Edinburgh & Leith ran West Lothian close in a rip-roaring Cities and Counties Championship clash at Queensferry before succumbing to a frustrating 112-109 defeat.
E&L had the home team against the collar at every end bar one – the sixth – up until the 18th where they were crossed 91-89 but that pressure had been mounting since slipping from a promising 14-shot high entering the 11th.
Wins on the rinks skipped by John McDermott, Robert Marshall and James Hogg, plus a peel for team captain Paul O’Donnell, just failed to cover the defeats of Darren Hush and Mal Higgenbotham.
End 15 will be seen as the main game-changing moment with E&L suffering the pain of a 10-0 clean sweep against them that savagely cut their 11-shot lead (77-66) down to a single (77-76) and breathed fresh life into the West Lothian challenge.
The remainder of the match was fought out on a knife-edge with run in counts of 7-8, 9-8 and 5-4 just enough for WL to retain the edge in a nail-biting climax.
Defeat for E&L was their second in four leaving them joint fourth with Midlothian, four points adrift of undefeated East Lothian and two adrift of West Lothian and Borders.
Hush and his rink of Daniel Gormley, Steven Pilley and Alan Brown were silenced by a significant 23-13 defeat from Steven Forrest, Connor McKendrick, Gary Smith and Ray Logan, who finished from 10-8 with counts of 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2 (5), 2.
Higgenbotham had Liam McKay, Gordon Bold and Andy Caldwell in touch at 12-12 but slipped to a 19-13 defeat from Ewan Shearer, Jordan Pearce, Walter McDougall and Andy Dunnett.
Other rink scores (WL first): John Aitken 21, Paul O’Donnell 21; Grant Logan 16, James Hogg 19; Sandy McDougall 17, Robert Marshall 22; Stevie Fleming 16, John McDermott 21.
Other East section results: East Lothian 140, Midlothian 113; Borders 128, Fife 105; West Fife 108, Stirling East 129.
This Saturday’s fixtures see E&L host Midlothian at Northern, West Lothian taking on East Lothian at Kirkliston, Stirling East travelling to Strathmiglo to face Fife, and Borders at home to West Fife at Jedburgh.
• CRAIGENTINNY are yet to set the heather on fire in their bid to capture the Division 1 title of the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League for a record-extending eighth time but home advantage in Wednesday night’s match against Queensberry brings an opportunity to stoke up their challenge.
Three wins out of five leaves them 5½ points adrift of defending champions Parkside, who visit second-placed Maitland. Tanfield entertain Hillside while Pilrig host Northern.