Tranent Bowling Club will represent the garden county in next season’s Scottish Inter County Top Ten Championship having been crowned the 2018 champions of East Lothian at the expense of Elphinstone in the ELBA Jubilee Cup final played at Castlepark BC last SundayRead More
The Polson Park based side produced a strong performance to win the final 6-2 on points and wins in the Singles, Triples and Fours triggered the victory salute. “Winning back to back Top Ten and Top Five titles has certainly more than made up for a very disappointing league campaign”, commented a club spokesperson.
The Singles discipline is the headline attraction in Top Ten play and the crowd were well entertained by the clash between two young players in the shape of Kevin Cunningham of Tranent and Ross Thomson of Elphinstone. It was Cunningham who delivered the goods in an 18-end battle that saw him emerge with a 21-14 victory. Kevin Jones made a blitz start in the Fours as he skipped Kenny McCrorie, Davie Whitson and Adam Martin into a 12-5 lead then on to an 18-12 win over Peter Fallen, Dean French, Norrie Cochrane and Colin Glen. Elphinstone gave the final an edge with Robert French and Stephen Cochrane producing a solid performance to score a 22-16 win over Matt Osborne and John McCrorie in the Pairs. Alan Young was at the helm for Mathew Martin and Dean Higgins in the Triples, but a poor start saw them 5-1 down against Rhys French, Mark Riding and Declan French, however, a remarkable turnaround saw the Tranent trio score 15 consecutive shots without reply to triumph 16-5. In the semi-final action on Saturday, Tranent saw off the challenge of defending champions Cockenzie & Port Seton, winning 6-2, while Elphinstone beat EL-Coop on shots after the points were shared 4-4.
The East Lothian senior side bounced back to winning ways as they rounded off their qualifying campaign in the Inter County Senior League Cup for the Matt Purdie Trophy with a hard fought 66-62 triumph over Borders at Cockenzie & Port Seton BC on Monday. Wins on the rinks skipped by George Cowan (+13), Tommy Young (+8) and Alistair Russell (+6) tipped the match scales in favour of the garden county ‘auld yins’ and covered the defeats sustained by Alan Morgan (-7) and Andy Burt (-16). “Playing conditions were difficult for both sets of players so I’m delighted that we managed to grind out a win and confidence within the squad is high going into the final”, reflected team convenor Tom Young. West Lothian will provide the opposition in Monday’s final that is being staged at Abbeyview BC in Dunfermline at 12 noon. Team convenor Young makes two personnel changes to his line-up for the final as he brings in Ian James (EL-Coop) and Bobby Scott (Macmerry) at the expense of Davie Pryde and Alex Jamieson. The team reads: –
D.Hogg (ELCO), J.Murray (Dun), A.Valentine (ELCO), T.Young (Dun) skip G.McLeod (Aber), P.Fallen (Elph), D.Kennedy (W/B), G.Cowan (E/L) skip I.James (ELCO), K.Morgan (C&PS), J.Bonner (ELCO), A.Morgan (C&PS) skip B.Brunton (Dun), B.Scott (Mac), G.Smith (ELCO), A.Burt (Hadd) skip J.P.Hamilton (W/B), J.Smith (ELLC), D.Arnott (ELCO), A.Russell (Tra) skip Reserves: D.Pryde (Mac) and A.Jamieson (C&PS) Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor Tom Young immediately on 07759 435750.
EL-Coop star Dean Riva has this week been part of a Bowls Scotland Regional Academy side contesting a three-test series over three days against a Hong Kong Youth Development team. The test matches were being staged at various venues in Scotland from Wednesday right through until Friday. Meanwhile another promising young player from EL-Coop, Robbie Shields, was last week part of a Scotland Under 17 side who defeated their Wales counterparts 17-15 on points in a one day test series held at Barry Athletic Bowling Club.
The destination of the prestigious Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues is set to go right down to the wire with Haddington and EL-Coop entering this week’s final round of fixtures sharing top spot on the 90-point mark, with defending champions Cockenzie & Port still in the mix only a point behind the leading duo. Last Friday night’s head to heads saw Cockenzie & Port Seton score a 6-2 win at home against leaders Haddington but in the final countdown the 3 shot win achieved by the rink skipped by Malcolm Higgenbotham could prove vital. EL-Coop bounced back to winning ways in some style as they recorded an 8-0 away success at West Barns and are now slight favourites to clinch the title. “It’s a clean sweep result that was gained under intense pressure as many thought we had blew it but now we have the title back in our grasp and it is now up to us not to let go of it”, said an EL-Coop spokesperson. The disastrous result for West Barns plunged them through the relegation trapdoor and joining them in Division 2 next season will be Haddington A who’s 6-2 defeat at home to fellow struggler’s Tranent was a final nail in their coffin. Castlepark were well enough pleased with a 6-2 away win at Elphinstone while East Linton beat Dunbar 7-1. The race for the Division 2 title is also set for a nail biting conclusion with only a single point separating leaders Prestongrange and second placed Winton while Aberlady sit a further five points adrift. Prestongrange are in a strong final fixture position at home to relegated Gifford while Winton visit Macmerry and Aberlady host Cockenzie & Port Seton A. Its congratulations to East Lothian Labour after they were confirmed Division 3 champions with a game to spare with East Linton A strong favourites to grab the other promotion spot. North Berwick has left all challengers struggling in their slipstream having clinched the Division 4 crown at a canter. Macmerry A sits a distant second but has amassed enough points to be assured of promotion.
In Friday night’s climax to the action in Division 1, all three clubs chasing title glory enjoy home advantage environments. On current formbook EL-Coop look to have the easiest task as they entertain a Dunbar side who have been in freefall since securing their top-flight status. Haddington welcome back Joe Mower into their line-up and look to have a much tougher challenge to contend with when they host fourth placed Castlepark. Third placed Cockenzie & Port Seton will probably need a maximum points win at home to relegated Haddington A then hope their title rivals drop points. Elphinstone visit East Linton while foot of the table West Barns end a miserable season away to now safely zoned Tranent.
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.
On Sunday, Sighthill BC in Edinburgh stages the SYBA Inter-County regional qualifiers for the prestigious Andy Houston Trophy. East Lothian will do battle with Midlothian, Edinburgh East and Edinburgh West with the victorious side going forward to represent the region in the national finals. The East Lothian team reads: – D.Grieve (ELCO), C.Bryce (Aber), B.Gearty (C&PS), D.Stevenson (ELCO) skip L.Cowan (Aber), L.Rafferty (ELCO), L.Hogg (C&PS), R.Buchanan (C&PS) skip E.Gillies (ELCO), L.Kennedy (C&PS), M.Penman (Aber), R.Shields (ELCO) skip L.Jamieson (ELCO), C.Pryde (ELCO), B.Riva (ELCO), K.Dodds (ELCO) skip Any player selected who is unable to play requested to contact Stuart Thomson immediately.
Meanwhile there is also a busy day of bowling action around the county on Saturday as the ELBA Brown Trophy and East Lothian News tournaments reach their conclusions at Tranent (Polson Park) and Macmerry respectively. Play at both tournaments gets underway at 12.30pm with the semi-final action and both finals are expected to commence around 3pm.