West Lothian cross the Forth to play West Fife at Lumphinnans in tomorrow’s Cities and Counties Championship and the hope of team manager Jimmy Mallon is to extend the undefeated sequence to four in a row.
The team is most likely to be unchanged from the one that staged a thrilling escape to victory against East Lothian at Broxburn last weekend with the narrow 115-111 win being of major significance.
The climax was spectacular as West Lothian raised the temperature to beyond boiling point with a sizzling finish that yielded 38 shots for the loss of 18 and transformed a 16-shot deficit into a four-shot victory.
The visitors probably arrived as slight underdogs against a West Lothian team that destroyed reigning champions Edinburgh and Leith by 60 shots the previous weekend but they expertly re-wrote the script to lead for 17 of the 21 ends.
East Lothian’s downfall was triggered by a 12-3 count across the green on end 17 that reduced the advantage of the visitors to seven and was followed by an even better 12-1 for WL to hit the front for the first time.
There were still three ends across the green to complete and all to play for so the atmosphere was electric but the WL heads were up and they produced a stout 4-4, 6-5, 4-5 defence to clinch two vital win points.
Individual highlights that sparked the revival included brilliant take-outs by Thomas Mann and Gary Smith that resulted in counts of six on ends 17 and 18 respectively.
West Lothian champions Kirkliston have carried the banner into the semi-finals stage of The Co-operative Funeralcare sponsored Inter County Top Ten Tournament having powered their way to an 8-0 points win at home to Anchor of Renfrewshire.
Raymond Logan fired up the challenge with a sizzling 21-5 triumph in the singles then the partnership of Steven Forrest and Neil Speirs in the pairs picked up the pace from 3-5 to win 18-11.
Calum Logan skipped Colin Smith and John Aitken to a hard fought 12-10 win in the triples while Robbie Cuthell, Gordon Logan, Mark Allison and Grant Logan added a 16-9 success in the fours.
The final day’s play at Colinton in Edinburgh on Sunday, June 8, pitches the record four times national champions against West Barns of East Lothian whileHyndlands(Glasgow)await the outcome between Bonnyrigg and Glaisnock Valley.
The first round play in the WLBA championships saw Linlithgow edge a 21-20 thriller in the singles and Kinneil beat neighbours Bridgeness 21-11 while Kirkliston made a 21-13 exit to Watson Memorial.
Queensferry progressed at the 19-16 expense of East Calder in the pairs and Bellsburn edged an 18-16 win over West Calder while Winchburgh dealt a 17-13 blow to Bridgeness. Linlithgow and Kinneil both went out.
Bo’ness clinched a thrilling 13-12 win over Middleton Hall in the triples while Winchburgh beat Kirkliston 19-11, Kinneil beat Polbeth 19-7 and Queensferry crushed Ratho 19-5.
Bellsburn survived a 15-13 battle with Philpstoun Community in the fours and Winchburgh edged a 13-11 win over Seafield while Linlithgow beat Blackburn 17-10 and Bridgeness slammed Bo’ness 23-9.