West LOTHIAN IBC avenged their defeat in last season’s final of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup with a commanding 82-53 victory over Blantyre when the teams clashed in the second round at Stirling.
Having defeated Blantyre by a hard-earned 14 shots in the recent play-off final of the Premier League, it was a great team performance from West Lothian to more than double that margin and achieve it with wins on all four rinks.
Whilst the winning margin of 29 shots was a big surprise it was the accumulation of the rinks skipped by Neil Speirs, Calum Logan, Mark Allison and team captain Thomas Mann having the measure of their respective oppositions.
“This result keeps our prospects of landing the League and Cup double alive but life doesn’t get any easier for us as East Lothian at Falkirk in this weekend’s quarter-final is yet another tough one,” said a spokesman for WL.
The opening exchanges were fought on a tightrope that produced a 22-22 share of the first seven-end phase, however, driven by strong contributions from Allison and Speirs, WL stepped up the pressure with a 30-16 capture of the second.
WL were still vulnerable to a potential fightback from Blantyre but Logan spiked the opposition guns with a 14-shot contribution that inspired the Livingston-based stars to a 30-15 domination of the third and final phase.
End 16 produced a significant highlight with counts of 3 from Speirs, Logan, and Mann supported by a single from Allison giving WL a 10-0 clean sweep that saw them lead 70-40. It proved to be the killer blow.
Speirs shrugged off the shackles from H Meikle at 12-10 after 12 ends to skip Bryan Cooper, Raymond Logan and Des Hagart to a 23-12 win.
Logan was 12-6 down after 12 ends but responded with an electrifying run of 1, 1, 6, 3 to cross to 17 then he skipped James Greenock, Blair Mackie and George Sneddon to a 24-14 win over Jim McCann.
Allison picked up strongly from 10-8 with a run of 2, 2, 1, 4, 1, 1, 1 to reach 22 then conceded on the remaining four ends but held on sufficiently well to skip Paul Lynas, Stuart Johnston and Jamie Gracie to a 22-15 win over Iain McLean.
Mann was kept relatively quiet on the scoring front by the opposition rink but, in a low-scoring battle of only 17 ends, did enough to skip Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale and James Speirs to a 13-12 victory.