West Lothian IBC fielded a strong trio in the playdown action of the Scottish Triples Championship at the weekend and high profile internationalists Calum Logan Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs did the banner proud.
Speirs and Co reached the showpiece last four stage to be played at Fraserburgh on the weekend of March 30/31 with wins over Falkirk, East Fife, Tweedbank, and Stirling at East Lothian/Midlothian IBC’s but were hard pressed in all four games.
The WL domestic champs had a game on their hands in the prelim round but showed good focus and concentration levels to win a 19-16 battle against Falkirk then had sweat on the brow before edging a 19-18 success over East Fife.
With the play switching from the Meadowmill stadium to Dalkeith it was still familiar territory for WL but despite a strong start to lead Ben McGregor Malcolm Thain and Kenny Johnstone of Tweedbank 11-4 they came under pressure at 14-12.With just two ends to play it was a pressure finish but Logan/Mann/ Speirs showed they could handle it with a 1, 1, finish to win 16-12.
Stirling trio Davy McEwan Gary Malcolmson and Danny McCormick provided the opposition in the Section final having already conquered Balbardie challengers Graham Keery David Lawrie and Gary Orr in the second round.
Orr and his front-two had shown encouraging signs of mounting a serious challenge for the section honours having crushed Teviotdale 24-3 in the prelims then adding the 19-11 scalp of Alloa.
They shaped well enough in the early stages against Stirling to stand 8-8 after nine ends but came under pressure and slipped to a 17-10 defeat.
WL trailed 5-3 in the section final but crossed to 11 with an exciting run of 2, 2, 4 then Speirs and Co went on to win a cracker of a match, 16-12.
The opposition to WL in the semi finals will come in the shape of Prestwick with Inverness and Auchinleck the other two clubs in the title frame.
Play in the Ladies version of the national triples saw Irene Taylor Jennifer Sneddon and Wendy Purdie of West Lothian and Ali Blagg Catherine Shearer and Morven Shearer of Balbardie both lose to their Edinburgh neighbours, Bainfield.
Balbardie put up a tremendous show in the prelims to deliver a shock 21-10 exit to strong Falkirk opposition but suffered an anti-climax when making a 27-9 exit to Kathryn O’Donnell Mandy O’Donnell and Anna Anderson of Bainfield.
West Lothian battled to a good 23-17 win over Mary Bryan of East Fife in the first round but soon trailed 13-4 against Bainfield and lost 20-13.
The top local attraction this weekend is the clash between West Lothian and Balbardie at Bainfield on Saturday in the prelim round of the Gents Scottish cup.