Bowls Scotland has named the players it believes have the potential to deliver medal winning performances both at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and in the future. The selections for Bowls Scotland’s High Performance Squad will see 18 top players come together to train and compete in the run up to final selection for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.Read More
With next year’s 2018 Gold Coast Games firmly in sight, Bowls Scotland’s High Performance Gents squad for the period 1st Feb 2017 -31st May 2018, includes the ultra-talented East Lothian duo of Alex Marshall MBE (Gifford) and Derek Oliver (Cockenzie & Port Seton). Very surprisingly there was no place in the Ladies squad for Cockenzie & Port Seton star Lauren Baillie despite her winning a bronze medal at the recent World Bowls Championships.
“As always it was a tough decision for the Selection Panel in choosing players for the High-Performance squad however inclusion into our High-Performance programme is an investment in players who have achieved in line with our Selection Criteria and have the drive and commitment to work hard individually and as part of a team to achieve medal success. We believe the players selected have the potential to deliver on the World Stage and in the very specific conditions that we will encounter at a Southern Hemisphere Commonwealth Games. We are now on the path towards the 2018 Games and the focus is on developing and preparing players in their position specific roles for the fast greens and challenging conditions in Australia. There is a mixture of experience, youth and players with a proven track record on relevant playing surfaces in the squad,” said High Performance Coach David Gourlay.
Gourlay is in no doubt that the journey for players over the next 14 months will be tough, challenging and put players out with their comfort zone. “Success in Broadbeach will depend on the player’s ability to work hard individually and as a team, from those current world class players to the new talent coming into the squad. Glasgow was amazing and to try to get close to what we achieved will require everyone involved to commit to the rigors of the High-Performance programme. This is the challenge and I know that these players and the support staff are up for it.” Gourlay returned to Bowls Scotland as High Performance Coach this year and has been working alongside High Performance Manager, Rhona Howie.
Current outdoor national junior singles champion Megan Kivlin is on indoor international duty this coming weekend when she is part of a Scotland Ladies Under 25 side hoping to end England’s dominance and regain back the British Isles Home International Under 25 series at Islwyn IBC in Wales. Kivlin will win her first cap when she lines up against England in Saturday’s opening game. She plays lead in the rink skipped by West of Scotland player Rachel Sinclair.
Before turning their full attention to the upcoming Scottish Premier League playoff final East Lothian IBC men’s side turn their focus to Scottish Cup action on Saturday when the defending champions tackle Fraserburgh at Arbroath IBC. On paper, the match should be a canter for the record seven time champions against lowly Division 2 opponents but shocks do happen and East Lothian must be on their guard against opposition who will have absolutely nothing to lose. The absence of high profile stars Alex Marshall MBE, Derek Oliver, Billy Mellors and Jamie Higgins needs to be coped with but the garden county selectors are upbeat that their team selection represents a strong-hand in terms of talented skills and mental toughness. The team reads: – A.Jeffrey, M.Osborne, D.Berwick, S.Kennedy skip L.Middler, A.Burt, W.W.Wood MBE, G.Robertson skip/capt C.Darling, L.Betts, G.Blair, J.Mower skip R.Thomson, C.Mackintosh, S.Thomson, M.Johnston skip
The senior side launched their bid for the Scottish Senior Cup with a hard fought 6-4 points win over national senior league conquerors Alloa in the preliminary round action at Headwell IBC in Dunfermline last Wednesday. The garden county ‘auld yins’ performance at Headwell saw them misfire on the rinks skipped by Tommy Young (-3) and Alastair Russell (-4) but rise in excellent fashion to that challenge with match winning contributions from Peter Laidlaw (+8) and Willie Wood MBE (+6). There first round opposition on Wednesday came in the shape of Abbeyview with the clash being staged at the neutral venue of West Lothian IBC in Livingston. A first-round tie was also being staged at East Lothian IBC on Wednesday between Midlothian and Stirling. Meanwhile, the qualifying play in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, is due to recommence on Wednesday (February 15).
East Lothian dreams of winning the Scottish Under 35 Cup for a first time will have to wait another year after suffering defeat at the hands of Buchan/Garioch in last Sunday’s quarter-final action at Arbroath.
The youth side faced a potentially tough home battle against Paisley in the first round of the Scottish Top 10 last Saturday but an on-song performance saw the young stars from the Alex Marshall Arena call the tune with a fine 8-0 points win. East Lothian commanding 58 overall shots supremacy (94-36) was the outcome of a strong team performance that saw the home side inflict the pain of defeat on Paisley’s singles, pairs, triple and fours. East Lothian now face Dumbarton in the quarter-final on a date still to be arranged.
East Lothian IBC is set to welcome a galaxy of top stars to the Alex Marshall Arena on Sunday February 19 with Glasgow 2014 gold medal heroes Alex Marshall MBE and Darren Burnett heading up a great Who’s Who of national indoor bowling giants. Other big name players competing in the inaugural Pro-Am Triples event include former World Indoor Singles champion Stewart Anderson, Midlothian stars Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker, host club internationalists Derek Oliver, Jamie Higgins and Scott Kennedy along with garden county legends Graham Robertson and Willie Wood MBE. “The shape and make-up of the competing triples suggests that we can look forward to cracking days bowling and for us all at East Lothian IBC it is an exciting prospect”, said tournament organiser Billy Mellors. The tournament is kindly being sponsored by Medical Professional and Johnston Fuels.
Tranent Bowling Club stage their AGM in their Polson Park clubhouse on Sunday at 3pm. All members are requested to attend meeting.