Bowls: Top seeds scattered as West Lothian Masters gets in play

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Mayhem visited last night’s second round of the Scotmid Co-operative sponsored 14th West Lothian Masters and wreaked havoc among the top seeds with Grant Logan (No. 1), Ewan Shearer (No. 3) and Neil Speirs (No. 4) all suffering shock defeats.

And these leading lights of the showcase event that offers £1000 and a signature Green Jacket to the title winner were joined on the sidelines by two more seeds in the shape of Sandy McDougall (No. 11) and Greg Logan (No. 15).

Grant Logan was bidding to capture the Masters title for a record fourth time but the 
36-year-old defending champion crashed out to a 21-18 defeat in 23 ends from dark horse Andrew White of Armadale at Bridgeness.

The holder started well to lead 8-2 but soon found the heavy condition of the playing surface difficult and, with his lightness of touch not a major factor, he suffered an alarming collapse to 16-8 down. Yet his powers of recovery proved to be strong and the star of Scotland’s recent Home International campaign staged an admirable fight back to cross 18-17. However, it was to be White’s night with the Armadale challenger hitting 21 with a 2, 1, 1 finish.

Shearer has been the man in form this season with the District Singles and County Singles both on his crowded CV but the 39-year-old former Master had his hands full against Stuart Johnston of Bathgate and lost 21-17 in 19 ends at Pumpherston. Johnston, a British Isles Fours champion on the Indoor scene, dictated the early play to lead 6-0, 13-3, and 16-8 but Shearer menaced with a run of 2, 2, 3, 2 to cross 17-16. But, just when it looked like the No. 3 seed was going to escape to victory, in stepped Johnston to clip Shearer’s wings with a magnificent 2, 1, 2 run to 21.

Speirs won the Masters title in 2002 and the 33-year-old Scotland cap was a strong fancy to bridge that ten-year gap but his progress was halted at Polbeth by a 21-16 defeat from his Hamilton Trophy colleague Ian Drysdale of Bathgate.

McDougall bowed out in 
interesting circumstances, with the 44-year-old making his exit to a 21-18 defeat from his brother Walter at Watson Memorial, while Greg Logan collapsed from 11-11 to a 21-11 defeat 
from C McLean of Oakbank at Uphall Station.