Balbardie suffer relegation from Premier League

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Balbardie gents’ stay in the indoor bowls Premier League was short-lived with the Bathgate club making a quick return to Division 1 having only managed to win three of their ten games in the top flight.

There was a glimmer of hope of escaping the automatic relegation spot entering the final fixture against fellow strugglers Paisley in ivision B but, even with home advantage, they were defeated.

With the stakes high for both teams the battle for survival was finely balanced but Balbardie’s need for a victory by 30 shots always looked to be out of reach.

The 85-78 win for Paisley hoisted them clear of relegation, leapfrogging Aberdeen, who crashed to a 94-68 defeat at Ardrossan.

Balbardie slipped from 37-32 behind after eight ends to a soul-destroying 79-58 with just four more ends to play so their effort to reduce their margin of defeat to a single figure came much too late.

Wins on the rinks skipped by Gary Orr and Walter McDougall gave the home support something to shout about but their colleagues Sandy McDougall and Ewan Shearer were outgunned.

Paisley edged the first seven ends 33-28 and the second 28-24, then restricted Balbardie to a 26-24 capture of the third.

Shearer and his rink of Calum Black, Lindsay Forrest and Davie Ross were destroyed by a 4, 6, 1, 4 blitz to trail 15-4 and the later heavy loss of a five contributed to a 29-17 defeat from Callum Taggart.

Sandy McDougall and his front three of Duncan Smith, Stuart Ford and Mark Bonar found themselves on the wrong side of a 17-7 scoreline after 
13 ends and suffered a 24-14 defeat from John Gilmartin.

Gary Orr tore into his opposition with counts of 2, 1, 6, 1, 1 to skip Graham Keery, Scott McMaster and Brian Craig into a 14-3 lead and, but for the loss of a six at end 13, would have done even better than his 27-19 win over Graham Sloan.

Walter McDougall added a six to skip Tam Whitfield, Andy Forrest, and John Ellis into a 15-11 lead after 13 ends and went on to register a 20-13 win over Derek Moffat.