THE men of Midlothian have failed to get the better of emerging top-flight club Falkirk in three high-profile clashes this indoor bowls season and the latest of these setbacks saw last season’s Premier League champions make a second-round exit in the Scottish Cup.
The Midlothian name is etched on the silverware an impressive four times but hopes that 2012 would herald a fifth triumph were dashed by a spirited Falkirk performance that saw them celebrate a fine 71-64 victory on neutral territory at the Inveralmond stadium, Livingston.
“We thought we were due a turn after being a touch unlucky to be held to a peel in our Premier League clash at Dalkeith and we did come close but were squeezed out in an exciting climax,” said team boss Frank Gray of Midlothian.
Gray was reflecting on the fact that Midlothian were showing three shots ahead approaching the time bell but saw that advantage wiped out by losses of five by Billy Peacock, three by David Peacock and two by Colin Walker.
“It was all over in that short space but I have to say that Falkirk deserved their win as they played with a greater degree of consistency than we did,” conceded Gray.
The details tell the story of a real battle for supremacy with Falkirk leading 22-16 after five ends then 40-31 after ten but closed to 53-52 after 15 before Midlothian crossed into a 60-58 lead after 17.
A narrow win for Billy Peacock and a peel for Willie Rankin kept Midlothian in the picture but Falkirk inflicted the pain of defeat on Colin Walker and David Peacock.
Billy Peacock shaped up as a likely hero when skipping Ian Forbes, David Salkeld and Lindsay Plenderleith into a 20-14 lead from 10-10, however, their final score was a less exciting 23-20 over Tam Cochrane.
Rankin only completed 17 of the 21 ends in an extremely hard-fought battle when skipping Calum Crawford, Scott Matthews and Ronnie Duncan to an 11-11 share with Gary Flynn.
Walker and his rink of Robert Campbell, Drew Pearson and Martin Wyllie led up till the 15th end but slipped to a 20-17 defeat from former East Lothian ace Steven Glen while David Peacock David and his front-three of Jamie Macnab, Scott Runciman and AJ Knight lost 20-13 to Simon Thomson.