East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club is holding it’s hugely successful Pro-Am tournament for a third year this Sunday at the Alex Marshall Arena. The event features twenty four triples and the cream of world bowls in the shape of Alex Marshall MBE, Derek Oliver, Stewart Anderson, Darren Burnett and David Peacock. As well as these world stage stars on show the cream of Scottish, English and East Lothian Indoor bowlers will be taking part alongside those from the Scottish Para-bowls scene and local qualifying triples. The action kicks off at 10am on Sunday in a tournament which is sponsored by Johnston Oils and Medical & Professional Consultancy & Financial Planning.
Sweat on the brows and fingers bitten down to the knuckles but all ended well for the amazing gents of Balbardie who performed a great escape to secure their national league Division 1 status with a thrilling climax away victory over Cumbernauld.
That mighty haul to go 78-72 up left the now isolated John Ellis on the carpet with the comfort of defending the six shot match lead and he did so to great effect as he restricted Cumbernauld to a single. Ellis and Sandy McDougall skipped their respective winning performances while Shearer finished with a peel and Walter McDougall suffered a narrow defeat.
The completion of the 10 match programme saw the final picture in the league table of Division 1A read; Fraserburgh 16; Coatbridge 12; Cumbernauld 12; Balbardie 7 (-9); Dundee 7 (-25); Headwell 6 (-168).
Balbardie did need a helping hand to avoid the bottom two positions and it came in the shape of foot of the table Headwell dragging Dundee down with a superb away performance to score a shock 102-92 win over the home team.
Meanwhile the stars of the West Lothian IBC team made the long journey north to Elgin and produced an excellent performance that rewarded them with a commanding 94-57 victory and second place finish to Falkirk in Premier League A. The rink scores were; Calum Logan 27 M Thurston 7; James Speirs 32 M Junor 15; Neil Speirs 19 M Stepney 14; Craig Moss 16 G Donaldson 19.
The opening play in the Seniors Scottish Cup saw West Lothian put up a strong performance to score a surprise 8-2 win over Alloa at Stirling while Balbardie came out top in a 6-4 battle against Headwell at Abbeyview.
Yesterday’s first round play saw West Lothian playing Falkirk at Balbardie and Balbardie facing Midlothian at WLIBC.
This weekenda action in the Scottish Cup proper pitches West Lothian against Headwell at Stirling.
Last weekend the Alex Marshall Arena hosted the Premier League Decider between East Lothian and Midlothian and what an encounter it was with a large crowd enjoying a thrilling spectacle from the first to the last end. It was the Garden County gents who hit the ground running and in the early stages of the game had opened up a 14 shot lead which at the 10 ends stage Midlothian had reduced to six shots.Read More
Lewis Betts, Kevin Cunningham, Steven Morgan & Jamie Higgins (Skip)
Aaron Betts, Dougie Berwick, Dean Riva & Derek Oliver
Mark Yuill, Robbie Shields, Chris Brock & Scott Kennedy
Andy Jeffrey, Calum Darling, Stuart Thomson (Cpt) & Joe Mower
County young gun Megan Kivlin is off to Belfast this weekend with the Scotland Under 25 ladies team for the international series. Megan is third to Gemma Forrester from Abbeyview with Lauren Roddie (Stonehaven) and Dawn Anderson (Auchinleck) front end.
