The showpiece climax to both the Ladies and Gents Scottish 4 Bowl Pairs Championships will be an East Lothian free zone with no qualifiers emerging from last weekend’s playdown action at Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith.Read More
The challenge in the ladies came from the super-charged Sisters Act in the shape out outdoor legends Leanne and Lauren Baillie. Big things were expected of the four times outdoor national 4 pairs champions, so their demise was equivalent to a real coupon buster when they failed to sparkle in a preliminary round 31-14 defeat to Perth. Mark Johnston and Willie Wood MBE carried the local hopes in the gent’s playdown action and they shaped up strongly in their two opening games to beat Teviotdale and Lanarkshire respectively. On Sunday morning, they lined up in the second round against Stewart Pagan and Paul Brown of Abbeyview and the East Lothian champions were just edged out in a 20-19 thriller.
Budding East Lothian IBC starlet Aaron Betts has added to his recent national four triumph by capturing the East of Scotland Under 17 singles crown in the event played at the Alex Marshall Arena last Sunday.
Twenty-Four players representing eight East of Scotland clubs, namely Abbeyview, Alloa, Bainfield, East Fife, East Lothian, Falkirk, Midlothian and Stirling competed in the tournament kindly sponsored by East Lothian IBC Pro Shop. Sparkling performances by 12-year-old Betts in his group play saw him win his section with relative ease then his challenge blossomed with wins over Eilidh Weir of Alloa in the quarterfinal and Bainfield’s Andrew Jamieson in the semi-final. In the final Betts squared up to talented Ellie Borthwick from Midlothian but Betts was in tiptop form and delighted his home support with a convincing 14-4 win to become the youngest ever champion to date. Another local youngster Beth Riva also enjoyed a wonderful run before being beaten by Ellie Borthwick in the semi-final.
Meanwhile the East Lothian IBC youth side continued their defence of the East of Scotland Junior League title with a 5-2 points win on away terrority at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline last Saturday morning.
“12 points out of a possible 14 from two tough opening away fixtures is a great return and something we must build on in our upcoming home matches early in the New Year”, said youth team convenor Peter Fallen. Eight shot wins on the rinks skipped by Danny Stevenson and Lewis Betts combined to give the garden county young brigade a handsome win on the overall shot aggregate and the single shot defeat suffered by the rink skipped by Robbie Shield paled into insignificance.
The senior side continue to soar upwards and onwards in their campaign to capture the playoff honours in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League with their latest success a crucial 62-42 win against local rivals Midlothian keeping them just ahead of Bainfield on shots aggregate albeit the garden county has a game in hand over their main challengers.
The Alex Marshall Arena was the venue for the emotionally charged local derby clash last Wednesday between the two strongly formed neighbour clubs but right from the outset East Lothian had the measure of their opponents and ran out convincing winners. “The win keeps us on target to win the section honours and barring any formbook disasters in our final two games we should achieve our goal and move forward to the knockout stages”, said team convener John P Hamilton.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Willie Wood MBE (+10), Tommy Young (+9) and Alastair Russell (+8) covered the concerning 17-shot setback sustained by Dougie Berwick. The side was back in action on Wednesday as they visited Galashiels to tackle Tweedbank.
The final stages of the joint Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships take place at Blantyre IBC early in the New Year and the garden county have a high-profile interest at the gala finals event. Three times East Lothian champion Billy Mellors will bid to emulate his headline 2015 national title triumph when parading his exciting skills in the showcase event. His semi-final opponent on Saturday January 6 at 12.30pm is West Lothian champion Richard Mark. The other last four clash is an absolute corker and features two world stage stars in the shape of Prestwick’s Paul Foster and Stewart Anderson of host club Blantyre. The final will be staged on Sunday January 7 at 1pm.
Finally, East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club is now offering Half Season memberships at a cost of £35 for full membership and is effective from January 1st. Anyone wishing to join should call into the club or apply online at www.elibc.co.uk.