Bowls: West Lothian demolish depleted East neighbours

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West LOTHIAN sent a powerful message of intent to their East section rivals by inflicting a massive 154-90 defeat on defending champions East Lothian when the teams clashed in the Cities & Counties Championship at East Calder on Saturday.

East Lothian should have posed a major threat to West Lothian but Cup Final issues caused the visitors to arrive with a severely depleted team to face an opposition that was unchanged from their win in their opening match over Edinburgh & Leith.

It was an open-goal opportunity that West Lothian seized with great hunger and relish and they punished last season’s national champions with wins on all six rinks although only three reached double figures.

The top three home skips were: Grant Logan, Steven Fleming and John Aitken, while they were supported by single-figure wins for Gary Smith, Calum Logan and Raymond Logan.

West Lothian also have three major players in the shape of Neil Speirs, Thomas Mann and George Sneddon set to return from foreign shores, a prospect which will no doubt fill future rivals with dread.

The evidence of a good day in prospect for West Lothian at East Calder came early with the home team opening up a 45-28 lead after the first seven-end phase and the addition of a further 27 (58-31) on the second phase confirmed it.

East Lothian did have their odd moments of relief on the third phase but were too light to cause menace and West Lothain added 20 more shots of away misery with a 51-31 domination.

Three of the Logan clan skipped a rink for West Lothian and Grant emerged top man to skip Steven Forrest, Greg Logan (brother), and Mark Allison to a spectacular 35-9 win over Alister Kennedy.

Their opening highlight was a brilliant opening blitz of 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, 4 (2), 4 to lead 16-2 then a purple patch climax produced a run of 1, 6, 2.

Fleming continued to shine as a stand-in skip and his performance may be giving the West Lothian manager food for thought, having included a magnificent count of 7 as, in company with Diz Drysdale, Walter McDougall and James Speirs, he posted a 26-11 against Colin Glen.

The other rink scores were: John Aitken 27, Steven Morgan 13; Gary Smith 24, Brian Young 18; Calum Logan 23, Jim Pringle 21; Ray Logan 19, Craig Valentine 18.