East Lothian bowls legend Alex Marshall MBE breezed through to the second round of Just Retirement World Indoor Singles Championship after the record six times champion swept aside Irish qualifier Gary Kelly in Monday’s first round action at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.
Tranent ace Marshall, better known by his nickname Tattie, started the match very impressively and won the first set with relative ease by a scoreline of 9-5. The second set was a much closer contest but defending champion Marshall always appeared to have the upper hand over his opponent throughout the contest and went onto take the set and match 9-5, 7-5. Marshall’s second round opponent came in the shape of Englishman Mark Dawes with the clash being staged on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile Marshall’s hopes of winning the World Indoor Mixed Pairs title for a third time were thwarted when he and partner Julie Forrest lost out in straight sets to fellow Scot Darren Burnett and England’s Katherine Rednall in the final played on Tuesday afternoon.
Garden county new recruit Joe Mower will head to Potters Leisure Resort tomorrow (Saturday) to participate in the final stages of the inaugural World Indoor Under 25 Singles. Welshman Mower will tackle England’s Jake Willgress in the semi-final at 9am while the other last four clash features Tom Smith of England against Ross Owen of Wales. The final will be stage later on that day at 7.30pm. All the action will be streamed live on the World Bowls Tour YouTube channel and can be viewed by clicking on www.youtube.com/worldbowlstour
The final stages of the joint Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships take place at Paisley IBC this weekend and East Lothian have a major interest at the showpiece event. Ewan Fallen will attempt to become the fourth garden county player to win the national gents junior singles title when he lines-up tomorrow (Saturday) against Turriff’s Connor Milne in the semi-final at 12.30pm. The other last four encounter features Stephen Lowrie jnr of Glasgow against Auchinleck’s Derek Ferguson. The final will be staged on Sunday at 10am.
The gents side from East Lothian IBC held on to their Scottish Premier League status after holding off a late challenge from Dunfermline based side Abbeyview to win last Saturday’s crucial match in the B section. The hard fought 76-67 victory saw the garden county totally erase any relegation fears as they widened the gap between themselves and second bottom Bainfield to an uncatchable four points with only one fixture to fulfil. Wins on the rinks skipped by Jamie Higgins (+5), Graham Robertson (+4) and stand in captain Billy Mellors (+1) indicate a strong team performance from the visitors and coped well with the narrow defeat of Derek Oliver (-2). The side play their final fixture of the campaign on Saturday January 30 when they welcome automatic relegation threatened Bainfield to the Alex Marshall Arena.
Meanwhile the ladies side had already clinched top qualifying honours in Division 1C of the Scottish Ladies League with a game to spare but were determined to finish the league campaign on a winning note when Balbardie came calling last Saturday. A cracking contest emerged at the Alex Marshall Arena but it was East Lothian who came out on top with an 80-76 triumph. “I must congratulate all the players for terrific performances throughout the campaign and we can now look forward to our upcoming Scottish Cup campaign with a lot of optimism”, said team manager Sheena Currie. A double figure win on the rink skipped by Janet Fairnie plus a single digit win for stand in skip Irene Gray carried the day for the home side and covered the setbacks sustained by Lauren Baillie and Yvonne Veitch. Unfortunately, there will be no promotion play-off for East Lothian as the SIBA has just recently announced the ladies’ national leagues will be the subject of reconstruction with a new format to be in place for next season. The ladies return to competitive action on Saturday February 6 when they tackle Abbeyview in the first round of the Scottish Cup at neutral venue Bainfield IBC.
The talented senior side finished their campaign in the East B section of the Scottish Senior Leagues in fine style following a comfortable 87-44 win at Teviotdale last Wednesday. The garden county ‘auld yins’ tasted defeat only once in the 12 match campaign and finished a remarkable 7 points clear of nearest challengers Bainfield. The away support was able to cheer super double figure wins for the rinks skipped by Peter Laidlaw (+24) and Tommy Young (+16) while legend figure Willie Wood MBE chipped in with a 4 shot triumph. Alastair Russell shaped up well in the early stages of his game but a significant stumble on the run in cost him a narrow defeat, and East Lothian a clean sweep. The side were in Scottish Senior League quarter-final action on Wednesday when they tackled at East Section A winners Alloa at West Lothian IBC in Livingston.
A senior side from East Lothian were due to be Central District Top Six first round action today (Friday) when they line-up against Tweedbank at Bainfield IBC. The garden county challenge will be spearheaded by John P Hamilton in the singles while its B J Smith and Davie Pryde in the pairs and in the triples Mike Trenholme, Ross Maguire and Ronnie Douglas.
The ever popular Jock Brodie Senior Championships got underway on Wednesday at the Alex Marshall Arena and the opening week of qualifying action featured Teviotdale against Midlothian and Perth versus West Lothian. This coming Wednesday (January 27) Abbeyview will face Tweedbank and Headwell tackle Bainfield.
The youth side from East Lothian IBC were back in East of Scotland Junior League action last Saturday morning and turned in a great performance on away terrority last to register a hard fought 4-3 point’s win over local rivals Midlothian. The talented Dean Riva skipped his rink of Megan Kivlin, Beth Riva and Aaron Betts to a fantastic 19-5 victory while Lewis Betts and his front three of Robbie Shields, Chris Robertson and Robbie Buchanan earned a well-earned peel. The home side did inflict 15-9 pain on the visitor’s rink of David Young, Kieran Dodds, Cameron Shaw and Craig Mackintosh.