Bowls Scotland have finally named the 10 players who will compete for Team Scotland at next month’s World Bowls Championships in New Zealand and the great news is the East Lothian talented duo of Alex Marshall MBE of Gifford and Cockenzie & Port Seton’s Lauren Baillie were included in the final line-up.Read More
With memories of the 2014 Glasgow Games and the hopes for the forthcoming Gold Coast games in the minds of players, the Squad will head to Christchurch, New Zealand in November to contest the championships from 27th November to 12th December.
Joined by returning Head Coach David Gourlay and a group of highly experienced support staff the World Championships will be the pinnacle event of the year for those selected. With all eyes on the Southern Hemisphere this winter, succeeding in these championships is necessary to qualify Scotland in each discipline for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Commenting on the team selection, High Performance Manager Rhona Howie said: “Bowls Scotland is delighted to announce a strong field of players to compete at World Bowls. This is a fantastic opportunity for the players to challenge for the medal podium and compete on the World Stage against some very strong opposition. There will be some challenging conditions in Christchurch for the players but we are convinced that the players who have been selected will manage these challenges in a professional manner and compete to the best of their ability for their country”.
East Lothian IBC men’s side returned to winning ways in fine style in the highly competitive B section of the Scottish Premier League having bounced back from a shock opening week defeat to a deliver a comprehensive 40 shot victory (96-56) over Aberdeen at the Alex Marshall Arena last Saturday. Alex Marshall MBE and Billy Mellors both chalked up double figure triumphs that were supported by a plus contribution from team captain Graham Robertson while the only setback was a narrow one suffered by Jamie Higgins. “A great result after the previous week horror show. This level of performance is what East Lothian should be producing every week. From the start the concentration levels were high and we maintained our intensity throughout”, said captain Graham Robertson.
Marshall made the major contribution to the East Lothian cause as the world stage star skipped Calum Darling, Ross Thomson and Dougie Berwick to a whopping 29-7 win Alan Gallan that included a magic count of 6 on end 7. Mellors came under severe pressure at 13-11 after 11 ends against Kevin Pirie but his rink of Lessel Middler, Matt Osborne and Dougie Berwick responded brilliantly with a whirlwind run of 6, 1, 4 to forge clear 24-11 then stayed on to register a 33-17 victory. Robertson shaped up very well to skip Mark Johnston, Andy Burt and Willie Wood MBE into a 17-3 lead after 13 ends and despite a spirited fightback from the opposition rink skipped by Gary Forbes in the second half they ran out convincing 21-12 winners. Higgins and his rink of Kevin Cunningham, Andrew Jeffrey and Glenn Blair struggled against the collar from start to finish and only managed counts on eight of the 21 ends in a 20-13 defeat from Mike Stephen. The side is back in action on Saturday when they face their first away test of the campaign in making the trip along the M8 to tackle a competent Paisley opposition. The following team has been selected to face Paisley with Alex Marshall MBE, Billy Mellors, Joe Mower and Calum Darling all unavailable but there is a welcome seasonal debut for Scotland regular Derek Oliver while the young brigade of Lewis Betts, Dean Riva and Craig Macintosh are all recalled to the line-up. L.Middler, M.Osborne, A.Jeffrey, D.Oliver skip M.Johnston, L.Betts, G.Blair, J.Higgins skip R.Thomson, D.Riva, D.Berwick, S.Kennedy skip C.Mackintosh, A.Burt, W.W.Wood MBE, G.Robertson skip/capt
Meanwhile the ladies side faced an early deficit that challenged their resolve against Abbeyview in the East Premier Division match played at Dunfermline last Saturday but the challenge was well met with the garden county elite battling back to score an 83-77 victory. A superb win on the rink skipped by Scotland cap Emma Brown was supported by the rink skipped by World Bowls Championships bound Lauren Baillie and was enough to cover the setbacks sustained by Janet Fairnie and Yvonne Veitch. “It is difficult to win away from home in this highly competitive league and to do so is a morale boosting achievement that will optimistically help us build the momentum needed to put pressure on the leaders”, said EL team manager Sheena Currie. Brown and her rink of Margaret Murray, Jean Russell and Alicia Irvine put on a five-star showing as they in bowling terms murdered their opponents 34-8. Baillie and her front three of Margaret Devine, Muriel Hamilton and Cathy Ward produced a spirited finish to register a hard fought 21-18 triumph. Fairnie lost 23-17 while Veitch suffered a 28-11 setback. The ladies have no fixture this coming weekend due to the ladies national singles playdown action taking centre stage at Auchinleck IBC in Ayrshire. The garden county has a high profile representation in the shape of five-time club champion Janet Fairnie and she opens in the first round proper on Saturday at 2pm against well-known host club champion Claire Johnston.
