Bowls: West Lothian blank Blantyre to earn two-point lead at top

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West LOTHIAN Indoor Bowls Club produced a great team performance to beat Blantyre by a commanding 37 shots (91-54) in their top-of-the- table clash in the A section of the Premier League at Inveralmond Stadium.

West Lothian had Blantyre’s measure on all four rinks, with wins delivered by Mark Allison, Calum Logan, Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs.

Home advantage meant it was a formbook victory for a West Lothian team that has now gone two points clear of chief rivals Blantyre and East Lothian at the halfway stage of the ten-match campaign.

It was also a bonus for West Lothian that East Lothian suffered a 76-62 defeat on their visit to Prestwick, while the other result in the A section saw Paisley score an 80-68 away victory over bottom Alloa.

West Lothian made a positive start to the match, with all but Neil Speirs getting their noses in front to capture the first seven-end phase 35-17. Speirs, however, recovered to contribute to a 34-23 success on the second.

Team captain Thomas Mann helped West Lothian keep their focus and high level of concentration by scoring at five of the seven ends on the run-in and the home side confirmed their superiority on the day with a 22-14 winning margin on the third phase.

Allison emerged top skip, having showcased his skills by skipping Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan and Stuart Johnston into a 17-4 lead after ten ends then pushing on to score a 28-11 victory over Gerry Sullivan.

Logan set the Inveralmond stadium alight with a scorching run of 6, 1, 3 to lead 10-0, then went on to skip Richard Mark, Blair Mackie and Des Hagart to a 22-13 win over Brian Irvine.

Mann was involved in a battle with Iain McLean in the early stages but from 11-10 stole a march with a run of 1, 5, 1 that set him up to skip Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale and James Speirs to a 22-14 win.

Speirs and his rink of Stewart McMaster, Scott Logan and Bryan Cooper were 13-10 down to Alex Kelly, but turned the tables with a 4 at the 14th end then battled on to triumph 19-16.

Meanwhile, Scottish Indoor Bowls Association selectors have picked rising Bainfield star Jamie Aitken, Portobello’s Jamie Reid, Calum Crawford (Midlothian) and Calum Logan, of West Lothian, for the Junior Scotland trial to be played at Paisley IBC on Sunday, November 27.