The Ladies are due to begin their Scottish Cup Campaign this Saturday with a trip to Tweedbank to play neighbours Midlothian who lost out in the Scottish League Final last Saturday. This should be a cracker of the game and gives our ladies an opportunity to show their metal against the league runners-up and the following team has been selected with Megan unavailable:
M Murray, K Hoggan, D Hoggan & Y Veitch (Skip)
M Penman, B Riva, M Thomson & J Fairnie
J McFarlane, G Mackintosh, E Logan & L Baillie-Whyte
The first game in the Senior Scottish Cup was played at Midlothian last Wednesday when the Auld Yins ran out comfortable 10-0 winners over Tweedbank. The Seniors were due to return to Midlothian on Wednesday to face Abbeyview who received a walk over when Berwickshire were unable to raise a team. The following team was selected:
Lessel Middler, David McGill, Ronnie Douglas & W W Wood (Skip)
Jimmy Neilson, J P Hamilton, Alastair Russell & Andy Burt
B J Smith, Davie Pryde, Gordon Gray & Dougie Berwick
Alan Valentine, Tom Rattray, Peter Fallen & Tom Young (Captain)
On the home front the Jock Brodie Seniors Trophy, Sponsored by N T Craig Haddington & Tom Young Plumbing & Electrical Services Dunbar will also be being played at the Alex Marshall Arena with East Lothian taking on Tweedbank and Bainfield playing Headwell. The team for East Lothian is:
Alex Stewart, Duncan Hogg, Ian James & Willie Franklin (skip)
Kenny Glen, Jim McLeod, George Arnott & George Gray (skip)
Kenny Boyd, Martin McIntyre, Ross Maguire & Ali McKenna (skip)
Last Sunday the Alex Marshall Arena hosted the East of Scotland Youth Pairs and Triples finals in which both our pair of Melissa Penman and Lewis Betts and our triple of Aaron Betts, Kieran Dodds and Danny Stevenson reached their respective finals. Melissa and Lewis Betts retained the pairs trophy, won by Melissa and Robbie Shields later year, with a win over the Bainfield pair of Andrew Jamieson and Abby Cairns. However, our triple lost out in a well contested final to a triple from East Fife who rotated their team of Hannah Pirie, Amy Blyth, Rachel Pirie and Emma Blyth.
East Lothian youths were at home to Bainfield last Saturday in their sixth game in the East of Scotland League and recorded an excellent 7-0 victory. The rink of Danny Stevenson was behind early on in his game, however, a run of 1,3,2,4 put him in control and he finished a 15-9 winner. Lewis Betts rink started well in their game to open up an 8-1 lead but were overtaken 8-9 before having the edge over the final few ends to run out 13-11 victors. Meanwhile the rink of Aaron Betts was always in control in their game and won 11-5. The win now puts East Lothian on 34 points from six games and are in pole position to retain their title. In addition to the league game on Saturday there were pairs and triples challenge matches in which Daniel Kivlin and Liam Fender in the pairs and Daniel Gillies, Finlay Borthwick and Sam Penman in the triples both recorded convincing wins against their Bainfield counterparts. The youths have no league game now until Saturday 2nd March and will be progressing their internal youth ties each week until then. Their next game in the Top Ten is at home against Ardrossan on Sunday 17th February at 11am.
The clubs caterers Mumm’s are hosting a Bite’n’Blether event today Thursday 7th February and continuing every second Thursday which will involve live music with Anita Watman together with food and a drink for £3.
This weekend heralds the final round of fixtures in the national league system and opportunity knocks for the star brigade of West Lothian IBC gents team to clinch a respectable second top place in the A Division of the Premier League.
West Lothian’s disappointing start to the campaign has sentenced them to at best playing second fiddle to runaway table toppers Falkirk who are bidding to make it 10 wins out 10 when they travel to West of Scotland.
WOS currently share the 10 point mark with runner up spot rivals West Lothian but the strong finishing Livingston based team have a massive shot margin advantage of 99.
WL will want to maintain their recent momentum with the Scottish Cup campaign now underway and the team against their foot of the table opponents is strongly formed and expected to deliver a sixth win in 10 games.
Rink 1. Bryan Cooper, Ian Drysdale ©, Thomas Mann, and Neil Speirs.
Rink 2. Nathan McKendrick, George sneddon, Jamie Aitken, and Craig Moss.
Rink 3. Connor McKendrick, Raymond Logan, Cameron Greer, and Calum Logan.
Rink 4. Richard Mark, Jamie Edwards, Gary Orr, and James Speirs.
