Premier League bowls: Late collapse puts pressure on Midlothian

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Midlothian gents suffered a disappointing defeat in dramatic circumstances at home to table-topping visitors Falkirk in the A Division of the indoor bowls Premier League.

And, with only three wins out of seven, the bowlers from The Dalkeith Stadium are being sucked into the relegation zone with only Alloa and Ayr being beneath them.

Falkirk deserve to be congratulated on a narrow six-shot triumph (73-67) that moved them two points clear of section favourites Blantyre. However, given that the drama of a nail-biting climax was heightened by the visitors carding a last-end seven, there was a sense of deep shock in a stunned Midlothian camp.

They entered the final ends across the carpet holding a six-shot lead but suffered an incredible 12-0 collapse in the shape of Billy and David Peacock both conceding singles, Graeme Archer a 3, and Colin Walker a 7.

And, to rub salt into the wounds of the home side, it was ex-East Lothian bowlwe Steven Glen who wielded the axe that resulted in the magnificent seven for Falkirk.

The pre-campaign expectations of challenging for top-of-the-table honours are now just a distant dream with concentration at Dalkeith now focused on staying clear of relegation.

Midlothian sit two and four points – and hold a comforting mountain of shots – ahead of Alloa and Ayr respectively with three fixtures to fulfil in the new year so there is expectation they will stay clear of the bottom two.

World-stage figure Ronnie Duncan was an absentee against a Falkirk team that inflicted defeat on the rinks skipped by David Peacock, Colin Walker and Billy Peacock, leaving Graeme Archer as the only home winner.

The phase scoring saw Midlothian achieve a 16-shot supremacy over the first seven ends (36-20; but Falkirk showed their competitive menace with replies of 26-16 and 27-15.

Walker and his rink of Jack Macnab, Ian Fleming and Lindsay Plenderleith led 16-12 going into their last end but came out of it as 19-16 losers to Glen.

Billy Peacock and his front-three of Scott Runciman, David Salkeld and John Stevenson will be gutted to have only scored at six of their 21 ends in a 20-15 defeat from John McHutchison.

David Peacock and his rink of Jamie Macnab, Craig Hodge and Scott Briggs conceded on 12 of their 20 ends completed but, in a tight match, were just pipped 18-17 by Steven Allan.

Archer skipped Ian Forbes, Keith Stables, and AJ Knight into an 18-8 lead before setting for a 19-16 win over Gary Flynn.