West Lothian off the mark after beating Lanarkshire

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West Lothian IBC won their foot-of-the-table clash with fellow strugglers Lanarkshire in the A section of the indoor bowls Premier League after a strong middle phase inspired them to a 84-75 victory at their Inveralmond Stadium.

The home team had narrowly lost their first two matches of the campaign.

Victories for the rinks skipped by Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs banked 18 shots for the home team and that was more than enough to cover the defeat of Calum Logan and Mark Allison.

“It was vital that we got ourselves off the mark and not lose too much ground on the leaders and the hope now is that we can gain momentum and get ourselves back into contention for the section honours,” said Mann.

The match was a hard-fought encounter with Lanarkshire having the better of the first-phase exchanges however, they could only eke out a lead of 27-23 after seven ends.

West Lothian captain Mann made a flying start that included two superb counts of four, and a three as he skipped his rink into a 13-5 lead over John Simpson.

A middle phase transformation saw West Lothian move into a higher gear that accelerated them to a significant 37-24 supremacy.

The major figure for West Lothian during this period was Neil Speirs who scored a five as he skipped his rink to an 11-5 contribution that was supported by positive margins on the other three rinks.

Lanarkshire made a battle of the third phase but, unlike their opening two games, West Lothian stayed resolute and happily settled for a 24-24 share.

Mann led 16-10 after 11 ends then made telling space to 23-10 with a run of 3, 2, 1, 1 and he skipped Paul lynas, Ian Drysdale, and James Speirs to a good 27-16 win over Simpson.

Speirs helped himself to two counts of 5 in a 15-11 lead after 14 ends and ended the match with a count of three as he skipped Bryan Cooper, Raymond Logan and Paul O’Donnell to a 22-15 win over Sandy Syme.

Calum Logan had much work to do at 9-3 down after seven ends but undid a 2, 3, 2, 1 fightback by losing a five to trail 14-11 after 12. However, he carded a five at the 16th to skip Cameron Greer, Connor McKendrick and Craig Moss into a 20-17 lead.

The opposition skip was icon figure Robert Grant and late counts of three, and two sentenced Logan and Co to a 22-20 defeat – with three of the 21 ends left unplayed.

Allison suffered his third defeat in a row when in company with James Greenock, Dougie Mitchell and Stuart Johnston as they slipped from peels at 10 after 12 ends to a 22-15 defeat from Stewart Hume.