Balbardie bowlers test title favourites East Lothian

Ewan Shearer was in action for Balbardie against East Lothian
Ewan Shearer was in action for Balbardie against East Lothian

Balbardie IBC gents put up a bold show against East Lothian in their latest home match in the B Division of the Premier League.

But even with several top stars missing the visitors justified their tag as campaign favourites by inflicting a 28-shot defeat on the Bathgate based team.

East Lothian travelled without international stars Alex Marshall, Scott Kennedy, Derek Oliver, and Jamie Higgins in their ranks so there was a degree of trepidation about tackling a Balbardie team that had trounced recent visitors Adrossan by 22 shots.

Balbardie did show up well to edge the middle phase of the match 25-21 but were undone by losing the first, 39-25, and the third, 30-12.

The home team lost on all four rinks but it was a close call for world stage legend Willie Wood who had to fight all the way to the line before edging a single shot victory (20-19) over Graham Keery, Andy Forrest, Derek Logie and Gary Orr.

Ewan Shearer had Calum Black, Davie Ross and Jim Speirs well positioned at 15-14 down but slipped to 19-14 and suffered a 22-17 defeat from Billy Mellors.

Sandy McDougall, and his front-three of Scott McMaster, John Ellis and Mark Bonar, were in touch at 11-13 but remained against the collar in a 21-15 defeat from Graham Robertson.

Walter McDougall and his rink of Tam Whitfield, Jamie Edwards and Brian Craig only managed to count at six of the 21 ends and paid the price in the shape of a heavy 27-11 defeat from Joe Mower.

East Lothian share top spot with Ardrossan on six points followed by Aberdeen and Lanarkshire on four then Paisley and Balbardie on two.

Meanwhle the relegated super stars of West Lothian IBC are taking Division 1 North by storm having made a whirlwind start to remain undefeated after four matches.

The latest success was to return from the long journey North to Turriff with an impressive 22 shot triumph (94-72) that keeps them level on points with the also undefeated Elgin.

The top two clash this weekend at the Inveralmond Stadium while Balbardie will travel as underdogs in their foot of the table battle with Paisley a team that not so long ago were Premier League Champions.

West Lothian IBC ladies scored a welcome second win in four to bolster their campaign in Division 1 East and it was case of making home environment count in a 96-71 victory over Tweedbank.

Carole Clarkson produced the headline win having skipped Sandra Purdie, Jill Dickie and former Balbardie star Ally Blagg into a super charged 21-2 lead then on to a 29-10 win over Ella Brydon.

Lisa Barrett zipped from 10-7 to 29-7 with lightening run of 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 1, 3, 3 then skipped Betty Tate, Yvonne Nicholson and Catherine Howie to a 29-17 win over Gail Lindores.

Jean Brown produced a 1, 1, 3, 1 finish to skip Alison Brown, Mae Davidson and Ann Clark to a 25-14 win over Marie Todd.

The prospects of a win looked good when the rink of Irene Taylor, Isabel Lindsay, Lily Sword and Jennifer Sneddon led 13-6 but the 10 blanks that followed sentenced them to a 30-13 defeat from Jackie Ormiston.

Meanwhile, a Balbardie team that lined up with 12 players instead of the regulation 16 suffered a 99-46 defeat away to East Lothian in the East Premier Division.

This weekend’s action features Balbardie at home to East Fife while West Lothian are idle.