West Lothian duo storm into 4Bowl Pairs finals
West Lothian IBC will be represneted in the showpiece climax to the gents Scottish 4Bowl Pairs Championship in Aberdeen in the new year with the Livingston-based partnership of Thomas Mann and Calum Logan winning through from their tough playdown section at East Fife.
Mann will be hoping that history is about to repeat itself as the 27-times capped internationalist etched his name on the national silverware in 2007 playing lead to Neil Speirs.
Speirs was due to be the skip for the 2016/17 campaign but the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner was ruled out by an injury that has also caused him to pull out of his Singles semi-final clash against Paul Foster MBE due to be played at West Lothian IBC in January. Logan stepped into his shoes and the 27-year-old winner of 18 caps combined with Mann in magnificent style to reel of four wins, capturing the scalps of Bainfield, Stirling, Abbeyview and Tweedbank.
Bainfield’s John McDermott and Gavin Smith represented a close shave for WL in the prelim, having rallied strongly from 23-13 down to 23-23 with counts of 2, 2, 6 and, with three ends left, a nail-biting climax saw Man and Logan edge a single at the last to clinch a 28-16 victory.
Stirling duo Dave McEwan Jnr and Gary Malcolmson bit the dust in the first proper with West Lothian getting off the mark with a super count of six on end two then powering into a 17-5 domination before winning 23-10. In the second round, Abbeyview champions Stuart Pagan and Paul Brown made a good start to lead 7-1. However, having fought back to lead 13-12, a game-changing run of 4, 4, 1 powered WL to a 24-13 victory.
WL were 11-10 down to Kenny Johnstone and Ross Nichol of Tweedbank in the section final and sat 16-14 down with three ends to play. But Logan skipped Mann to a spectacular 21-16 triumph having produced a whirlwind finish of 3, 3, 1.
In the section finals played elsewhere, the Lanarkshire duo of Robert Gordon and Robert Grant beat Headwell 25-16, Craig Lindsay and Paul Foster MBE of Prestwick beat Ayr 21-11 while Norman Baker and Michael Stepney of Elgin beat Turriff 24-18.