Bowls: West Lothian shine despite loss of stars

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West LOTHIAN IBC coped with the absence of three leading players in the shape of George Sneddon, Des Hagart and Paul Lynas to score a comfortable 85-61 victory over Paisley in their Premier League bowls clash at the Inveralmond Stadium, Livingston.

It is a result that pushes West Lothian two points clear of the field in the A Division as chief rivals East Lothian suffered a first defeat, losing 75-70 at Blantyre.

West Lothian called up David Wilson, Richard Mark and Blair Mackie to fill the shoes of their absent stars and in a reshuffle restored Neil Speirs at skip in place of Sneddon who is in Cyprus with Scotland in the Atlantic Rim Championships.

WL opened strongly to capture the first seven-end phase, 33-10, shared the second, 22-22 and edged the third, 30-29, with a valuable 14-4 contribution from Logan on the run-in stabilising a home wobble.

Team captain Thomas Mann skipped Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale and James Speirs to a 24-15 win over David Fisher.

Calum Logan led Richard Mark, Blair Mackie and Stuart Johnston to 26-17 triumph over John Gilmartin.

Mark Allison was involved in a real ding-dong affair with Derek Stobo but showed great determination to skip Scott Logan, Raymond Logan and Bryan Cooper to a 16-13 win and Neil Speirs skipped Stewart McMaster, James Greenock and David Wilson to a tight 19-16 win over Jonathan Ross.

At Blantyre, the return of Alex Marshall for East Lothian saw him skip Mark Johnston, John Stevenson and Andrew Jeffrey to a ten-shot win that was supported by a two-shot success for Neil Pringle, Brian Wyllie, Jamie Higgins and Graham Robertson. The downside came with the defeat of Chris Fallen, David Oliver, SA Thomson and Willie Wood by 11 shots and a six-shot setback for Colin Cook Dougie Berwick, Alan Young and Scott Kennedy.