West Lothian men are in the driving seat entering the final fixture in Section B of the indoor bowls Premier League, however, reigning national champions East Lothian do have a glimmer of hope.
Last weekend’s showdown between the joint leaders at Livingston saw WL dictate the pace from start to finish in an 85-67 victory.
West Lothian visit Paisley this Saturday. Their hosts are bottom and have already been sentenced to relegation.
But a shock defeat could wipe out the two-point and 30-shot advantage they have over an East Lothian side that will be thirsting to register a big home win over Elgin.
WL bring back James Speirs this weekend but slot him in at third with Craig Moss retained at skip and the vastly experienced George Sneddon dropping to the bench.
EL welcome back two top stars in Joe Mower and Mark Johnston to the exclusion of Lessel Middler and Kevin Cunningham.
Craig Moss was key in West Lothian’s triumph over East Lothian with the former Bainfield star producing a magnificent contribution after being elevated to skip by the late call-off of James Speirs.
Moss faced a back-end opposition partnership of Scotland’s two most-capped players in Willie Wood (93) and Graham Robertson (87) but carded shots on 14 of the 20 ends completed.
He lead 13-6 after 11 ends and then added 1, 1, 1, 4, (1), 2, 1 to skip Richard Mark, George Sneddon, and Alan McCormick to a 25-8 victory. West Lothian icon Neil Speirs and his front three of Scott Logan, Dougie Mitchell and Stuart Johnston were under pressure at 14-13 up after 17 ends against Lessel Middler, Dean Riva, Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors before accelerating to a 24-14 victory with a finishing run of 2, 5, (1), 3.
East Lothian were being hard-pressed to get themselves off the back foot and in a battle of exchanges it took a double at the last for Derek Oliver to skip Lewis Betts, David Sked and Jamie Higgins to an 18-16 win over Calum Logan.
EL looked towards icon figure Alex Marshall for a spark of inspiration and the six-times world singles champion skipped Mark Yuill, Dougie Berwick and Stuart Thomson to a 27-20 win over Mark Allison – but his count of seven on the penultimate end came too late effect the final outcome on master scoreboard.
Balbardie men continued their late revival in scoring an impressive 92-74 away win over third placed East Kilbride in Division 1 South and have at least the glimmer of a hope of avoiding automatic relegation if completing a hat-trick of wins with a home triumph over Inverclyde.
• EAST LOTHIAN Ladies will be led into battle by skips Emma Logan, Dee Hoggan, Janet Fairnie and Lauren Baillie (cpt) when they face reigning champions Auchinleck in their play-off semi-final of the Premier League at Lanarkshire IBC on Saturday.