West Lothian marched into the semi-final stage of the indoor bowls Scottish Under-35 League Cup with a commanding 8-2 points victory over Inverurie club Garioch at Arbroath.
Amateur sports, certainly bowls, tend to celebrate their title triumphs with gusto, so it reads well for West Lothian that nine of the players that captured the Premier League crown on Saturday were bright-eyed enough to reach the heights as well on the Sunday.
Messrs Thomas Mann, Blair Mackie, Calum Logan, James Greenock, Jamie Gracie, Cameron Greer, Bryan Cooper, Paul Lynas and Neil Speirs were all quickly back in action to beef up the Under-35 challenge in a strong team formation.
Wins on three of the four rinks – skipped by Logan, Cooper, and Speirs – plus a match aggregate of 95-57 bagging eight points against the two that went a-begging with the narrow defeat of Jamie Gracie.
Logan emerged as the star of the WL show, with the 23-year-old showing his international class to skip Thomas Mann, Scot McMaster and Blair Mackie to a 34-11 win over J Banks.
The rink enjoyed several highlights, starting with a six end blitz to lead 12-0 then went from 17-9 to 27-9 before carding a mighty 5 at the 19th to stand 32-10.
Cooper has something of an overdrive in his range of attributes and he employed it to great effect with a run of 4, 1, 1, 4 that accelerated him into a 16-4 lead after 11 ends then he included a 5 at the 17th en route to skipping Nathan McKendrick, David Wilson Jnr and Cameron Greer to a 25-11 win over C Milne’s rink.
Speirs made a stunning start to skip Connor McKendrick, Jenifer Richardson and Paul Lynas into a 13-4 lead after eight ends then led 16-7 before coming under late pressure at 17-5 but just doing enough to scramble a 19-16 victory.
Gracie made an encouraging start to skip Robbie Cuthill, Ryan Duffy and James Greenock into a 9-1 lead after six ends and still looked good at 12-6, but the picture changed with the dramatic loss of 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 2 to be overtaken 19-12 and they stumbled to a 19-17 defeat from James Harper.
“It was a longer journey north than we would have hoped for the day after celebrating a major triumph, but the team performed strongly and returning to Livingston seemed to be a lot shorter,” summed up a West Lothian spokesman.