Meanwhile the under pressure gents of Balbardie IBC are in danger of plunging down to Division 2 if they fail to get at least a point in the final match away to second placed Cumbernauld in the climax to Division 1 A.
The Bathgate based side could be saved from automatic relegation if foot of the table Headwell lose at Dundee and that is the likely outcome as the home team is flirting with the threat of ending up in the relegation zone/
The bottom three places reading, Dundee 7 (-15); Balbardie 5 (-10); Headwell 4 (-178).
West Lothian gents launched their Scottish Cup campaign with a resounding 10 –0 prelim round win over Garioch at Arbroath last weekend.
The rink scores were; Craig Moss 36 L Collins 5; Mark Allison 28 B Reid 11; Gary Orr 27 J Banks 13; James Speirs 23 F Muat 10.
West Lothian continue to be favoured with lower league opposition in Round 1 proper as they face Headwell at Stirling a week on Saturday however neighbour club Balbardie are absentees having crashed out to an 8-2 defeat from Tweedbank at East Lothian.
Pulse rates are on the rise at Balbardie IBC thanks to the excitement being generated by the partnership of Betty Johnstone and Pat Purdie progressing to the semi finals stage of the Ladies Seniors Pairs with wins over Midlothian (22-18) and Alloa (19-12) setting up a clash against Lanarkshire on Saturday 2nd March at West of Scotland.
A great weekend for the “older” members of the club at the Alex Marshall Arena in the shape of Mark Johnston and Janet Fairnie.
Janet has made it through to the semi-final of the Scottish Ladies Senior Singles. Janet had previously won two games in the competition in November and last weekend travelled to Bainfield for the next stage. Janet was on top form and recorded two comprehensive victories of 21-6 over Perth and 21-5 over Midlothian to set up a semi-final against Margaret Letham of Blantyre at West of Scotland on Saturday 2nd March.
Unfortunately Alex Marshall MBE lost his second round match at Potters on a tie-break to Nicky Brett. Nicky was on top form in the opening set and won it 12-0 before Alex hit form to take the second set 9-4. The tie-break went to the last end and the last two bowls with Nicky just making the shot with his last bowl and Alex narrowly missing with a runner to bow out.
The gents’ team were comprehensive 10-0 winners over Forfar in the Scottish Cup last weekend with all rinks winning comfortably and now face Coatbridge at West Lothian on Saturday 9th February.
This weekend sees the Alex Marshall Arena host the Premier League Decider between East Lothian and Midlothian in the last game of the section. Midlothian are one point in front of their Garden County neighbours and it is hoped a good crowd turn up to watch this game which should be enthralling from the first end to the last as the two teams battle it out to face Falkirk in the final on 23rd February. The team go into the game without the services of Alex Marshall MBE and Steven Morgan who have work and personal commitments and the following team has been named: Lewis Betts, Aaron Betts, Jamie Higgins & Derek Oliver (Skip) Mark Johnston, Dougie Berwick, Dean Riva & Billy Mellors Mark Yuill, David Sked, Chris Brock & Scott Kennedy Andy Jeffrey, Ewan Fallen, Stuart Thomson (Cpt) & Joe Mower
The East Lothian Under 35 team were successful in their first play-off games at Abbeyview on Sunday and now go through to the second qualifying play-offs at East Fife on 3rd March to try and make it to the final. The team opened up with a tough fixture against the host club and East Fife who were in a combined team and suffered a disappointing 2-8 reversal, however, from this point on they never looked back. They defeated Headwell 8-2 and this left them needing a 10-0 victory over Midlothian to qualify which they delivered.
The final group standings were: East Lothian 20pts, Midlothian 16pts, Abbeyview / East Fife 14pts, Headwell 10pts.
