Balbardie IBC put up a tremendously bold show in the process of making a nail-biting exit to Lanarkshire in their first round clash of the Scottish Cup.
The match at Cumbernauld went right down to the wire before Balbardie were edged out 75-71 by the premier league giants.
The McDougall brothers, Sandy and Walter, skipped their rinks to good wins that kept Balbardie well in the picture but just fell short of covering the defeat of Ewan Shearer and Graeme Byrne.
“We played great against Lanarkshire and the irony is that if we had produced a similar performance against Paisley we would be looking forward to enjoying premier league status next season,” said team manager Bill Black.
The champions of Division 1C did themselves proud having slogged it out with Lanarkshire for 21 ends and, as late as the 18th, managed to get their nose in front at 65-64.
The fairytale climax failed to materialise with Lanarkshire showing resolve to edge the next two ends across the carpet before losing the final one.
Sandy McDougall inspired the Balbardie challenge by skipping Lawson Trotter, Andy Forrest and Mark Bonar into a 14-7 lead after 11 ends then onto a 25-17 victory.
Walter McDougall only completed 19 ends but did enough to skip Graeme Keery, Andy Jenkins and Jim Speirs to a battling 17-15 win.
Shearer and his rink of Peter Lynch, Davie Ross, and Ian Drysdale slipped from 5-6 to 7-14 then rallied to 13-14 before going down.
Byrne and his front-three of Diz Drysdale, John Gillogly and Gary Orr were well in the picture but were then outgunned to slip to defeat.
Meanwhile, West Lothian IBC had Thomas Mann, Neil Speirs and George Sneddon as enforced absentees so did well with a recast line-up to score a comfortable 78-61 victory over Coatbridge.
The top stars have returned from their jaunt to the USA so a much stronger WL team will tackle Aberdeen in this weekend’s second round match at Dundee with the line-up reading: Rink 1 - Paul Lynas, David Wilson Jnr, Des Hagart and Mark Allison; Rink 2 – Richard Mark, Ray Logan, George Sneddon and Calum Logan; Rink 3 – Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, Stuart Johnston and Neil Speirs; Rink 4 – Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs and Thomas Mann.
Meanwhile Jenifer Richardson earns her debut caps in this weekend’s British Isles international series at Stanley IBC and is joined by her West Lothian IBC colleagues Wendy Purdie and Lisa Barrett.