West LOTHIAN stepped up their bid to win the indoor bowls Scottish Cup title for a record sixth time with a comprehensive 100-62 victory over fellow premier league side Perth at Headwell.
Perth had a torrid time of it in the recently completed Premier League and finished at the foot of the B section with just two wins from their 10 games, while West Lothian enjoyed nine wins from 10 in the A section.
In the cup, however, the formbook can go out of the window and Perth led over the first six ends, but it was by such a narrow margin that West Lothian’s 5-2 count across the carpet on the seventh end was enough for them to edge the first phase of the match 29-27 then a 36-17 acceleration on the second was sustained by a 35-18 domination of the third.
And wins on all four rinks – skipped by Mark Allison, Thomas Mann, Neil Speirs and Jamie Gracie – was due reward for a strong team performance.
The 10th end was particularly significant, with Gracie carding a 4, Mann a 3 and Speirs a 3 leading to a 10-1 count across the carpet – Allison conceding a single – that thrust WL from 3 up to 12 up on the major scoreboard.
Allison made the brightest of starts for WL and included a mighty count of 5 at the second as he skipped Paul Lynas, David Wilson and Stuart Johnston into a 13-1 lead after seven ends against Willie Taylor.
Allison and Co celebrated at the 11th end where they carded a 6 to lead 21-3 and they went on to register a 28-13 victory.
Mann was slow out of the blocks to trail 10-4 after six ends and the team captain was still in arrears at 9-14 after 11 before exploding into a spectacular run of 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 6 to skip Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale and James Speirs to a 26-14 win over J Nicholson.
Neil Speirs was finding it difficult to shake off Perth’s Dougie Lambert at 14-14 after 17 ends, but a run of 1, 2, 5 saw him skip Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell and Des Hagart to a 22-16 win.
Gracie and his front three of James Greenock, Blair Mackie and George Sneddon battled to beat R Brown 24-19.
West Lothian now face defending champions Blantyre in the second round.