East Lothian IBC ladies side dream of winning the Scottish Ladies Premier League title for a first time ever got off to a relatively encouraging start; but ended in a nightmare defeat at the hands of Glasgow in the final played at Whiteinch IBC last Saturday.Read More
Glasgow’s commanding 19 shot supremacy (89-71) was the outcome of a strong team performance that saw the West Division champions inflict the pain of defeat on three of the four East Lothian rinks.
East Lothian arrived in the final having achieved an earthquake victory over two in a row defending champions Auchinleck in the semi-finals stage and there was a mood of quiet confidence in the camp that they could deliver a title winning performance. Janet Fairnie made a storming start to race into a 11-2 lead after five ends plus there was holding effort of 3-3 from team captain Lauren Baillie. But the slow starts on the rinks skipped by Emma Logan and Dee Hoggan turned out to be an early signal that Glasgow were also determined to win the national crown for a first time.
“We have no complaints as on the day the best team won but I’m super proud of all my players for a fantastic effort but we need to get over the disappointment quickly as we now have the Scottish Cup to look forward to”, commented team manager Gordon Pryde.
Janet Fairnie skipped Melissa Penman, Megan Kivlin and Mags Thomson into a substantial 17-7 lead after 13 ends; but came under late pressure from opposition skipped by Lorna Cameron and collapsed to a 23-19 defeat. Emma Logan and her rink of Margaret Murray, Jean Russell and Kim Hoggan led 10-8 after twelve; but were crossed 12-10 a couple of ends later before slipping to a 18-15 defeat against Natalie Docherty. Dee Hoggan and her rink of Margaret Devine, Beth Riva and Gillian Mackintosh were being put through the mill at 18-4 down after six and it never really got any better in a 29-17 defeat from Beth Eastop. The rink of Jacky McFarlane, Arlene Berwick, Leanne Baillie and Lauren Baillie stopped the whitewash and slightly spared garden county blushes when they produced a magnificent fightback from 19-10 down to eventually win 20-19 against June Marshall. It was an emotional win for Glasgow as they had suffered the sudden and shock loss of well-known iconic sporting figure Linda Brennan at the age of 51 just weeks before the final and the players paid tribute to her contribution when marking their victory.
A depleted men’s side from East Lothian IBC marched into the second round of the Scottish Cup with a super-charged performance that saw them score a commanding 8-2 points victory over Forfar at Headwell IBC in Dunfermline. A massive 116-61 shot margin supremacy supported inspired double figure wins on the rinks skipped by Derek Oliver, Mark Johnston and Glenn Blair. Division 2 side Forfar did manage to spill some East Lothian blood and it was icon figure Graham Robertson the high-profile casualty along with his front-three of Andrew Jeffrey, Kevin Cunningham and Ewan Fallen.Robertson and Co did go down fighting however having battled back well from 23-14 down to get within two shots before finally being put to the sword by the loss of a double on the last end. Commonwealth Games bound Derek Oliver produced the headline performance against Forfar having been imposingly authoritative in skipping Lewis Betts, Jamie Gordon and David Sked to a brilliantly dazzling 35-8 win over Jim Stewart. Mark Johnston was also in superlative form to skip Mark Yuill, Aaron Betts (making his debut) and Dean Riva to a whopping 30-10 win over Alex Gray while the rink of Lessel Middler, Andy Burt, captain Dougie Berwick and Glenn Blair crushed Eric Wilkie, 30-18. East Lothian opposition in the second round action on Saturday March 10 comes in the shape of Premier League arch-rivals West Lothian and the clash will be played at neutral Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith.
Meanwhile, Joe Mower was last weekend a member of the gents Scotland Under 25 team that finished bottom of the table in the British Isles Under 25 Championships played at the Jim Baker Stadium in Belfast. An opening game defeat from hosts Ireland on Saturday morning was followed by a shock defeat from Wales in the afternoon play. Unbelievably going into the final game on Sunday morning against defending champions England all the Scots had to play for was pride and to their credit they just about delivered before losing a tense final session by 2 shots as England retained the title. Mower played third in the rink skipped by Garioch star Jason Banks and they enjoyed a fine win against Ireland but suffered narrow losses against Wales and England.
The strong and talented rink of Jamie Higgins, Joe Mower, Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver represent the East Lothian banner in this weekend’s climax to the Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships at Coatbridge IBC and their inspiration is to emulate the club’s previous title triumphs in 1998, 2004 and 2005. Expectations that their domestic champions can deliver are optimistic at the Alex Marshall Arena as all four are of international status and are hungry to capture the national headlines in the Fours. Oliver and Co’s pathway into the final on Sunday afternoon stands blocked by the host club rink of Alan Paterson, Martyn Jenkins, Jim Priunty and Robert Murphy and the semi-final clash will be staged on Saturday morning at 9.30am.
The senior side were in first round Scottish Senior Cup action on Wednesday and a revenge mission was on the cards when they played national league cup quarter-final conquerors Alloa at neutral Headwell IBC in Dunfermline. Meanwhile the qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, jointly sponsored by Norman T Craig and Plumbing and Electrical Services of Dunbar, resumed last Wednesday and Perth grabbed the main headlines by inflicting 7-1 points misery on hosts East Lothian. The other match played featured West Lothian against Midlothian and after a humb dinger of a contest both sides settled for a 4-4 share of the spoils. The qualifying action continued on Wednesday and featured a ‘Borders’ derby clash between Berwickshire and Teviotdale while at the same time Headwell tackled Tweedbank.
East Lothian hopes of making a successful defence of the Headwell Mixed Team Championship title faltered at the first hurdle in this year’s renewal following a narrow first round defeat at the hands of West Lothian. The match points were tied 4-4 but it was the Livingston based side that progressed after winning the overall shot margin by 3 shots (74-71).
On Saturday, several youth players from East Lothian IBC make the short trip to Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith to participate in the SYIBA East Regional national playdown action that also features Bainfield, Alloa and Midlothian. Aaron Betts and Robbie Shields fly the local banner in the pair’s event while Kieran Dodds, Danny Stevenson and Lewis Betts go for title glory in the triples. The action gets underway at 2pm.