East Lothian IBC men’s side struggling times in the highly competitive B section of the Scottish Premier League appear to be well and truly over after the former breaking champions made it three wins in a row beating Paisley on away terrority by 11 shots (73-62) in a hard fought match.
Wins for the rinks skipped by Derek Oliver and Jamie Higgins were achieved in excellent fashion and big enough to cover the defeats suffered by Billy Mellors and Scott Kennedy. Current national Under 18 singles champion Calum Darling came in as late replacement for Scott Logan and played second in the rink skipped by Higgins. “We produced another very good away performance against a very decent Paisley side”, reflected team captain Mark Johnston. “Once we got our noses in front we always looked in control of the match and ran out worthy winners. After 3 excellent wins in a row our target now is to win all our remaining fixtures and see where it takes us”. Oliver and his rink of Gary Muir, Andy Burt and Graham Robertson were the top performers in an all the way 22-10 win over world stage star Jonathan Ross while Higgins skipped Mark Johnston, Calum Darling and Andy Jeffrey to a 24-14 triumph over David Stobo. Mellors and his front three of Calvert Allison, Dougie Berwick and Willie Wood MBE were in arrears from start to finish in a 20-15 defeat to Callum Taggart while Lessel Middler, Gary Darling, Stuart Thomson and Kennedy were always against the collar and slipped to 18-12 defeat from former Scotland cap John Gilmartin. The win moved East Lothian into second place in the section but they trail runaway leaders Aberdeen by a massive 6 points however they get the opportunity to try and close the gap when the two sides meet tomorrow (Saturday) at Meadowmill stadium (2pm). The team news for the eagerly awaited clash against the table toppers is the selectors have named the same 16 man line-up who performed so well at Paisley and that means junior cap Ewan Fallen and fellow regular Scott Logan must be content with a place on the reserve bench. The team reads: L.Middler, G.Darling, S.W.Thomson, S.Kennedy skip G.Muir, A.Burt, G.Robertson, D.Oliver skip C.Allison, D.Berwick, W.W.Wood MBE, B.Mellors skip M.Johnston capt, C.Darling, A.Jeffrey, J.Higgins skip
The good ladies of East Lothian IBC have stamped their authority on Division 1C of the Scottish Ladies League with the garden county side finding their best form to score a commanding 102-62 home victory over Bainfield last Saturday. “Another tremendous win for us especially as the scoreline was very close at the halfway stage but then Nancy’s (McNeil) rink carded a six and that gave the team a massive boost and after that we never looked back”, said team manager Sheena Currie. And a good day for the ladies got even better when the news filtered through that nearest challengers Balbardie had suffered a shock defeat at home against Teviotdale leaving East Lothian 2 points clear at the top with only three rounds of fixtures to play. A tremendous team performance from the home side is reflected by wins on all four rinks skipped by Cathy Ward (+18), Nancy McNeil (+16), Janet Fairnie (+5) and Emma Brown (+1). The side is back in action tomorrow (Saturday) when they face a challenging visit to Teviotdale. Internationalist Emma Brown will be a high profile absentee but the blow is softened by the return of the experienced Yvonne Veitch in a slightly recast line up that reads:- M.Kivlin, P.Turner, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip D.Rowan, A.Berwick, M.Hamilton, C.Ward skip M.Devine, J.Russell, C.Jones, Y.Veitch skip M.Murray, I.Combe, G.Mackintosh, N.McNeil skip
The all-conquering senior side returned to Scottish Senior League action on Wednesday when they played host to Tweedbank. With the East B section already won the garden county ‘auld yins’ were overwhelming favourites to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games.
Meanwhile on the international stage its congratulations to the East Lothian trio of Ewan Fallen, Emma Brown and Dee Hoggan after all three were named in their respective Scotland Under 25 sides following trial matches last weekend. Fallen will participate in his second consecutive British Isles Junior International series, being held at Glasgow IBC on weekend of February 14/15, when he lines up at second in the rink skipped by Callum Taggart of Paisley. Brown and Hoggan will once again grace the ladies junior international limelight for Scotland and they head to Erewash IBC in Long Eaton for the ladies junior international series being held on the weekend of February 7/8.
A side from East Lothian IBC are in preliminary round Scottish Mixed Team Championship action on Sunday against Falkirk at the neutral venue of West Lothian IBC in Livingston (2pm). Former club champion John McCrorie will spearhead the garden county challenge in the all-important singles discipline while the rest of the team will be confirmed later in week once all domestic mixed championship play-off finals reach their climax.
The youth side’s East of Scotland Junior League fixture at East Fife last Saturday morning was the subject of a late postponement and will now be rescheduled for a later date. Meanwhile Calum Darling will begin his defence of the Scottish Under 18 Singles title on Sunday as the playdown action of this year’s championships take place at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline from 10am while at same time and venue Kieran Simants participates in the Under 21 Singles playdown action.
East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club is now offering Half Season memberships at a cost of £35 for full members and £20 for junior members and is effective from January 1st. Anyone wishing to join should call into Meadowmill Stadium or apply online at www.elibc.co.uk. Anyone wishing to enter any of the post-Christmas leagues should also apply online via www.elibc.co.uk or contact the Match Secretary as soon as possible.
Finally East Lothian IBC is hosting a quiz night followed by a disco/karaoke at Meadowmill stadium tomorrow (Saturday) from 7.30pm to which all members and guests are invited to attend.