Bowls: West Lothian pass Borders test with flying colours

West LOTHIAN bowlers faced a test against Borders at Coldstream in the East section of the Cities & Counties Championship for the Andrew Hamilton Trophy but passed it with flying colours, winning 117-92.

Victories on five of the six rinks – skipped by Thomas Mann, Neil Speirs, Raymond Logan, Grant Logan and Steven Fleming – reflected a strong team performance that met with the satisfaction of team boss Jimmy Mallon.

He said: “Losing to West Fife the previous week brought us under immense pressure and we rose to the occasion in encouraging fashion with all guns blazing on the first phase then answering a middle-match dip with a strong finish.”

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West Lothian were without former international skip John Aitken but Mallon’s slightly restructured line-up included the return of stalwart cap figure George Sneddon.

Mallon demands high-octane energy from his team and they certainly responded in the image of their manager with a furious start that was rewarded with a 52-24 domination of the first seven-end phase.

Borders are always a competitive outfit and it was quite typical that they rode the storm and roared back with a thrilling 41-21 response on the second phase, however, West Lothian re-asserted their authority by capturing the third, 44-27.

“We fell from an early high of 28 shots up to a nervous low of 4 with just five ends to play across the green but we answered that menace with a 33-12 reply that told me we had re-found the competitive edge that was missing against West Fife,” added Mallon.

Mann started steadily to lead 12-6 after 12 ends then captured seven of the remaining nine ends to skip Paul Lynas, David McCormick and George Sneddon to a 22-12 win over Ian Crawford.

Speirs blazed a 14-4 trail over the first eight ends then traded well on that cushion to skip Andrew Semple, Ian Drysdale and Alec Allan to a 24-15 win over Alan Brady.

Raymond Logan made a whirlwind start on his opening eight ends to storm into a 13-0 lead but from 15-3 up after 12 was restricted to three singles as he skipped Frazer Muirhead, Bryan Cooper and Gary Smith to an 18-11 win over Graeme Forsythe.

Grant Logan finished strong from 12-14 to skip Steven Forrest, Greg Logan and Mark Allison to a 19-15 win over R Nichol while Diz Drysdale, Walter McDougall, James Speirs and Fleming edged a 19-18 win over R Kerr.

Davy Miller Jnr gave Borders something to shout about with a 21-15 win over Calum Logan.