The talented senior side from East Lothian IBC are sitting pretty at the top of the table in the East B section and do so with a one hundred percent record following their latest success at home to Balbardie last Wednesday making it an impressive three wins in a row. The garden county ‘auld yins’ had to withstand a late onslaught from Balbardie before securing a 56-44 win. Wins on three of the four rinks pushed the home side over the winning line with triumphs for Tommy Young (+9), Willie Wood MBE (+8) and Alastair Russell (+1) more than compensating for the defeat of B J Smith (-5). The side was back in action on Wednesday when they made the short trip to Dalkeith to tackle a fellow unbeaten side in the shape of Midlothian. This coming Wednesday (October 26) they play Tweedbank at home. Meanwhile a number of senior players from East Lothian IBC are in national senior championship playdown action on Sunday. Club champion B J Smith is in singles action at Midlothian IBC and he faces a first round proper encounter on the 2pm session against Bainfield champion Les Nicholson. At the same venue but at the earlier time of 10am Jim Neilson, Billy Higgins and Tommy Young carry the local banner into the triples action and the face a preliminary round clash with Teviotdale. At Bainfield IBC, the strong looking partnership of Lessel Middler and Willie Wood MBE fly the East Lothian flag in the pairs and they tackle West Lothian in the first round proper at 2pm. There is also national senior championships playdown action being staged at East Lothian IBC on Sunday from 10am.
On the international stage its congratulations to the East Lothian IBC duo of Craig Mackintosh and Megan Kivlin after they claimed the triples gold medal for Scotland along with teammate Jack McNabb in last weekend’s British Isles Under 18 Mixed Internationals at Aberdeen IBC. East Lothian teammate Lewis Betts collected a bronze medal in the single representing the British Isles side. Scott Kennedy managed the Scotland side and although happy with how his team performed, he would have been left disappointed to lose the overall team championship to England.
Meanwhile Alex Marshall MBE and Scott Kennedy were due to be in action for Scotland today (Thursday) and Friday as they took on England in a two-day international test series at New Earswick IBC in York. The series is being shown live on ITV4 from 10am-5.30pm each day with 2 triples, 3 pairs and 6 singles matches the format for the event.
Danny Stevenson will carry the local hopes into Sunday’s SYIBA Young Master playdown action at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline with the eventual two finalists heading to the Dewar’s Centre in Perth next month to contest the televised final. Also on Sunday, Scott Kennedy is in action at the SIBA Champion of Champions event at Auchinleck IBC. He is in action on the 9.30am session and tackles fellow Scotland cap Robert Grant of Lanarkshire.
The youths Friday sessions at East Lothian IBC are up and running from 2-4 pm every week, while the Saturday sessions take place from 8-10am.
All East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club members are reminded that all subscriptions should have been paid and anyone playing and having not paid their fees will automatically forfeit any game they take part in.
Cockenzie & Port Seton BC stage their annual Presentation of Prizes evening on Saturday October 29th from 6.30pm. Tickets for the event are now on sale to members and guests priced at £10.00 adults & £5.00 kids (includes two course meal & top class live entertainment) and can be purchased by contacting President Steven Morgan on 07861 672123.