Bowls: Midlothian faul foul of Falkirk
MIDLOTHIAN travelled to Falkirk with low expectations of pulling off a surprise result in the A section of the indoor bowls Premier League and sure enough the form book proved correct with the home side emerging as commanding 92-58 winners.
Falkirk reached the play-off final last season and have continued to impress in the present campaign with their only defeat to date coming at the hands of defending champions West Lothian.
So Midlothian knew they had a real battle on their hands and that their cause wasn’t helped by the enforced absence of star-rated players in the shape of David Peacock, Graeme Archer, Willie Rankin, Steven Currie, Calum Crawford and Danny McDougall.
“That’s the hand we have been dealt this season for one reason or another so we are just trying to deal with it the best we can but we have been done no favours by competing in the hottest of the two sections,” reflected team manager Frank Gray.
Gray ended up in a distressed state as he had hoped for something better than watching his team outgunned on all four rinks with the rinks skipped by Ronnie Duncan, Billy Peacock, AJ Knight and Colin Walker all losing.
“Falkirk were excellent and easily the best team on the day,” summed up Gray.
Walker and his rink of Robert Campbell, David Munro and Martin Wyllie drew the short straw in coming up against Falkirk’s icon figure Simon Thomson who had Scotland/England legend Gary Smith as his third.
And they paid a stiff price in the shape of a thumping 24-8 defeat that saw the visitors fail to strike a blow at 15 of the 21 ends and only register one single as Thomson punished them from 0-3 to 20-4 over the space of 14 ends.
Duncan and his front three of Ian Forbes, Jamie Aitken and Lindsay Plenderleith were also heading for a heavy drubbing at 23-11 down after 17 ends but only lost 24-18 having redeemed themselves with a spirited late run of 2, 4, 1 against Tom Cochrane.
Peacock created a glimmer of hope when skipping Drew Pearson Scott Matthews and David Salkeld to 10-12 after 13 ends but conceded at the next three ends to slip to 16-10 down and lost 18-12 to Steven Glen.
Knight and his rink of Andrew Kelly, Scott Runciman and Ian Brown battled bravely but the loss of two 5s and one 4 meant he paid the price in the shape of a 26-20 defeat from Jim McHutchison.
Midlothian now lie second bottom with four points from five games while Falkirk remain second top with eight points.