WEST LOTHIAN IBC captured the Scottish Cup for a record-equalling sixth time, claiming East Lothian as their 83-60 victims in the final played at Paisley.
East Lothian came into the final as slight favourites to extend their cup record to a magnificent seven but, despite an encouraging start to lead by ten shots after six ends, their efforts withered under later pressure.
It was wins on the rinks skipped by Neil Speirs, Calum Logan and team captain Thomas Mann that tipped the scales in favour of a West Lothian team that coped with the narrow defeat suffered by Mark Allison.
West Lothian’s triumph was particularly sweet for Paul O’Donnell and Craig Moss following their switching from Bainfield at the start of the season.
Mann and Logan both carded magic 3s that were supported by a double for Allison and a single for Speirs resulting in West Lothian exploding into a ten-shot lead (51-41) that threw down the gauntlet to the opposition.
An analysis of the three seven-end phases of the match highlights the supremacy West Lothian established having been forced onto the back foot by the 29-20 loss of the first.
WL grinded their way back to hit the front at 42-41 on end 11 then the 37-18 capture of the second phase saw them emphasise a turnaround that put them in the 57-47 driving seat after 14 ends. The third and final phase saw a now super-confident West Lothian team snuff out any late threat from EL with a 26-13 dominance that triggered the victory.
Neil Speirs skipped Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell and O’Donnell to an immense result with the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal hero picking up from 2-4 after five ends to lead 11-4 after nine.
Speirs and Co came under a touch of rising at 12-9 but produced a whirlwind finish of 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, (1), 1, 2 to storm to a 25-10 win over Lessel Middler, Brian Galloway, Willie Wood MBE and Scott Kennedy.
Logan and his rink of Cameron Greer, Blair Mackie and Craig Moss were being asked serious questions at 9-3 down after eight ends to Andy Jeffrey, Andy Burt, Dougie Berwick and Billy Mellors. The response came in the shape of a spectacular run of 4, 1, 2, 3, 1 to cross 14-9 then they pushed onto register a commanding 22-13 win.
Mann and his front three of Paul Lynas, Ian Drysdale and James Speirs trailed 11-4 to Mark Johnston, Calum Darling, Stuart Thomson and Jamie Higgins after seven ends but the captain hit back with a run of 1, 1, 3, 5, 3, 2 to cross 19-11 then finish up with a 22-18 victory.
Allison and his rink of James Greenock, George Sneddon and Stuart Johnston slipped from 7-3 up to 14-7 down then continued on the back foot in a 19-14 defeat from Ewan Fallen, John Robertson, Graham Robertson and Derek Oliver.