Midlothian men ended their indoor bowls season on a magnificent high by winning the 2018 Henselite Scottish Cup.
Their triumph over neighbour club East Lothian was hard-earned and well deserved with the battle for supremacy in the final at Abbeyview (Dunfermline) going down to the wire before Midlothian clinched a 6-4 victory on points.
East Lothian were the favourites having finished runners-up in the Premier League and then turning the tables on their conquerors (Blantyre) in the semi-final of the Cup.
Midlothian looked strong and solid on paper so were never going to be a pushover especially with the final being also a derby match.
Victories on the rinks skipped by Billy Peacock and Colin Walker set up a 4-4 share of the points leaving the scales of victory to be tipped by a 71-66 shot aggregate in favour of Midlothian.
The outcome of the aggregate was undecided entering the penultimate end with East Lothian leading 62-61. However, a sizzling 7-0 attack by fired up opposition hiked the pressure.
Midlothian’s defence of their lead entering the final end was put under pressure by losses of 2, 1, 1 across three of their rinks but nerves of steel and a heroic count of 3 for Billy Peacock triggered the celebrations.
Billy Peacock had a major influence on keeping East Lothian at bay having skipped Jack Macnab, Liam Mckay and Kevin McDougall into leads of 10-3 and 14-7 over Mark Yuill, Dougie Berwick, Mark Johnston and Graham Robertson.
However, in response to danger at 16-13, a 4 at the 19th and a 3 at the 20th ends elevated the older of the two Peacock brothers to a 23-14 success.
Back-up support was needed and it came from Colin Walker who had it all to do at 13-12 down but did it in the shape of delivering a 2, 1, 2, (2) finish to skip Neil Melrose, Lindsay Plenderleith and Dougie Russell to a gilt-edged 17-15 win over Lewis Betts, Andrew Jeffrey, Dean Riva and Billy Mellors.
EL were kept well in the picture by Joe Mower skipping Lessel Middler, Kevin Cunningham, Jamie Higgins to a 21-16 win over Jamie Macnab, Sandy Knight, Jim Cullen and David Peacock. Also, Scott Kennedy skipping Aaron Betts, David Sked and Stet Thomson to a 16-15 win, having carded a 6 on the third-last end (19th) against Ian Forbes, Craig Hodge, Andy Caldwell and Graeme Archer.
Midlothian’s fifth triumph in the Cup denied East Lothian a record-extending eighth success.
• Edinburgh & Leith have received 55 nominations for Hamilton Trophy (Scottish Counties) consideration including leading player Robert Marshall who is one of four from Slateford while Carrick Knowe dominate the list with Stephen Pringle, Colin Touch, Stuart Campbell, Darren Hush, James Hogg, John Ramsay, Richard Tough and Kevin Tennant.
• East Lothian Ladies put up a bold show in a 6-4 defeat from Ayrshire giants Auchinleck that ended their dreams of first time glory in the Scottish Cup.
The semi-final at West of Scotland saw wins for the rinks skipped by Lauren Baillie (+25) and Janet Fairnie (+2); but setbacks for Yvonne Veitch (-6) and Emma Logan (-22).
• Friday night’s Finals at The Alex Marshall Arena include Willie Wood and Brian (BJ) Smith parading their skills in the Seniors Singles while its Stuart Johnston and Calum Darling in the Under-21 singles.
Janet Fairnie bids for a record equalling sixth triumph in the Ladies Singles when lining up against an in form first time seeker Pat Turner while Monday night sees Billy Mellors and Chris Fallen contest the Men’s Singles.
• Aaron Betts won the Under-17 Singles title at East Lothian IBC defeating his big brother Lewis, 21-18. Emma Logan won the Ladies 2 Bowl Singles title with a 21-16 win over Melissa Penman.