By Stewart Meikle
The club championship finals played at Kirkliston and Winchburgh on Tuesday produced record making performances from 16-year old emerging star Jordan Pearce and 60 year old former ‘Boy Wonder’ Ronnie Erskine respectively.
Pearce became the youngest (known) champion of Kirkliston when he etched his name on the coveted silverware after edging an epic 21-20 victory over 23-year-old junior cap Calum Logan in a thrilling 26-end final.
The exciting teenage talent showed no sign of nerves as he made a strong start to lead his more experienced opponent, 10-2, then included a confidence boosting count of 4 as he made excellent progress to 15-7.
Logan injected heat into the final with a fight back of 2, 1, 3, 1, to 14 then Pearce answered that menace with a double to 17 but the game became a sizzling melting pot of uncertain outcome with Logan’s stirring response of 2, 1, 2, to cross 19-17.
Pearce kept his challenge alive with two singles to 19 then might have become unnerved when holding two shots for the title only to be denied and losing a single when Logan crashed the jack into the ditch.
The teenager was in the lions den at 20-19 down but showing the spirit of a tiger clawed his way to 20-20 with a single then showing impressive coolness built the better head on the 26th end and carded the single that earned him the acclaim of an appreciative banking.
Meanwhile just a few miles up the Winchburgh road one of the legends of the sport in West Lothian was making a triumphant return to competitive bowling with three times WLBA Champion of Champions winning his club title for record extending 8th time.
The ‘boy wonder’ of his younger years had made an encouraging start to lead Drew Reid, 7-0, in the Winchburgh final but found himself being strongly tested as his opponent closed to 15-15.
Erskine has many special qualities including mental strength and ambition so driven by the strong desire to reign as the club’s Centenary Champion; he duly hit 21 with a grandstand style run of 1, 2, 3.
The WLBA Champion of Champions takes place at Buchan Park over this weekend with the local club champions involved including, Simon Lamb (Bellsburn), Ewan Shearer (Bo’ness), David Love (Kinneil), Iain McLean (Queensferry), Gary Orr (Linlithgow), Jos Johnston (Bridgeness), James
Smith (Philpstoun), Jordan Pearce (Kirkliston), Ronnie Erskine (Winchburgh).
Jim Gow of Mid Calder BC is the 2013 West Lothian Seniors Champion of Champions having captured the coveted crown with a nail biting 21-20 victory in a cracking final against host club challenger Drew Reid of Winchburgh.
The nature of Gow’s triumph is that it was an amazing escape to victory as Reid had had him in his grip with commanding leads of 16-7 and 19-13 before the Mid Calder player breathed life into his challenge with four singles to 17.
Reid, bidding to become the first Winchburgh winner of the event, still looked to be the real deal with a single to 20 but Gow triggered the title winning celebrations with a grandstand finish of 2, 2, to 21.
Gow though had given notice of his serious title challenge with an exciting performance to beat Gordon Logan of Kirkliston, 21-14, in the semi finals while Reid fired up the expectations of his Winchburgh support with a cracking 21-17 win over Jim Arthur of Kinneil.
The quarter-final results were, Jim Arthur 21 Robert Sharp (Watson Memorial) 11; Drew Reid 21 Eddie Russell (Stoneyburn) 18; Jim Gow 21 Tom Storrer (Seafield) 13; Gordon Logan 21 Bill Gorrie (Bankton Mains) 7.
Gordon Scott of Armadale stepped up his defence of the Weslo Housing sponsored WLBA Seniors Open title with a commanding 21-10 victory over Jim Currie of Stoneyburn in a quick 15-end quarterfinal at Broxburn on Tuesday.
Scott, who won the national fours title with Kirkliston in 1991, picked up from 8-4 down to cross to 13-8 then answered the loss of a double with a killer run of 3, 2, 3, to 21.
His opposition in the semi final stage at Glenmavis (Bathgate) on Thursday came in the shape of Winchburgh’s David Gemmell who progressed at the 21-10 expense of Mel Forde of Kinneil.
Gemmell made the early pace to lead 12-9 then made a telling break of 2, 1, 1, 2, 1 to have Fordie at his 19-9 mercy and went on to clinch victory in 20-ends.
Ian McGill of East Calder got off the mark with a run of 3, 2, 2 to lead Alan Chester of Mid Calder, 7-1, then answered pressure at 7-7 with counts of 1, 3 to 11 but looked a lost cause when Chester stormed to 15 with a 4, 1, 2, 1 fight back.
McGill arrested his slide with a single then switching play to a long jack staged a grandstand finish of 2, 2, 1, 3, 1 to triumph 21-15 in 20-ends.
McGill was joined in the last four line up George Fordyce who carried the Whitburn banner forward at the 21-9 expense of Clark Steele of Watson Memorial (Armadale) having made a decisive break from 12-7 to 17-7 and he won in 21-ends.
The focus of attention swung from the afternoon play in the Weslo to the final of the WLBA Top Ten Singles being hosted last night by Armadale and featuring Uphall Station versus Kirkliston.
Kirkliston were forced to make changes to their normal line up with the defending champions losing the services of ‘elite squad’ stars Grant Logan and Neil Speirs to the 8 Nations Invitation event at Commonwealth Games venue Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow.
And a third top-flight player missing the final was 1998 national singles champion Raymond Logan who was unavailable.
Frazer Muirhead, the 1981 Scottish and British Isles Champion, spearheaded the Uphall Station challenge in a head to head draw that read,
David Lamb v Calum Logan; Liam Fairley v Mark Allison; Frazer Muihead v Derrick Meikle; Mark Allan v Steven Forrest; Derek Mairs v John Aitken.
Bellsburn BC captured the West Lothian Trophy ahead of Buchan Park, Whitburn, and Spring Grove in the final round robin section of the event played at Uphall Station.