Castlepark Bowling Club king pin Stevie Thomson is the new ELBA Champion of Champions titleholder with the 51-year-old etching his name on the coveted trophy for the first time having captured the 2016 crown at West Barns BC last Sunday.Read More
Thomson was one of many high profile club champions challenging for the prestigious end of season title but he was the one that shined brightest with a series of highly polished performances that climaxed with a thrilling 21-19 win over Billy Mellors of Haddington in an epic 29 end final. It iced the cake on a great season for the former national junior singles runner-up that saw him win the championship crown at his beloved Castlepark for a remarkable seventh time.
“I’m thrilled to bits and over the moon to be finally crowned ELBA Champion of Champions as I’ve lost in the final on two previous occasions but it was hard earned as Billy (Mellors) played a blinder and I was glad to get over the line”, reflected Thomson afterwards.
It was Mellors who made the better start to lead 5-0 after 4 ends but Thomson responded with a trio of singles before Mellors carded a double to lead 7-3. Singles were traded on the next few ends before Thomson took the game by the scruff of the neck with a run of 2, 2, 1 to move 10-8 ahead. The next few ends saw both players go blow for blow before the game was turned on its head by Thomson carding a mighty 4 on end 25 to go 19-17 in front. Singles were exchanged in the next couple of ends before Thomson grabbed a winning single on end 29 to hit 21. The earlier semi-final action was also of a good standard with Thomson defeating Dunbar club champion Bobby Brunton while Mellors enjoyed a hard fought win over Aberlady champion Lindsay Bell.
Haddington Bowling Club attracted a big crown to their staging of the finals day of the Belhaven Brewery sponsored East Lothian County Championships last Saturday and it was John Gearty of Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club who grabbed the main headlines after he landed the blue riband singles event.
Gearty capped off his outdoor season in tremendous fashion after he achieved the ambition of etching on the prestigious trophy with a convincing 21-6 win over host club challenger Colin Dick in the final that lasted 16 ends. Steven White of EL-Coop etched his name on the Junior Singles trophy following a hard fought 21-19 success over Longniddry’s Jack Ferguson while White’s EL-Coop teammate produced an accomplished performance in the Youth Singles final to beat Harvey Cunningham of Cockenzie & Port Seton, 21-9 in 18 ends. EL-Coop went on to celebrate another couple of successes when Billy Thomson, Davie Fleming, Ross Thomson and Chris Fallen captured the honours in the Fours with an exciting 15-12 triumph over Michael Faulds, Paul Grant, Peter Duncan and Kern Gallagher of Dunbar. A fantastic day for the Tranent based club was completed when Steven Mackie and Stephen Cochrane lifted the Pairs title but done so without throwing a bowl as opponents Winton had to forfeit the tie as their players Marc McCormack and Craig McLeod were unable to make the final. The host club did have something to celebrate when Gordon Hunter, Mark McWilliams and Glenn Blair dominated the final of the Triples and held all the aces in a 23-9 win over Gilbert Cleland, Daniel Allen and Derek Allen of Winton. However, it was not to be all doom and gloom for Winton after they claimed the Senior Fours title when Paddy Swinton, Dod Blair, David Heron and Jocky Stewart produced a grandstand finish to inflict 20-15 pain on Peter Puntin, Sandy Delaney, Charlie Sobolewski and Graham Wilson of Haddington. Aberlady captured the honours in Youth Fours final but an epic encounter against Cockenzie & Port Seton had to be decided on an extra end before Imogen Mason, Iona Leith, Melissa Penman and Connar Lynn raised the victory salute with a 15-14 win over Harris Cunningham, Ben Gearty, Andrew Thomson and Chloe Johnston.
On the international stage, the East Lothian talented duo of Joe Mower (Haddington) and Dean Riva (Gifford) were last weekend part of a Scotland Under 25 side that finished in runners-up position behind eventual winners England in the British Isles Junior Home Internationals series held at Moray BC in Elgin. In their opening match against auld enemy England the young Scots looked like they were going to be on wrong end of a thumping before staging a sensational comeback that eventually saw them just come up short in a 113-108 defeat. Next up was a clash against Ireland and the hosts produced an inspired display to register a 150-101 triumph. Going into the final game Scotland required a win against holders Wales but at the same time needed Ireland to beat England to have any chance of winning the title. Unfortunately, neither result materialised as the Scots suffered a disappointing 130-120 defeat while England cruised to a 126-86 victory. Both East Lothian players were in the same rink but despite playing well they suffered defeats in all three games played.
The curtain falls on the ELBA competitive season on Saturday as four clubs battle it out for the final silverware of the outdoor season, as East Linton Bowling Club hosts the Courier Cup finals day. The end of season tournament will feature all the evening league champions namely, Haddington, Dunbar, Athelstaneford and Dunbar A. ELBA officials have confirmed the semi-final draw will take place at 12 noon with the action getting underway 30 minutes later. The final is expected to commence at approximately 3pm.
Meanwhile its congratulations to the senior brigade at EL-Coop after they secured the Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpet sponsored East Lothian Senior Leagues. A tremendous 6-0 point’s away win at Haddington A on the final game of the campaign was good enough for the them to be crowned champions with East Lothian Labour Club finishing as gallant runners-up. Ormiston captured the honours in Division 2 while Stenton landed the spoils in Division 3.
Turning attention to the indoor season, East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club opened its doors for the new season on a full time basis on Tuesday. The highly acclaimed Top Four tournament kicked off competitive proceedings on Tuesday evening while the Morning and Afternoon leagues were also scheduled to commence this week. The Evening Leagues get underway this coming Monday evening. Membership fees and rink fees remain the same at £58 and £3 (£4 non-members) respectively.