Bowls: Balbardie thrash East Lothian

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Balbardie from Bathgate marched into the quarter-finals of the indoor bowls Scottish Team Championship thrashing East Lothian 8-0 at Falkirk. They now await the outcome between Tweedbank and Abbeyview.

The Team Championship is a male/female format embracing Singles/Pairs/Triples/Fours. The headline clash in the Singles was an all male affair featuring two talented exponents in Peter Lynch and John McCrorie. The confrontation stretched to 26 ends and went right down to the wire before Lynch clinched a 21-19 victory.

Lynch opened up a 4-0 lead by carding two doubles but McCrorie – a prolific tournament winner of Trade Holiday titles back in the good old days of Balgreen – entered the scene with a run of 1, 2, 2, 1, 1 to cross 7-4. McCrorie dropped a 3 to 7-7 then responded with a run of 1, 3, 1 to 12 but the battle for an early supremacy raged on with Lynch carding 4, 1 to stand all square at 12-12 after 13 ends.

Peels were called again at 
14-14 and 15-15 then Lynch carded a 3 at end 20 followed by a single to bring the winning post into sharp focus at 19-15. However, McCrorie placed the outcome back in the melting pot with a sizzling 1, 2, 1 fight back to 19-19.

Taking first blood in this format can often be inspirational so it was a great morale boost for Balbardie when Lynch edged successive singles in a nail-biting climax to hit 21 on end 26.

“We all perked up when Peter (Lynch) captured the win points in the singles to get us off the mark as that outcome was balanced on a knife-edge,” said Margo Duff.

The Triples was next to finish and it featured Kim Ross, Sharon Leitch and Walter McDougall of Balbardie against Megan Kivlin, Andy Burt and Tommy Young.

It turned out to be magic carpet ride for Balbardie with McDougall and Co carding a mighty 5 at the first end then repeating the feat on end four to lead 13-2 and, entering end eight, they had the opposition in their 16-3 grip.

East Lothian showed good fight with a 1, 2, 3 reply to 9 but it was a short-lived revival with McDougall bursting the opposition’s bubble in spectacular style – carding a super six then adding a single to lead 23-9 
after 11 ends.

Balbardie didn’t get things all their own way over the seven-end run in – taking only one of them but still finishing commanding 26-18 winners.

The early tide in the Pairs flowed towards the EL partnership of Janet Dickson and Peter Fallen who were ahead 7-2 after five ends. But a swift change of direction saw Brian Craig and Lorraine Malloy ride the crest of a wave with a surging run of 1, 5, 1, (2), 4, 1, 1, 1 to cross 16-9.

The combination of Craig – the reigning WL Master – and Malloy – The Commonwealth Games Internationalist – continued to be on song and a run of 2, 4, 3, to 25-10 saw them contribute a 25-13 victory.

Ewan Shearer skipped his sister Morven, Margo Duff and Ritchie Templeton from 8-8 after eight ends to a 26-14 win that included a run of 2, 7, 1 and a last-end count of 5 against Yvonne Veitch, Gordon Pryde, Janet Fairnie and Dougie Berwick.