Top two out of West Lothian Masters as seeds are scattered

The fall of the seeds in the £4000 20th West Lothian Masters headline sponsored by Johnston Oils of Bathgate included the second-round exit of defending champion Neil Speirs (seeded 1) and the fourth-round demise of Grant Logan (2) the four-times Master.

Neil Speirs, West Lothian Masters champion 2017, is out

The other seeds losing interest in capturing the £1000 title and signature Green Jacket were No.5 Greg Logan, No.10 Cameron Greer, No.14 Ryan Miller, No.16 Mark Allison (all first round); No.7 John Aitken, No.12 Bryan Cooper (all third round), and No.9 Brian Craig (fourth round).

Five seeds are through to the Final Day’s play at East Calder tomorrow with the highest ranking survivor Gary Smith (3) joined by Andy Dunnett (4), Thomas Mann (8), Raymond Logan (11) and 20-year-old Darren Pearce (15).

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The 11am head-to-heads are: Alec Allan (Newbridge) v Thomas Mann; Martin Byrne (Linlithgow) v Andy Dunnett; Gary Smith v Raymond Logan; Alastair Stenhouse (Linlithgow) v Darren Pearce. S/Finals 1-30pm; Final 4pm.

Last night’s Section Final results were: A Allan 21 Cameron Fraser (Whitburn) 8; T Mann 21 Scott McMaster (Broxburn) 13; M Byrne 21 Robbie Cuthill (Kirkliston) 16; A Dunnett 21 Glenn King (West Calder) 5; G Smith 21 John Collins (Middleton Hall) 10; R Logan 21 Ewan Shearer (6) 12; A Stenhouse 21 Andy Walker (Winchburgh) 14; D Pearce 21 Walter McDougall 19.

Meanwhile, Postal’s excellent campaign in Division 2 of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League has already guaranteed them an immediate return to Division 1 and they may yet be promoted as champions.

This week’s 9-0 victory away to Colinton was a fabulous triumph over the former Water of Leith stalwarts and sets Postal up for the climax visit of relegation doomed Willowbrae.

Hot favourites Carrick Knowe have made the expected recovery from a sluggish start and sit top of the table, but their single-point lead is vulnerable going into the 14th and final round of fixtures.

Carrick Knowe kept Postal at bay with a 9-0 win at home to foot-of-the-table Pilrig but they are yet to record a clean sweep away from home and visit a Hillside team that has scored well on its own patch.

Craigentinny’s early clinching of a record-extending 10th title triumph in Division 1 reflected a stronger than normal early season killer instinct but, having left all challengers struggling in their slipstream, have dawdled in front.

A middling performance at home to Maitland in this week’s penultimate fixture saw them suffer a shock 5-4 defeat that cost the champions their 100 per cent record.

Brian Higgins, who is recovering from the trauma of letting the Scottish Seniors Singles Crown slip from his grip, inspired Maitland with a 21-12 win over Andy Caldwell while Alan Sharpe eclipsed Willie McDonald, 15-10.

Maitland now sit a distant second with Parkside just a half point away in third, but both surprisingly so after Queensberry tumbled down to fourth having crashed 9-0 away to foot-of-the-table Brunstane thus setting up a nail-biting climax in the relegation zone with Brunstane (43) at home to Tanfield (43); and Summerside (45) away to Maitland (67).

Sighthill have yet to clinch the Division 3 title but their super 9-0 win at home to relegation candidates Dudley gives them a seven-point lead over a Bainfield team (76) whose 9-0 win at home to Leith saw them leapfrog Corstorphine (71½).

Slateford’s expected promotion from Division 4 has yet to be clinched as the former Water of Leith giants sit in second place, four points adrift of Dean and five ahead of Merchiston. Slateford are in a strong position as they reach the final fixture at home to bottom club Blackhall while Dean visit Currie and Merchiston visit London Road Foundry.

The continued absence of Brian Higgins from the E&L five-rink of Matt Purdie is a puzzle to many. Higgins is the Scottish Seniors Singles finalist and a mainstream EBL Division 1 skip with second from top Maitland.

E&L have lost three of the four section games played and entertain West Lothian at Wardie. The skips are BJ Smith (Hillside), Adam Brock (Bainfield), Frank Welsh (Mayfield), Frank O’Reilly (Queensberry), Adam Melrose (Sighthill).

The five skips being fielded by joint leaders West Lothian are: Colin Stein (Linlithgow), Raymond Reid (Queensferry), Bob Mackay (Armadale), Jim Hannah (Whitburn), Gordon Logan (Kirkliston).

Craigentinny and Sighthill are the host venue for tomorrow’s semi-finals of the E&L Top Five Singles Championship at 2pm. Its Maitland v Tanfield at Craigentiiny and Goldenacre v Bainfield at Maitland.

Quater-final Results: Maitland 3 Carrick Knowe 2; Wardie 1 Tanfield 3; Goldenacre 3 West End 2; Bainfield 4 Fountain Brewery 1.