Alex “Tattie” Marshall, recently recognised as Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete, in any sport, took the Australian Bowls Premier League by storm last the week, guiding his Brisbane Pirates team of Kelsey Cottrell and Michael Breen to victory and the BPL08 $25,000 title in front of their home crowd in Brisbane. The tournament was exciting from the start with Power Plays, large crowds and music being played throughout in an excellent format which Scottish and UK bowls could learn a lot from.Read More
Last weekend seen National Fours play-down action and there was good news for the current national champions from East Lothian. Billy Mellors was unable to play in the Nationals last season and the four went on to win the title with Joe Mower. This season Billy skipped the rink and together with Jamie Higgins, Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver they recorded four wins at Inverclyde over the weekend. The gents opened up with a comfortable win over Cowal on Saturday morning before facing an acid test against the strong rink from Falkirk including former East Lothian stalwart Steven Glen. The lead flip-flopped throughout the game, however, Billy and co went into the last end holding a three shot lead enabling them to control the head and reach the last sixteen. On the Sunday morning they faced Prestwick with bowling legend Paul Foster at skip. They led the game throughout and stretched ten shots clear at one point, however the Prestwick rink fought back over the last few ends to get back to two down playing the last. Again the East Lothian men controlled the head until Paul Foster played a weighted shot through the head and when the dust settled he lay two shots and after Billy failed with his first bowl, Paul drew another shot with his last to mean the game lay against the Garden County men. Billy bloomed with the response required though and with his last bowl trailed the jack back to lie shot and guide his team through to the quarter final. There they faced a rink from East Fife and despite dominating the opening of the game and lying counts of 5, 5, 4 and 3 over the opening five ends the score was only 3-2 due to the opposing skip playing killer last bowls on each end. The East Lothian four continued to build up good heads, however, and began to pull away from their opponents and eventually ran out 24-8 winners. They will face the rink from Galleon they defeated in the Final last year in the semi-final at Arbroath on Saturday 30th March.
The ladies four were also in action at Inverclyde with Hazel Fender deputising for the unavailable Dee Hoggan and joining Mags Thomson, Yvonne Veitch and Janet Fairnie. The ladies recorded two comprehensive wins on the Saturday, seeing of East Kilbride (29-8) and Paisley (22-13). Their last sixteen match on the Sunday morning was against a good Headwell side and the ladies were never able to overcome a bad start to the game, with only glimmers of opportunity throughout the game before eventually going down 13-22.
Alex Marshall MBE returns from Australia to be part of the Gent’s team who are back in Premier League action this weekend as they travel the short distance to Dalkeith to face neighbours and league leaders Midlothian in an enthralling clash. The following team has been selected: A Betts, A Cormack, E Fallen & S Kennedy (skip) A Jeffrey, L Betts, S Thomson & J Mower (skip) M Johnston, D Sked, D Riva & B Mellors (skip) M Yuill, C Brock, S Morgan & A Marshall MBE (skip)
The ladies are also in action this weekend in a must win game at home also to Midlothian. The following team has been selected: M Kivlin, K Hoggan, D Hoggan & Y Veitch (Skip) M Penman, B Riva, M Thomson & J Fairnie (Skip) J McFarlane, A Berwick, G Mackintosh & L Baillie (Skip)
The Scottish Under 25 trials take place this Sunday at Headwell with a 10.30am start for the ladies which Melissa Penman and Megan Kivlin are taking part in followed by the gents at 2pm including Joe Mower, Dean Riva, Lewis Betts, Aaron Betts and Danny Stevenson.
The seniors travelled to Teviotdale last Wednesday in what is usually a tight game. This proved to be the case once more and the team found themselves sixteen shots down after the opening five ends. This proved a wake-up call though and over the next five ends the “Auld Yins” turned the game around to lead 41-36. The game was nip and tuck from there on in and the lead changed hands on several occasions with the game coming down to the last end on each rink with East Lothian two down. First off was Tommy Young who scored a two to get the game level before the skip against Dougie Berwick made a one with his last bowl to give Teviotdale a one shot lead. Andy Burt converted his head with his last bowl to make a three and mean Willie Wood could afford to lose a one on the last to give the team a one shot win which is how the end transpired to leave the final score 60-59 to East Lothian to ensure they are still top of the section. Final rink scores were wins for Tommy Young (22-10) and Andy Burt (20-11) while Dougie Berwick lost (14-15) and Willie Wood MBE went down by (4-23). West Lothian were the visitors to the Alex Marshall Arena on Wednesday and a few changes seen B Smith and D McGill replacing B Higgins and A McKenna while D Pryde was recalled to replace J Hamilton.
This Sunday sees the Scottish Seniors play offs at Meadowmill where we have Willie Wood MBE in the singles and facing Lindsay Plenderleith from Midlothian while our triple of Lessel Middler, Dougie Berwick and Tommy Young face Abbeyview with both games at 10am.
The youths maintained their excellent start to the season as they retained the Midlothian tournament at the weekend by winning all five of their games at Dalkeith. In the first game they edged home 9-8 against Midlothian before comprehensively defeating Stirling 26-2. They were then involved in close tussle with Abbeyview where they prevailed 11-8 before destroying their opponents in their last two games with 26-3 and 22-6 wins over East Fife and Bainfield to achieve a 100% record and retain the title with both rinks winning four games out of five. The victorious team was Melissa Penman, Cameron Pryde, Kieran Dodds & Aaron Betts (skip) and Callum Henderson, Lennon Rafferty, Beth Riva & Lewis Betts (skip and captain). The youths have no league game this Saturday and youth coaching takes place as normal.