Thomas MANN is the man of the moment at West Lothian IBC as the 31-year-old Scotland cap etched his name on the club championship board with an outstanding performance to beat James Greenock in the Singles final.
Spectators at the Inveralmond stadium in Livingston were treated to an exciting 23-end battle that started with Greenock carding a magic count of 3 then going on to lead 6-4 before Mann fired up his challenge with a 1, 1, 3, 1, 2 response to cross 12-6.
Greenock – who came into the final on a high having claimed the scalp of title favourite Neil Speirs in the semis – showed great determination with a 2, (2), 2, 2, fight-back that kept him in the picture at 14-12 down after 15 ends.
Mann remained under pressure at 17-16, but with the title in full focus it was now a melting pot situation and experience proved invaluable with the premier league team captain producing a sizzling 1, 3 finish to hit 21 and claim the champions crown.
WLIBC also staged its final of the Junior Singles, but the cracking encounter expected between young internationalists Cameron Greer and Calum Logan failed to produce any fireworks of great note.
Logan – twice a winner of the full singles title – opened the final with a double, but failed to settle into his normal rhythm and, by end 12, was facing an uphill battle with Greer in the ascendancy and leading, 17-4.
Greer had thrilled the watching banking with a purple patch run of 4, 1, 2, 2, 1 and 2 and although Logan showed some spirit with a 2, 4 reply it was Greer that remained in command to win 21-11 in 19 ends.
Meanwhile, last night’s action at Bainfield at the semi-final stage of the club championship saw 43-year-old dark horse Paul Millar reach his first final after a spectacular 21-20 win over veteran challenger Willie McIntosh.
McIntosh is a model of consistency and quickly recovered from a 4-0 deficit after two ends to find his rhythm and start to dictate the pace at 10-6 up, but it was back to all-square at 11-11 after 13 ends.
It remained ding-dong at 12-12, but McIntosh stole a march with a hat-trick of singles to 15 then looked destined for a place in the final when he brought Millar under growing pressure at 18-13.
Millar, who achieved his breakthrough into the Bainfield first team earlier in the season, showed he is a cool customer with a 2 and 1 reply to 16, but that response looked in vain when McIntosh carded a double to 20.
But McIntosh had passed up the chance of adding a third shot for the match and that let-off seemed to inspire Millar who proceeded to conjure up a magic run of 3, 1 and 1 to snatch a dramatic victory in a 27-end thriller.
The other semi-final suffered in comparison as a spectacle, but it was a personal triumph for title favourite Craig Moss with the 28-year-old Scotland cap cashing in on a 10-0 lead to beat Mark Hewitt 21-8 in 18 ends.
The finals of the Bainfield competitions will be staged all next week, with the Singles down for decision on the Friday night.