West Lothian mark Premier League return with win over Falkirk
West Lothian marked their return to the indoor bowls Premier League in encouraging style with the seven-times champions producing a battling performance to beat Falkirk by 78-69 in their opening match played at the Inveralmond Stadium, Livingston.
Falkirk represented the toughest of tests with the visitors arriving as last season’s Scottish Cup winners and runners-up in the Premier League.
With the entire match being played out on a knife-edge, it was wins on the rinks skipped by Calum Logan and James Speirs that carried the day over setbacks suffered by Mark Allison and Neil Speirs.
The match statistics show WL winning all three phases but the margins were all single figures, nosing the first seven ends 25-24, the second 28-22, and the third 25-23.
Calum Logan skipped Blair Mackie, Raymond Logan and Jamie Aitken into leads of 9-0 and 21-5 to keep the master scoreboard reflecting a WL lead despite the others being under pressure.
Logan and Co avoided what would have been a costly late wobble to return a 25-14 win over internationalist Steven Allan.
West Lothian desperately needed a rink to support Logan so it was a crucial match-clinching contribution that came from James Speirs and his front three of Jordan Pearce, Scott Logan and Craig Moss.
Speirs had his hands full at 13-9 down to Steven Glen but a magical spell of 3, 3, (1), 3, (1), 3 propelled him into a 21-15 lead before finishing on a 4, 2 high to triumph 27-17.
Allison and his rink of Ian Drysdale, Connor McKendrick and Cameron Greer were nip and tuck to stand peels at 9-9 after 12 ends but shipped four singles on the trot and, from 13-9 down, they went on to lose 17-15 having contributed a valuable count of three at the last end against Jim McHutchison.
Neil Speirs coped with the setback of a 21-11 defeat dished out to his rink of Bryan Cooper, David McCormick and Grant Knox by Gary Flynn.