhile the high-flying gents of West Lothian IBC continued to soar to fresh heights in Division 1 North where a 111-57 win over Turriff at Livingston made it an impressive nine wins out of nine for the league leaders. But having clinched the top of the table promotion honours, and Elgin uncatchable in second place, West Lothian wont make it 10 out of 10 as they have opted out on cost saving grounds from travelling North for a meaningless match against their chief rivals. Wins on all four rinks – skipped by Mark Allison, Thomas Mann, James Speirs, and Calum Logan – made it one way traffic for a super confident WL against a normally very competitive Turriff.
Allison stole the show in magnificent style as he cashed in on a sensational start of 6, 3, 2, 2, 7, (2), 6 to skip Richard Mark, Raymond Logan, and Cameron Greer from 26-2 to a 41-15 win over K Beaton.
Mann and his rink of Scott Logan, Ian Drysdale, and Craig Moss also produced a super show in the early stages to lead 16-3 then convert that supremacy into a 29=9 win over M Thurston.
Speirs also promised to run amok when carding a mighty five to skip Bryan Cooper, Grant Knox, and Stuart Johnston into a 17-4 lead over G Barclay however the final outcome was a reduced margin 22-16 victory.
Calum Logan also hit the lids in great style to race into a 10-1 lead; but eight blanks on the trot saw the skip in company with James Greenock, Blair Mackie, and Des Hagart crossed 11-10 then in the battle to the line it took a four at the last to snatch a 19-17 win over G Alexander.