Six-time World Indoor Champion Alex Marshall MBE hopes of ending his Scottish International Open hoodoo were thwarted again when he was beaten by England’s Les Gillett at the last 16 stage of the first World Bowls Tour event of the 2017/18 season at the Dewar’s Centre in Perth.Read More
Marshall had raced into a 7-2 lead in the first set against Gillett but his rival battled back to draw it 7-7. ‘Tattie’ (Marshall) then earned himself a 4-2 lead in the second, only for Gillett to win the next three ends with two singles and a double to win the match.
East Lothian IBC men’s side substantial 24 shots win over West Lothian (85-61) at the Alex Marshall Arena was their fourth triumph in a row in the B section of the Scottish Premier League and the puts the seven-time champions in pole position going into the second phase of fixtures. The continuation of their undefeated run is rewarded by a two-point lead over West Lothian that is supported by a 58-shot margin plus while the rest of the chasing pack comprises Ardrossan on four points and a congested bottom rung of Falkirk, Paisley and Elgin all with two points from their four games played.
Ace skip Derek Oliver returned to an East Lothian line-up that was missing the services of star figure Alex Marshall MBE who is currently overseas participating in the Australian Premier League. Oliver produced the major headline performance with a spectacular contribution from the Commonwealth Games bound star supported by another good win for Graham Robertson. Their wins combined to produce a shot margin bank of 30 that easily dwarfed the narrow losses suffered by Billy Mellors and Scott Kennedy. “It was hard earned but very much a well-deserved win and were now sitting pretty at the top of the table and the challenge facing us is to stay there and qualify for the playoff final”, said team captain Dougie Berwick. Oliver emerged the high flyer for the home side with the 27 times capped star in sparkling form to skip Mark Yuill, Stewart Thomson and Jamie Higgins into an 13-7 lead then on to a 33-12 win over James Spiers. Robertson came good with a 14-4 acceleration in the second half to skip Calum Darling, Willie Wood MBE and Joe Mower to a 22-13 win over Neil Spiers. Mellors and his front three of Mark Johnston, David Sked and Dean Riva lost a double at the last in a 19-17 defeat to Mark Allison while Ewan Fallen, Lewis Betts, Glenn Blair and Kennedy were outgunned 17-13 by Calum Logan.
There is no national league action for either the gents or ladies on Saturday as the bowls calendar this weekend is devoted to the playdown action of the gents and ladies fours. The challenge in the gents is in the capable looking hands of the dream team rink of Jamie Higgins, Scott Kennedy, Billy Mellors and Derek Oliver. They compete in the section of draw being played at Whiteinch IBC in Glasgow and launch their campaign on Saturday at 9.30am in the prelim round against Alloa. East Lothian are yet to make a title-winning impression in the ladies event and the latest hopes are invested in the shape of Dee Hoggan, Margaret Thomson, Yvonne Veitch and Janet Fairnie who also open in the prelim round at 9.30am against Auchinleck also at Whiteinch.
The senior side gave their prospects of capturing top of the table honours in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League a tremendous boost with a brilliant 28 shot away victory over long time leaders Bainfield; a result that put them top equal on points with their Edinburgh rivals, but East Lothian’s shot difference is superior by a healthy 88. The outcome reflects a strong team performance, against a previously undefeated Bainfield side, with wins chalked up on all four rinks skipped by Alastair Russell (+14), Dougie Berwick (+6), Willie Wood MBE (+5) and Tommy Young (+3). The side had a free week on Wednesday but return to competitive action this coming Wednesday (November 22) when they visit foot of the table Teviotdale and unsurprisingly unchanged team has been announced.
The East Lothian banner will be prominent in the final stages of the national senior championships at Midlothian IBC on the weekend of March 24 and 25 with the pairs and triples booking their place in the semi-finals line-up after both produced two winning performances in the playdown action at Bainfield IBC last Sunday. The strong pairing of Lessel Middler and Willie Wood MBE reeled off two cracking wins that saw them clip the wings of Balbardie (16-9) and Abbeyview (24-15) and now face Buchan in the semi-final. The triple of Billy Higgins, Tommy Young and Alastair Russell enjoyed wins over Bainfield (24-8) and East Fife (15-11) and now tackle Perth in the last four. The playdown action in the ladies equivalent also took place last Sunday at Falkirk IBC where Rosemary Mackintosh played in the first round proper and played Barbara Reid from Bainfield. In a very tight encounter, she managed to win an epic battle 21-20 to qualify for the next round where she will play Celia Smith from East Fife on Sunday January 14 and she will be on home terrority. In the pairs, Jean Russell and Muriel Hamilton suffered opening round agony when they were sentenced to an early bath after their 16-15 defeat from Stirling. Meanwhile Joe Mower and Lewis Betts were in national Under 21 & 18 singles playdown action last Sunday but unfortunately neither player managed to progress to the next stage.
The youth side from East Lothian IBC defence of the East of Scotland Junior League title got off to a winning start last Saturday morning with the young stars from ‘The Garden County’ turning in a sparkling performance to score an impressive 7-0 points away victory over Bainfield. From last year’s squad East Lothian had lost Megan Kivlin, David Young, Cameron Shaw, Craig Mackintosh and Chris Robertson due to age limit but still managed to put out a strong team that posted wins on all three rinks. Lewis Betts skipped Melissa Penman, Cameron Pryde and Robbie Buchanan to a 14-8 triumph while the rink of Beth Riva, Logan Kennedy, Kieran Dodds and Robbie Shields enjoyed a 13-8 success. Danny Stevenson and his front three of Lucy Hogg, Callum Henderson and Aaron Betts held on to win 12-11. The side is back in competitive action on Sunday when they make the short trip to Dalkeith to compete in the Midlothian Youth Tournament.