The East Lothian banner will appear in the last four stage of the gents Scottish Fours Championships at Aberdeen IBC on the weekend of March 25/26 as the reward for four super performances from the rink of Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson, Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver in the playdown action at Lanarkshire IBC in Wishaw last weekend.Read More
Wins over Prestwick, Dumbarton, Cowal and Ayr were delivered in grand style and with great authority although Oliver and Co did have sweat on their brow before emerging from the melting pot to win a nail-biter against Prestwick in their opening match.
They opened last Saturday morning with a preliminary round clash against a strong Prestwick rink skipped by world stage star Paul Foster and it was them who started the brightest and raced into a 12-3 lead. However, Oliver and Co stopped the rot and a change of jack length proved a masterstroke as they clawed their way back into the match and going into the last end the match score was 16-16. With all the bowls played it required an umpire measure to settle the outcome and thankfully it went East Lothian’s way. They then added a 23-11 win over Dumbarton in the afternoon session. The East Lothian rink Mellors & Co returned to the Lanarkshire IBC carpet on Sunday morning to face Cowal in the second round and produced another great performance to register a comfortable 25-9 triumph. A strong four from Ayr now stood between Oliver and Co and a place in the semi-finals and an epic battle was witnessed by the large watching crowd but it was the garden county support who cheered the loudest as their boys emerged victorious, winning a cracking encounter, 19-17. “Reaching the final stages of the championships gives East Lothian the chance to win the title for a fourth time and we are confident we can deliver on the big stage at Aberdeen in March”, said a jubilant Derek Oliver. The semi-final line up at Aberdeen IBC on Saturday March 25 is East Lothian v Falkirk and Blantyre v Garioch.
In the ladies playdown action the local banner was carried by Dee Hoggan, Yvonne Veitch, Margaret Thomson and Janet Fairnie but despite a cracking effort, they could not join the men in the semi-finals as they lost out to Abbeyview in the quarterfinals. After three comprehensive wins over Cowal, Alloa and Stirling they were behind early on in their tussle with Abbeyview and never recovered before eventually losing, 20-13.
The playdown action in the national senior fours continues Sunday with the East Lothian rink of Peter Fallen, Davie Pryde, Alan Morgan and B J Smith in action at Bainfield IBC and tackle Stirling in the second-round action at 10am.
On the international stage its congratulations to the East Lothian IBC trio of Joe Mower, Glenn Blair and Calum Darling after they received news they have all been included in the Scotland Gents Under 25 trial match that will be played at Cumbernauld IBC on Sunday.
The gent’s side from East Lothian IBC return to Scottish Premier League action on Saturday the current B section leaders face a tough assignment when they make the long trek to Ayrshire to tackle Ardrossan. International stars Alex Marshall MBE and Billy Mellors are enforced absentees while regular stalwart figure Mark Johnston also misses out. Talented youngsters Craig Mackintosh and Lewis Betts are recalls in a line-up that reads:- L.Middler, M.Osborne, J.Higgins, D.Oliver skip C.Mackintosh, S.Thomson, W.W.Wood, G.Robertson skip/capt C.Darling, L.Betts, G.Blair, J.Mower skip A.Jeffrey, D.Riva, D.Berwick, S.Kennedy skip
The senior side moved two points clear at the top of the table in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League following a substantial 24 shot (78-54) away win at foot of the table Teviotdale to make it six wins out of seven. The side was back in action on Wednesday when they hosted struggling West Lothian at the Alex Marshall Arena.
There was no joy for the talented rink of David Young, Megan Kivlin, Lewis Betts and Craig Mackintosh in the East of Scotland Fours action at Stirling IBC last Saturday as the pre-tournament favourites failed to find their best form and failed to make it past the group stages. All four are back in action on Saturday morning when East Lothian host Falkirk in an East of Scotland Junior League fixture. On Sunday, East Lothian IBC stage the East of Scotland Junior Pairs and Triples championships, with the action at the Alex Marshall Arena getting underway at 10am.