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 Welsh qualifier Robert Chisholm in Monday night’s first round action at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.Read More
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 13-1. 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 13-1, 6-4. Marshall’s second round opponent came in the shape of Englishman Les Gillett with the clash being staged today (Thursday) at 2.30pm. Marshall’s hopes of winning the World Indoor Mixed Pairs title for a third time were thwarted when he and partner Katy Smith lost out in straight sets in the quarter-finals to the England/Scotland pairing of Nick Brett and Claire Johnstone.
Meanwhile, Marshall’s garden county teammate Joe Mower heads to Potters Leisure Resort on Saturday to start the defence of his World Indoor Under 25 Singles crown. The Welshman, who now resides in Haddington, will tackle Martin Pucket of England in the semi-final at approximately 11am while the other last four clash features Australian qualifier Ellan Ryan against Scotland’s Jason Banks. The final will be stage later 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
East Lothian IBC men’s side booked their place in the playoff final for the coveted Scottish Premier League title with a commanding 50 shot victory (104-54) over Balbardie in the penultimate fixture of the B section at the Alex Marshall Arena last Saturday.
One win in their two remaining games was all that was required by the garden county and they done it at the first time of asking and will now tackle either Blantyre or Falkirk in the final that will be staged at Turiff IBC on Saturday February 25. “Another great performance against a team battling to avoid relegation. It was especially pleasing to have four winning rinks for a fifth time in the campaign. I would like to put on record my thanks to the 21 players that have both played and travelled as reserves supporting the team during this league season. We have a good mixture of youth and experience and our reward is that East Lothian now have another Scottish Final to look forward to”, said team captain Graham Robertson.
Wins on all four rinks, skipped by Joe Mower, Derek Oliver, Graham Robertson and Scott Kennedy, made it a great all round effort from a team missing the services of icon figures Alex Marshall MBE and Billy Mellors.
Scotland cap Derek Oliver and his rink of Ross Thomson, Stewart Thomson and Jamie Higgins emerged as the main contributors as they coasted to a 31-12 victory over Walter McDougall. Stand in skip Mower came closest to snatching the sweepstake honours from Oliver as he skipped fellow young guns Calum Darling, Lewis Betts and Glenn Blair to an exciting 31-14 triumph against Sandy McDougall. Robertson asserted an 8-1 authority at both ends of his game against Ewan Shearer to skip Mark Johnston, Andy Burt and Willie Wood MBE to a 23-10 victory. Kennedy made steady headway to skip Andrew Jeffrey, Dean Riva and Dougie Berwick into a 15-10 lead after 15 ends then stayed on strongly to deliver a 19-17 win over Stuart Orr. The side rounded off their section play last Sunday when they made the trip to Wishaw to tackle Lanarkshire. Several key players were unavailable for the rearranged fixture so it was no surprise when the home side came out on top with an 83-72 victory. The home side inflicted defeats on the rinks skipped by Willie Wood (-17), Scott Kennedy (-10) and Jamie Higgins (-9). The only positive outcome for the visitors was another tremendous performance on the young rink skipped by Joe Mower as they ran out winners by 25 shots. The next competitive fixture for East Lothian is on Saturday February 11 when they tackle Fraserburgh in the first round proper of the Scottish Cup.
The ladies side received a walkover in their final match in the qualifying action in the East Premier Division of the Scottish Ladies League last Saturday after Bathgate based Balbardie could not manage to field a team. The garden county finished up in a very creditable runners-up position behind runaway section winners Midlothian. The ladies next competitive action is on Saturday February 18 when they enter the Scottish Cup fray where an eagerly anticipated first round clash with arch rivals Midlothian awaits.
The senior side ambitions of retaining the Scottish Senior League title were left in tatters as they crashed to a surprise 11 shot defeat (71-60) at the hands of East Fife in last Wednesday’s quarter-final action at West Lothian IBC in Livingston. “It was a close match throughout but as the game hit the 15 of the 17 ends we had assembled a three-shot lead and we looked on course for victory. Unfortunately, East Fife raised their game and totally dominated the final two ends and counted 15 shots to our one and emerged winners”, reflected team convenor John P Hamilton.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Tommy Young (+6) and Willie Wood MBE (+2) unfortunately paled into insignificance for the garden county ‘auld yins’ as they were not enough to cover the pain of defeat sustained by Alastair Russell (-5) and Peter Laidlaw (-14). The side will have the chance to gain revenge on East Fife as they have been drawn to play them again in the opening round of the Scottish Senior Cup at Headwell IBC on Wednesday February 1. Meanwhile, the qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, continued at the Alex Marshall Arena last Wednesday and there was 6-2 points wins for both Headwell and West Lothian against Perth and Tweedbank respectively. The action continued Wednesday when Bainfield were back in action against Teviotdale while the other clash featured Midlothian against Berwickshire.
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 tremendous 5-2 point’s win over Edinburgh rivals Bainfield. On Saturday, several youth’s head to Alloa to participate in the SYIBA playdown action. Cameron Shaw and Lewis Betts fly the local banner in the pairs event while Megan Kivlin, David Young and Craig Mackintosh go for title glory in the triples.
East Lothian IBC is set to welcome a galaxy of top stars to the Alex Marshall Arena on Sunday February 19 with Glasgow 2014 gold medal heroes Alex Marshall MBE and Darren Burnett heading up a great Who’s Who of national indoor bowling giants. Other big name players competing in the inaugural Pro-Am Triples event include former World Indoor Singles champion Stewart Anderson, Midlothian stars Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker, host club internationalists Derek Oliver, Jamie Higgins and Scott Kennedy along with garden county legend Willie Wood MBE. “The shape and make-up of the competing triples suggests that we can look forward to cracking days bowling and for us all at East Lothian IBC it is an exciting prospect”, said tournament organiser Billy Mellors. The tournament is kindly being sponsored by Medical Professional and Johnston Fuels.
Tranent Bowling Club have announced that their AGM will be staged on Sunday February 12 at 2pm in their Polson Park clubhouse. All members are requested to attend meeting.