The East Lothian duo of Alex Marshall MBE (Gifford) and Lauren Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton) are currently over in New Zealand representing Team Scotland in the World Bowls Championships being staged at Burnside Bowing Club in Christchurch.Read More
The action kicked off on Tuesday with opening games in the men’s pairs and triples along with the ladies singles and fours. Not surprisingly Marshall partners good friend Paul Foster in the men’s pairs and they were drawn in tough looking qualifying section that includes strong pairings from England and Australia with the top two teams progressing through to the semi-final stage. Meanwhile Baillie is currently in action in the ladies fours and plays third in a rink skipped by Claire Johnston with Julie Forrest and Stacey McDougall as a front end. They were drawn in a qualifying section where the main challenges for the top two places would probably come from Malaysia and England. The championships run until December 11 and you can catch all the latest results by visiting www.worldbowls2016.com
If the East Lothian IBC gent’s side bubble was going to burst after four consecutive wins in the B section of the Scottish Premier League, then it was most likely to be pricked by an Ardrossan team that is very good at home.
Ardrossan have also been in decent form with three wins out of five so something had to give when the teams clashed last Saturday and it turned out to be East Lothian returned to the Alex Marshall Arena nursing the wounds of a 29-shot (106-77) defeat. Scott Kennedy continued his good form by skipping his rink of Andrew Jeffrey, Dean Riva and Dougie Berwick to a fine 25-11 win but fellow skips Derek Oliver, Graham Robertson and Joe Mower, were unable to cope with their respective opposition. “It is obviously no disgrace to lose at a tough venue and we did compete very well on three of the four phases so the setback hasn’t knocked our positive outlook or our team spirit which remains strong”, said team captain Graham Robertson.
Oliver and his rink of Lessel Middler, Matt Osborne and Jamie Higgins endured 21 ends of bowling they will want to forget in a hurry after being on the wrong end of a 37-9 thumping from Martin Williamson. Robertson and his front three of Craig Mackintosh, Stuart Thomson and Willie Wood MBE suffered a double-digit defeat while Calum Darling, Lewis Betts, Glenn Blair and Mower lost a single on the last end to lose 28-27. The side is back in action next Saturday (December 10) and face another tough away assignment at Aberdeen.
The national indoor bowls calendar this weekend is devoted to the playdown action of the gents and ladies national triples. The multi-talented trio of Mark Johnston, Willie Wood MBE and Derek Oliver carry local hopes in the gent’s discipline at Bainfield IBC in Edinburgh and they launch their qualifying challenge against East Fife in the first round proper at 2pm. The local challenge in the ladies playdown action at West Lothian IBC in Livingston is also very strong in the shape of Emma Logan, Margaret Thomson and Yvonne Veitch and they enter the qualifying fray on the 2pm session with a first round clash against Lanarkshire.
Meanwhile on the international stage its massive congratulations to the East Lothian IBC duo of Joe Mower and Megan Kivlin after they were named in their respective junior international sides following trial matches played last Sunday. Mower gained junior international recognition when playing in his native Wales but he will wear the blue of Scotland when he wins his first cap at the British Home International series being held ironically in Wales at Newport IBC on weekend of February 18/19. Meanwhile, Kivlin will grace the ladies junior internationalist scene for the very first time at Islwyn IBC in Wales on the weekend of February 11/12. Fellow garden county players Calum Darling, Glenn Blair and Kim Hoggan were also involved in the respective trial matches but unfortunately failed to make the final line-ups.
The playdown action in the national senior fours took place last Sunday at Bainfield IBC in Edinburgh and the East Lothian rink of Peter Fallen, Davie Pryde, Alan Morgan and B J Smith won through to the semi-finals with a nail biting 16-15 second round win over Stirling before recording a comfortable 21-14 triumph over Alloa in the quarter-final. They now face Coatbridge in the semi-final at Paisley IBC on Saturday March 4.
The senior side have yet to shake off the challenge from local rivals Midlothian in the race to finish top of the table in the East B Section of the Scottish Senior League, but the garden county ‘auld yins’ continued in fine form at home to West Lothian last Wednesday. The current leaders of the pack were notching up their seventh win from eight games with wins on the rinks skipped by Willie Wood MBE, Alistair Russell and Tommy Young propelling East Lothian to a sizeable 73-45 victory, the only setback being a narrow defeat for Peter Laidlaw. The side was due back in action on Wednesday when they faced a testing away challenge at Balbardi.
The youth side’s East of Scotland Junior League fixture against fixture against Falkirk last Saturday morning was the subject of late postponement and will be rescheduled for a later in the season. Last Sunday, East Lothian IBC staged the East of Scotland Junior Pairs and Triples championships at the Alex Marshall Arena but unfortunately, there was to be no title triumphs for the host club youngsters. In the pairs, Robbie Shields and Craig Mackintosh lost out in the semi-final to eventual winners Abbeyview while Cameron Shaw, Danny Stevenson and David Young made it through to the final of the triples before losing out to Midlothian. The club would like to thank Alex Marshall MBE for sponsoring the championships. On Sunday, Megan Kivlin, David Young, Lewis Betts and Craig Mackintosh head to Stirling IBC to compete in the SYIBA Fours Championships.
On the domestic front at East Lothian IBC, the first finals of the season took place on Monday evening and Andy Burt is celebrating lifting the Team Championship Singles title for a first time after edging a cracking final against Lessel Middler, 21-20. Also, down for decision was the final of the Mixed Pairs and it was Pat Turner and Matt Osborne who emerged victorious, celebrating a 24-18 triumph over Sheena and David Currie.