Bowls: Midlothian bowlers keep cup dreams and top-flight status

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Midlothian indoor bowlers
are today celebrating after 
pulling off a glory double – 
advancing to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup then winning a play-off match to retain their 
Premier League status.

The Dalkeith-based team beat Prestwick, one of the giants of the indoor bowling scene, by 53 shots to retain their dream of cup glory, but were then warned to compose themselves for the long trip to Stonehaven to face Division 1A champions Garioch (Inverurie) in the playoff that would give Midlothian the opportunity to avoid relegation from the Premier League – a match they edged 67-62.

Midlothian’s Frank Gray said: “We were all surprised by the ease of our success against one of the great names in the sport and to such an extent that I had to warn the team not to become over cocky ahead our match the following day.”

Prestwick – probably the foremost name in the history of the indoor sport of bowls in Scotland – have, sadly, fallen on hard times in recent seasons and the extent of their woes were cruelly exposed by a crushing defeat in dismal 
circumstances at the neutral West of Scotland stadium.

Midlothian dominated the cup tie on three of the four rinks to such an extent that Prestwick threw in the towel after 17 ends – a decision that will surely rank as the saddest moment in their otherwise exalted 
history. In fact one of the rinks only completed 15 of the 21 ends with Sandy (AJ) Knight skipping David Salkeld, Mark Yuill and David Munro to a 23-4 win over D Gass.

Colin Walker was the chief executioner however as he included a 7, a 6, and a 5 in skipping Scott Matthews, Drew Pearson and team captain Billy Peacock to a 34-7 demolition of Craig Cobbledick.

David Peacock still had it to do at 11-10 up after 11 ends but accelerated strongly to skip Robert Campbell, Ian Brown and Martin Wyllie to a 21-13 win over Stuart Reid.

In a tight match at Stonehaven, David Peacock’s purple-patch spell of 1, 5, 1, 1, 2 (3), 1, 4 helped him skip his rink to a significant 22-11 win over A Duncan. “It is a huge relief for us to retain our Premier League status especially as it was 
hanging in the balance from start to finish,” added Gray.