Kirkliston are stunned by Bellsburn

Bellsburn BC winners of the  WLBA Top 10
Bellsburn BC winners of the WLBA Top 10
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As shockwaves go, the win registered by Bellsburn over Kirkliston in the recent final of the White Knights sponsored WLBA Top Ten Championship would measure 9.0 plus on the Richter Scale making it a seismic moment of great magnitude.

Bellsburn came into the final at Glenmavis as massive underdogs having never won any major WLBA title while Kirkliston are the most successful club in the history of the sport in West Lothian and boasting a Top Ten record of 11 County and four National title wins.

“It is the first time that Bellsburn has even contested a major final so that was a great occasion for us in itself.

‘‘But to come away with the scalp of these Cheesetown Boys is the type of fantastic achievement that you just dream about”, said Bellsburn spokesman Eddie Caulfield.

Kirkliston came into the final as defending champions and recent runners-up in the National championship so lined up as odds on favourites and made a brilliant start by scoring a commanding win in the singles.

The KBC spearhead was Grant Logan and, although the recent Scotland captain and four times WL Master faced a talented opponent in Simon Lamb, he produced a commanding performance to triumph 21-10 in 18 ends.

With two points and a good 11 shots in the bank Kirkliston, it seemed, only needed a second success from the remaining three games to celebrate a return to the national scene in 2015. But that win never came.

Ray Logan skipped current cap Steven Forrest to a spectacular count of six on end four of the pairs to lead 6-4 against Sam Gray and Craig Yeaman.

It was evens-stevens at 10-10 after eight ends but the script took a dramatic twist when the Bellsburn partnership embarked on a purple patch of 5,1,4 to 20 and that set the scene for a dramatic 25-16 upset.

Neil Speirs is a rescue type figure so the outcome looked promising when the Commonwealth Games Gold medal winner skipped his Kirkliston front-three of Robbie Cuthill, Gordon Logan and Mark Allison to a 5, 2,1 recovery in the fours.

Recovery because Speirs and Co were closing to 9-10 having been outgunned 10-1 over the opening seven ends by the Bellsburn rink of Scott Middemiss, Dave McQueen, Colin Hamilton and stalwart veteran Eddie Caulfield.

But the expected follow-through from Kirkliston didn’t materialise with Bellsburn showing the strongest desire and rewarded with a battling 14-12 win that put the cat amongst the pigeons.

The spotlight swung onto the triples with the focus on Kirkliston trio Jordan Pearce, Andi Gray, and current cap Calum Logan now expected to come to the rescue of their colleagues.

But they had their hands full at 12-8 down to Stuart Mackay, Jack Murphy and Alan Murphy and although Gray burnt the final head and KBC carded two shots on the replay it wasn’t enough to avoid a 12-11 defeat.