Kirkliston have won the WLBA Rosebery Cup for a 23rd time, defeating Buchan Park 78-76 in the final at Uphall Station.
The rink scores were: Neil Speirs 22, Billy Irvine 14; Calum Logan 24, Ross Howie 16; Raymond Logan 18, Stewart Grant 23; Grant Logan 14, Barry Sword 23. The outcome went right down to the wire as an epic battle over 84 ends culminated with the defending champions staging a thrilling escape to victory with a count of five on end 83.
Buchan Park had come into the final as the underdogs, but were only denied victory by the headline stars of the show in the shape of the rink skipped by Commonwealth Games select player Neil Speirs – who had only been released from his preparations after a late decision from Bowls Scotland.
Kirkliston were outscored 26-21 over the first seven ends and 26-19 over the second, but they then turned the tables with a 38-24 fight back on third.
Kirkliston were heading for defeat at 72-74 with only Speirs’ rink of David Brown, Robbie Cuthell and Mark Allison having four ends in which to turn the result around. There was great pressure on all concerned including the Buchan Park rink of Stuart Brooke, Ian Mackie, Davy Ledgerwood and Billy Irvine.
Singles were exchanged at ends 18 and 19 before the Kirkliston front three showed great composure to build a head of five shots, which allowed them to go into the final end with a lead of three shots – their first of the match.
They duly built a head of three shots, but Mackie brilliantly trailed the jack to hold three for BP, so it wasn’t all over yet.
Speirs asked Allison to strike the head, which the third did twice to remove all three BP bowls and convert for a hold of two. Irvine produced a thunderbolt strike – one end too late – aiming for a two-bowl take out to win the match and went close but only ended up counting a single.
Other highlights included Raymond Logan carding a six at end two, Speirs carding a six at end 15 and Calum Logan carding a seven at end 15. BP won the end count 46/38 but paid the price for these heavy losses.