Kirkliston are celebrating a record extending 12th reign as WLBA Top Ten Champions, having powered to a commanding 8-0 points win over East Calder in the final of The White Knights sponsored event played at Linlithgow.
Making it to the 2017 final was tough as their single-shot victory over Armadale in the semi-finals 4-4 (+1), was down to a ‘trademark’ last-bowl conversion served up by long serving John Aitken. The return of Calum Logan to the line-up in the final came at the expense of teenager Darren Pearce, the recent winner of the District Junior Singles title.
East Calder’s path to the final also included a close call in the shape of their first round proper win over Deans 4–4 (+5); but subsequent wins over Newbridge (6-2), Bellsburn (8-0), and Pumpherston (6-2), were clear cut affairs.
The battle for supremacy in the Top Ten format starts with the Singles and that clash of the spearhead figures produced an 24-end encounter between Grant Logan and Grant Ramsay of East Calder.
Ramsay got off the mark with an encouraging count of three on the first end but come the eighth he trailed 9-6 and Logan then added 1, 2, 2 to make telling space to 14.
Logan remained in command of exchanges that moved him in clear sight of victory at 17-10; but there was no sign of a killer punch being landed over the next four ends with Ramsay responding to the intense pressure with a bold 3, 1, 2, 1 fight back to stand peels at 17-17.
End 23 saw Logan break the deadlock by conjuring up a count of three to 20 and he then answered the loss of a single with a single to clinch a hard earned 21-18 victory,
The demise of Ramsay was a major setback for East Calder as Kirkliston were firmly in the driving seat in the race to capture the points in The Pairs and, having accelerated into a 14-4 lead, the partnership of Steven Forrest and Neil Speirs crossed the line commanding 26-6 winners over Ross Millar and Calum Black.
The East Calder trio of Andy Jenkins, Tam Miller and Kenny Black made a promising start to lead 6-2 but the calamitous loss of a 7 at the next saw them collapse to a 19-9 defeat at the hands of Scott Logan (subbed by Darren Pearce), Mark Allison and Raymond Logan in The Triples.
Kirkliston’s run of 1, 4, 4 to lead 11-4 in the Fours inspired Andi Gray, Jordan Pearce, John Aitken and Calum Logan to a 15-7 win over Jimmy Paterson, Alan Walker, Craig Reid and William Borland.
Kirkliston now progress to the 2018 Scottish Inter County Top Ten of which they are record four times champions.