East Lothian faced a testing home challenge to rivals West Fife at Haddington Bowling Club last Saturday in their third match of the Scottish Counties Championship for the coveted Andrew Hamilton Trophy, but the seven times champions came through with flying colours to win, 144-112.Read More
The visitors finished with the upper hand over the East Lothian rinks skipped by John McCrorie, Brian Young and team captain Billy Mellors, but the points were secured for the garden county by triumphs for Malcolm Higgenbotham, Scott Kennedy and Alex Marshall MBE. “Even this early in the campaign we felt this was a must win fixture for us so I asked the team for a big performance and in delivering I was impressed by their sense of focus and strong will to win”, commented team manager Stewart Johnston.
Former Scotland cap Higgenbotham claimed top honours and the sweepstake money as he skipped Calum Darling, Gordon Pryde and Joe Mower to a whopping 34-13 win over Robert McFarlane. Kennedy and his front three of Chris Johnston, Marc McCormack and Gordon White registered a 28-19 triumph over Kenny Bald while world stage icon figure Marshall skipped Dean Riva, Matt Osborne and Graham Dodds to a 23-17 success over Craig Watson. McCrorie and his front three of Ross Thomson, John Carpenter Jnr and Stephen Cochrane slipped to 27-26 defeat from Davie Junor while Steven White, Steven Mackie, Billy Dunleavey and Young lost 18-17 to Jim Maguire. Mellors and his rink of Stewart Thomson, Adam Martin and Tommy Young were mostly against the collar and went on to lose 18-16 to Paul Brown.
The side is back in action on Saturday and again have home green advantage when they tackle archrivals Edinburgh & Leith at Cockenzie & Port Seton BC (2pm). Team manager Stewart Johnston has had to make no fewer than five enforced changes, as ace figures Alex Marshall MBE and Scott Kennedy are both unavailable while the trio of Chris Johnston, Steven Mackie and Joe Mower are also absentees. Haddington star Glenn Blair makes a welcome return while there are seasonal debuts for Davie Whitson (Tranent), Craig McLeod (Winton), David Sked (Gifford) and Steven Morgan (Cockenzie & Port Seton). The team reads:- D.Riva (Giff), M.Osborne (Tra), G.Dodds (ELCO), G.Blair (Hadd) skip R.Thomson (ELCO), J.Carpenter Jnr (Athe), S.Cochrane (ELCO), J.McCrorie (Tra) skip C.Darling (Hadd), D.Whitson (Tra), G.Pryde (ELCO), M.Higgenbotham (Hadd) skip S.W.Thomson (Hadd), A.Martin (Tra), D.Sked (Giff), B.Mellors (Hadd) skip/capt M.McCormack (Win), C.McLeod (Win), G.White (Aber), S.Morgan (C&PS) skip S.White (ELCO),T.Young (Dun), B.Dunleavey (Aber), B.Young (ELCO) skip Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stewart Johnston immediately on 07939 700720. All players requested to report directly at Cockenzie & Port Seton BC by no later than 1.20pm.
The Under 25 brigade of East Lothian paid the ultimate price of campaign failure for a lack lustre away performance against Fife at Kennoway BC that saw them suffer a shock and damaging single shot defeat (121-120) in their final East section match in the Scottish Under 25 League Cup. The stakes were extremely high for the garden county as a win would have propelled them to the top of the table and put extra pressure on Edinburgh & Leith to win their final match this coming Sunday. It was Fife though that produced a lion hearted team effort and playing with the spirit of seemingly having a tiger in their tanks a long-suffering support cheered a victory that was richly deserved. Winning performances were served up on the East Lothian rinks skipped by Sam Gray (+20), Joe Mower (+12) and Ross Thomson (+8) but Declan French (-3), Reece Cochrane (-14) and captain Glenn Blair (-23) all suffered the pain of defeat.
East Lothian champions East Linton Bowling Club hopes of national title glory in the The Dechmont Forklift Trucks (Broxburn) sponsored Inter County Top Ten Championship were ended on home green terrority by Argyll & Bute champions Campbelltown BC in last Sunday’s quarter-final action.
Steven Kerr skipped George Cowan Jnr, Terry Sawangsuk, and Mike Newlands to a fine triumph in the Fours but that was to be the only bit of good news for East Linton as defeats in the Singles, Pairs and Triples proved decisive and it was the far travelled visiting side that progressed through to the semi-finals with a convincing 6-2 point’s victory.
Its congratulations to Lauren Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and Dee Hoggan (Tranent) after both were named in the Bowls Scotland Ladies Senior International side that will participate in the British Isles Home International series, which this year is being staged at Llandrindod Wells BC in Wales on June 18-20.
Also, congratulations to the Haddington Bowling Club pairing of Caitlin Thorburn and Andy Burt after they won the Bowls Scotland District Mixed Pairs title and now go forward to represent East Lothian in the national finals at Ayr Northfield in late July. The duo defeated the EL-Coop partnership of Megan Kivlin and Gareth Lusk 19-17 in the East Lothian district final staged at Gifford BC on Monday evening.
The Haddington dander is up and after a dwadling start, the defending Division 1 champions of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Bowling Leagues have flashed a positive signal that they are mounting a serious challenge for title number three. Last Friday night’s 6-2 win away to Castlepark is of significance as it represents a strong form-line against a team that are particularly challenging to beat on their local turf. Tranent based side EL-Coop are also going great guns and look serious title contenders and top the table on shots aggregate but they would have hoped for a better outcome than the 4-4 scoreline at home against West Barns. The road to the title does have a long way to go but this early it is shaping up as a three-horse race with Cockenzie & Port Seton very much in the picture some four points adrift of the top two following their 6-2 away success at Aberlady. East Linton continue to stoke up their battles to sit safely in the middle zone of the table with a good 6-2 win at home against Tranent while Dunbar inflicted 6-2 damage on foot of the table strugglers Gifford.
EL-Coop face a tough away visit to Cockenzie & Port Seton in Friday night’s seventh round of fixtures in Division 1. Haddington have home advantage when they entertain East Linton; West Barns make the short trip to Dunbar while Castlepark play host to Aberlady. Tranent will seek a point’s uplift at home to foot of the table Gifford.
All club secretaries are requested to ensure that all league and cup results, including shots aggregate score, are phoned into ELBA Match Secretary Keith Fender on 01620 860217 or via text message 07786 110416 immediately after each match.
East Lothian senior convenor John P Hamilton has announced that the trial match for the forthcoming Inter-County Senior League Cup campaign for the Matt Purdie Trophy is being staged at EL-Coop BC in Tranent on Monday June 19. All players nominated by their respective club are requested to report at EL-Coop for 11.30am. If any nominated player is not able to attend, please contact John on 07974648401 or email email@example.com. All players who have a team polo shirt from last year are requested to bring it with them on the day of trial match.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club are staging an Open Triples tournament on Saturday June 10 and entries are now being accepted by contacting Brian Bissett on 07903 541373.
Finally, officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club will remain open during the summer months from 10am to 3pm daily (including weekends).