Kirkliston bowlers have enhanced their reputation as West Lothian’s Top Five Singles experts by winning the WLBA title for a record extending 13th time.
Expectations that the 2015 final against Bathgate at Broxburn would develop into a battle royal failed to materialise with Kirkliston romping to a 4-1 victory over the four times champions who were severely handicapped by two early setbacks.
Kirkliston’s strength in depth was illustrated by the absence of 1998 national champion Raymond Logan being covered by the call up of 1988 Scottish champion John Aitken with both 60-year-olds still top performers.
It was no surprise then that Aitken – recently crowned the WL Master for a record equalling fourth time – turned out to be a super-sub with an astonishing performance that got ‘The Cheeesetown Boys’ off the mark with a 21-4 victory in 14 ends over Rob Hilson.
The head to head was a clash between former WLBA Champion of Champions but was always one sided with Aitken making good headway to 10-4 then storming to 21 with a run of 4, 1, 2 ,1, 2, 1.
Mark Allison then set up a 9-4 lead that he converted into a 21-7 win over fellow Hamilton Trophy colleague Stuart Johnston in 18 ends.
The headline win that clinched the title fell to the international experienced Steven Forrest who marked his 36th birthday with a stunning 21-20 victory after being 20-10 down to Bathgate champion Bryan Cooper. “Try and stay on the green as long as you can” was the whispered advice from team captain Grant Logan. The Birthday Boy stormed to 21 with a whirlwind run of 3, 2, 3, 3.
Meanwhile, Neil Speirs was holding a winning position at 16-11 up on Brian Saunders while Bathgate had hopes of a consolation win with Alan McCormick leading Logan, 18-12.
• A NEW name will appear on the championship board at Kirkliston with 36-year-olds Greg Logan and Neil Speirs making it through to the final with wins over John Aitken (21-14) and Jordan Pearce (21-12) in their semi-finals.