Midlothian have qualified for the The Scottish indoor bowls Fours Championship finals in April.
The rink of Ian Forbes, Ronnie Duncan, Billy Peacock and Colin Walker dominated the scene at East Fife IBC, rattling off superb wins over Teviotdale, Abbeyview, Bainfield, and last season’s national finalists East Lothian.
Meeting East Lothian in the section final always looked likely to be the toughest test and so it proved but Midlothian gained an early edge and their 12-5 lead provided a cushion to push towards the winning line with a 20-15 score. “Mutch of the match was really finely balanced. In all honesty what kept the scales tipped slightly in our favour was the rub of the green,” said Peacock.
He is particularly excited about making it through to the semi-final stage as it fires up his ambition to go on and emulate his title success in 2002 when he played third to his brother David and a front-end of Paul Conlan and Scott Matthews.
Having blown a good lead over West Lothian to lose last season’s national final the East Lothian rink of Andy Jeffrey, Willie Wood MBE, Scott Kennedy, and Billy Mellors were hopeful of making amends.
“Everything seemed to be going to plan with wins over Coatbridge and Perth to reach the section final but we knew it was going to be a battle royal against our neighbour club Midlothian and it was disappointing to come off second best,” said Kennedy.
Mellors and Co did have a sniff of a chance at the final end where a potential match winning count of six was an enticing prospect but Walker and Co realised the danger and the skip executed the wise decision to bullet two or three opposition bowls out of the head – thereby robbing Mellors of his opportunity.
Midlothian launched their campaign with a 33-10 prelim round blitz of the Teviotdale rink skipped by AK Kyle having carded two fives and a four to lead 14-1 after four ends.
Abbeyview were next to bite the dust with the Andrew Kennedy skipped Dunfermline rink crushed 22-8 after Walker and Co stretched from 12-6 to 20-6 with a purple patch run of 2, 3, 1, 2.
Midlothian’s next challenge came in the shape of the Bainfield rink comprising Chris Downie, John McDermott, Colin Hutchison and Gavin Smith who had shown promise with a 26-11 win over Berwickshire and a 22-18 triumph over Tweedbank.
The prize was a place in the section final and it was claimed by Midlothian’s handsome 22-9 victory with Walker and Co leading 8-3 then answering menace at 10-8 with a run of 5, 2, 1, 1, that stretched them into a 19-8 lead.