Relegation-zoned indoor bowls club Midlothian beat second-placed Falkirk 104-82 at Dalkeith as they began their bid to repair damaged confidence ahead of their Premier League survival match against Division 1A champions Garioch at Stonehaven on March 3.
Midlothian finished second bottom in the A section of the Premier League and their team manager, Frank Gray, said: “It will be written off in some quarters as a nothing game but we were playing against quality opposition.
“To beat a strong Falkirk team raises the morale of our squad ahead of our do-or-die match against Garioch, and our Scottish Cup campaign.”
Gray was stunned to see his team of strugglers find an exciting brand of skill and enthusiasm that accelerated them into a remarkable 37-7 lead after five ends.
Their commanding margin was rapidly eroded by a sterling fightback from Falkirk however that brought the familiar sight of sweat on the Midlothian brows as the score closed to 53-49 after 11 ends.
However, Midlothian weathered the storm and found a fresh impetus to reach a peak of 27 up at 96-69.
Wins on three rinks – skipped by David Peacock, AJ Knight and Colin Walker – more than compensated for the defeat of team captain Billy Peacock.
David Peacock zipped into a 10-1 lead after six ends and, with the help of Robert Campbell, Lindsay Plenderleith and Mark Wyllie, proceeded to stitch up Joey Strickland, 30-12.
Knight almost lifted the Dalkeith roof with an explosive start of 6, 3, 2, 2, 4, 1 to lead 18-0, then traded on his lead to skip David Salkeld, Mark Yuill and David Munro to a 30-16 win over Jim McHutcheson.
Walker was finding it tough going at 22-16 down after 15 ends but he upped the tempo with a run of 4, 1, 7 to inspire Jamie Macnab, Drew Pearson and Ronnie Duncan to a 29-25 win over Simon Thomson.
Billy Peacock and his rink of Ian Forbes, Scott Matthews and Ian Brown were given a torrid time of it by former East Lothian star Steven Glen and in the end had to accept a 29-15 defeat.
Midlothian wound up their campaign on eight points to the zero of relegated Coatbridge but finished behind West Lothian (18), Falkirk (12), Bainfield (12), and East Lothian (10).