WEST Lothian Indoor Bowling Club lived dangerously on their visit to Paisley in the A section of the Premier League but did enough to escape with a narrow six shot victory that preserved their two point lead at the top of the table.
Blantyre have emerged the chief threat to West Lothian having scored an impressive 81-74 away victory over fellow frontline challengers East Lothian who now look out of the equation.
East Lothian visit West Lothian in the New Year then complete at home to Prestwick while Blantyre follow a visit to foot of the table Alloa with a home match against West Lothian so there is still much hanging in the balance.
Wins for the rinks skipped by team captain Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs combined to cover the defeat of Calum Logan and Mark Allison against Paisley.
Mann delivered a big result as he skipped Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, and James Speirs to a 27-10 win over Derek Stobo while Speirs (Neil) skipped Stewart McMaster, Scott Logan, and Bryan Cooper to a 26-22 win over home icon Jonathan Ross.
Logan and his front-three of Richard Mark, Blair Mackie, and Derek Hagart suffered a 21-15 defeat from John Gilmartin while Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Stuart Johnston, and Allison lost 25-16 to Charlie Millar.
Meanwhile continued improved form from Balbardie saw the Bathgate based club chalk up their third win in a row with a 92-59 home success over East Fife but they have left themselves too much to do in Section 1B.
Balbardie sit joint second with Tweedbank but with only two fixtures to fulfil are 4 points and 129 shots adrift of Bainfield who can now only chuck promotion away.
Balbardie complete in the New Year with a visit to Stirling followed by a home match against Bainfield.
The ladies of Balbardie IBC came though their top of the table clash against joint leaders Fintry in Division 1D with flying colours and their reward for an impressive 96-68 away victory is a two-point lead and a plus of 170 shots going into the final fixture.
Sharon Leitch made great headway to lead 15-6 then later produced a grandstand finish of 1, 2, 6 to skip Kim Ross, Agnes Thomas, and Marian Coats to a 30-14 win over Lauren McGowan.
Margo Duff produced a purple patch run from 6-8 to 24-8 as she skipped Betty Johnston, Ally Blagg, and Carol Clarkson to a 28-15 win over Marion Boyle.
Liz Boyle was under great pressure at 7-14 but improved to 14-17 before skipping Catherine Lochran, May Newton, and Morven Shearer to a 22-17 triumph having finished with a run of 1, 4, 3.
Pat Purdie made an encouraging start to skip Maria Adam, Catherine Shearer, and Margaret Scally into a 9-6 lead but came under late pressure and slipped to a 22-16 defeat from Betty Stirling.
Meanwhile, the ladies of West Lothian IBC continued their impressive run of home form to stay top of Division 1C with a 102-80 win over Teviotdale that was their fifth success at the Inveralmond stadium.
West Lothian share the lead on points with Portobello but enjoy a shot advantage of 81 going into a final fixture that however does look fraught with danger as they visit third placed East Lothian.
East Lothian are undefeated at home and although two points adrift have a massive shot advantage of 68 over a West Lothian team that doesn't travel well so could steal the qualifying title with a home win.
But in that case only of Portobello fail to gain at least one point on their visit to a Teviotdale that performs well at home.
Jenifer Richardson for WL was boosted by a super 6 at the fifth end to lead 10-2 and she went on to skip Beth Erskine, Jean Brown, and Helen Tully to a 26-15 win over Sharman McDougall of Teviotdale.
Jennifer Sneddon made a blitz start to skip Betty Tate, Liz Rogers, and Lisa Barrett into a 16-3 lead then the traded on that comfort cushion to score a 26-18 win over Irene Bennett.
Ann Clark blew hot and cold to lead 16-13 but boosted ed by a magnificent 7 on end 16 to lead 23-17 went on to skip Irene Taylor, Isabel Lindsay, and Lily Sword to a 30-15 win over Betty Gibson.
Wendy Purdie and her rink of Eleanor Tollan, Lucy Noon, and Claire Watson fought back boldly from 0-12 to lead 19-17 but a late slip cost them a 22-20 defeat from Julie Forest.