East Lothian senior side prospects, and expectations, of putting up a decent show in Section 1 of the Inter-County Senior League Cup for the Matt Purdie Trophy has come under serious early pressure with an opening week defeat followed on Monday by another setback this time at home to West Fife.Read More
It was a close call at Gifford with East Lothian left nursing the wounds of a 11-shot defeat (68-57) but although the margin is low the cost is high in terms of being morale sapping to a side who had high hopes of winning the prestigious trophy for a third time. “At the halfway stage of the game we trailed by just 5 shots and the team spirits were high that we could raise a late surge in the final phase of the game but unfortunately that never materialised and West Fife ran out worthy winners”, said team convenor John P Hamilton.
Winning performances were served up on the rinks skipped by Peter Fallen (+2) and George Cowan (+2) but Alastair Russell (-3), Alan Morgan (-4) and Tommy Young all suffered the pain of defeat.
The side now face what must surely be a must win game this coming Monday when they tackle Borders at Chirnside BC. The selectors bring in Kenny Borthwick of West Barns and Derek Temperley of Ormiston for seasonal debuts at the expense of Alan McCue and John Smith in a slightly recast line-up that reads:- M.Gordon, D.Hogg, G.Smith, G.Cowan skip D.Temperley, B.Davidson, D.Arnot, A.Morgan skip J.Hogg, K.Borthwick, D.Kennedy, T.Young skip K.Morgan, J.P.Hamilton, G.Blyth, P.Fallen skip B.Brunton, J.Murray, R.Strang, A.Russell skip Reserves: G.Gray, B.Scott, A.Jamieson, A.McCue, J.Smith, D.Pryde Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor John P Hamilton immediately on 07974 648401. Any player unsure of travel arrangements for the match should contact John.
There is a huge day of bowling action at EL-Coop Bowling Club on Saturday as they host the Scottish Counties Championship semi-final encounter between West Lothian and Lanarkshire South. The eagerly awaited clash between two giants of Scottish bowling gets underway at 2pm.
Cockenzie & Port Seton continue to set the pace in the race for the Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues and last Friday’s 7-1 home win over West Barns seen them gain another point advantage on nearest challengers Haddington to move seven points ahead after 12 of the 18 match programme now done and dusted. The leaders were hard pushed to get over the line in two of the three rinks but Scotland cap Scott Kennedy was mainly untroubled as he powered to a win over Ian Thorburn. Club king pin Derek Oliver had to wave his magic wand to conjure up a spell binding count of 5 at the last end to skip his rink to a single shot win over Scott Thorburn while team captain Craig Valentine surrendered a treble on his last end and shared the spoils against Struan Robertson. Haddington dropped two points at home to foot of the table Gifford but the six they picked up has kept the defending champions in the title race. Not for the first time in a miserable campaign for the visitors, it was the rink skipped by world stage star Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE that grabbed their consolation win. There is still menacing presence from 2015 champions Tranent who retained third place following an 8-0 home win over relegation zoned Dunbar but they are 12 points adrift of the leaders. EL-Coop remained in fourth following a 4-4 draw at Castlepark but their title hopes now looks a distant memory. Aberlady are normally strong at home and their 6-2 win over East Linton keeps them well clear of the relegation zone. Haddington look on course to become the third club to have two sides in the top division as their second-string side (Haddington A) lead the way in Division 2 by five points. Elphinstone are in second place with both Winton and Prestongrange a further three points behind in third and fourth place respectively. Longniddry currently hold the driving seat in Division 3 but it is only a slender three-point advantage over nearest challengers Macmerry. Haddington B continues to dwarf their rivals in Division 4 and they sit eleven points clear of second placed Gifford A.
In Friday night’s Division 1 action, hot pot leaders Cockenzie & Port Seton know they will face stern home examination when in form third placed challengers Tranent visit the seasiders. Second placed Haddington make the short trip up the A1 to visit West Barns while EL-Coop can perk up their ailing campaign if producing the goods at home against Aberlady. Second bottom Dunbar need to stop the rot quickly and they get an ideal opportunity when hosting fellow strugglers East Linton while Castlepark visit foot of the table Gifford.
All club secretaries are requested to ensure that all league and cup results, including shots aggregate score, are phoned into ELBA Match Secretary Keith Fender on 01620 860217 or via text message 07786 110416 immediately after each match.