The first game in the Seniors’ Scottish Cup game was due be played at Midlothian on Wednesday 30th January against Tweedbank. The following team had been selected: L Middler, D McGill, R Douglas & W W Wood MBE (Skip) B J Smith, D Pryde, G Gray & D Berwick J Neilson, J P Hamilton, G Smith & A Burt
A Valentine, D Hogg, P Fallen & T Young (Cpt)
The Jock Brodie Seniors Challenge Trophy Sponsored by N T Craig Haddington and Tom Young Plumbing & Electrical Services Dunbar got underway for 2019 on Wednesday 16th January when Bainfield defeated Berwickshire 5-3 and Perth defeated Teviotdale 8-0, while on Wednesday 23rd West Lothian defeated Headwell 6-2 and Midlothian defeated Tweedbank 8-0. The next round in this event will be on Wednesday 6th February when East Lothian Seniors will be involved.
East Lothian youths travelled to Alloa last Saturday with a one point lead over their opponents having played the same number of games. Danny Stevenson skipped his rink to a 16-8 win while Aaron Betts rink won 15-10 and Lewis Betts scored a 4 at the last end to salvage a peel and a 6-1 victory for the team which now puts East Lothian on 27 points and six points clear of Alloa. The following team has been selected to play Bainfield at home this Saturday: Callum Henderson, Lennon Rafferty, Melissa Penman, Danny Stevenson (skip) Ethan Gillies, Cameron Pryde, Beth Riva, Lewis Betts (skip) Luke Cowan, Daryl Grieve, Kieran Dodds, Aaron Betts (skip)
This Sunday the Alex Marshall Arena hosts the East of Scotland Youth Pairs and Triples finals. Representing the Garden County are Melissa Penman and Lewis Betts in the pairs and Aaron Betts, Kieran Dodds and Danny Stevenson in the triples. Melissa won the pairs with Robbie Shields last year so is trying to defend the title.
The clubs caterers Mumm’s are hosting a Bite’n’Blether event from Thursday 7th February and continuing every second Thursday which will involve live music with Anita Watman together with food and a drink for £3.
West Lothian gents travel north to Arbroath this Saturday to launch their Scottish Cup campaign against Division 2 opposition Garioch of Inverurie in a prelim round clash the premier league stars are expected to win.
Balbardie face fellow Division 1 opposition in the shape of Tweedbank at East Lothian but the struggling Bathgate based club had yet to announce their intended line up.
West Lothian gents have zoomed up the table in Section A of the Premier League and having escaped the relegation zone their latest 94-60 win at home to Lanarkshire pushed them into second place albeit 8 points behind undefeated leaders Falkirk.
Wins on the three rinks skipped respectively by James Speirs, Calum Logan, and Neil Speirs plus a peel for Craig Moss reflected a strong team performance in front of a cheered up home crowd at the Inveralmond Stadium. The match highest flyers was the rink of Richard Mark, the returning Thomas Mann, Gary Orr, and James Speirs who looked well fired up on rocket fuel as they delivered a super sonic 32-14 win over R Gordon. The chief support came from Calum Logan and his front three of Darren Pearce, Raymond Logan, and Cameron Greer who zipped to a convincing 24-13 victory over J Simpson. Win number three was served up Neil Speirs and his rink of Bryan Cooper, Ian Drysdale, and Jamie Aitken who battled with determination to gain a hard fought 20-15 win over P Simpson. The closest outcome of the match saw the rink of George Sneddon, Connor McKendrick, and Mark Allison forced to settle for an 18-18 peel with G Neilson.
Balbardie gents face the real threat of relegation from Section A of Division 1 following an 80-74 defeat at home to table-toppers Fraserburgh that leaves them a single point ahead of bottom rung club Headwell.
The final fixtures a week on Saturday give Balbardie a tough visit to second from top Cumbernauld while Headwell face less formidable opposition when they travel to Dundee.
The sad passing of Willie Duff of Balbardie IBC is being mourned nationwide as the highly respected past president of the national body (SIBA) made a vast contribution to the sport both at local and national levels and in 2015 was made an Honorary Life Member of the ruling body.
Willie’s funeral is today (Thur) at Armadale Parish Church (10am) then West Lothian Crematorium, Livingston (11am) and the thoughts of the bowls community at this sad time are with his wife Margo and extended family.