Lessel Middler and Willie Wood MBE have brought further national title glory East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club with the excitingly talented pairing capturing the Scottish Senior Pairs crown with two magnificent performances in the showpiece climax to the Scottish Senior Championships played at Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith last weekendRead More
The strong support from the garden county had hoped to cheer a double title celebration however; the Triples team of Billy Higgins, Alastair Russell and Tommy Young were unable to deliver goods in the semi-final. East Lothian faced Buchan in the semi-final of the Pairs and after 10 ends completed Middler and Wood held a slender 8-7 lead over Edwin Riddell and Raymond Brown. The next two ends heralded a mighty five that was followed by a double as the East Lothian pairing took complete control of proceedings and ran out comfortable 18-10 winners. The final pitched East Lothian against the West of Scotland pairing of Eddie Mellon and Robert Pye who had scored an impressive 19-9 win over Inverclyde in their semi-final. After 12 action packed ends completed Middler and Wood trailed 11-9 but the game was turned on its head on the next end when Wood played a brilliant bowl to trail the jack to a cluster of East Lothian bowls that in the end was rewarded with a magnificent 5 shots. The next three ends saw East Lothian score a further 4 shots without reply to establish 18-11 supremacy and although dropping a single on the last end they were operating in a comfort zone and triggered the victory salute with an 18-12 triumph.
“We are both over the moon and it feels absolutely brilliant to win our first national title in the seniors”, reflected a jubilant Willie Wood afterwards.
Meanwhile the triple of Billy Higgins, Alastair Russell and Tommy Young looked in total control of their semi-final clash against Bert Smith, Doug Copland and Willie Taylor when leading 8-5 after 9 of the 15 regulation ends completed. However, things then started going disastrously against them as they dropped nine shots without reply on the final six ends and eventually lost 14-8.
The super youth side from East Lothian IBC celebrated a double title success last weekend when they retained both the East of Scotland Junior League and the SYIBA Top Ten. On Saturday morning, they played host to league title rivals Alloa and all twelve garden county players produced a fine performance and celebrated a magnificent 7-0 point’s win that was good enough to retain the title. They will receive the league championship trophy from league officials this coming Saturday at Abbeyview IBC as they host the East of Scotland Top 6 tournament. On Sunday, all roads led to Glasgow IBC for the climax to the SYIBA Top Ten and East Lothian booked their place in the final with victory over Turriff in their semi-final clash. The final pitched them against old adversaries Alloa and for the second time in 24 hours, it was the garden county who came out on top again thanks to triumphs in the singles, pairs and fours. “Well done to all the youngsters it was brilliant performances on both days from every single player participating”, said a delighted team convenor Peter Fallen.
The ladies side pulled off the result of all results in their second-round clash against high profile neighbours, Midlothian, in the Scottish Cup tie played at Falkirk IBC last Saturday. The garden county went into the clash against opposition that finished behind them in the recently completed East Premier Division; but on their day Midlothian are formidable opponents and had captured Cup honours as recently as 2015.
“I don’t think our wildest dreams conjured up a 10-0 points victory as the team knew we had to be on our A game form to compete with our strong neighbours, so I am chuffed to bits that we rose to that challenge and were worthy winners”, said team manager Gordon Pryde. The side will aim to keep their super-charged run going with a place in the semi-final at stake when they face East Fife in Saturday’s head to head at Dunfermline venue Headwell IBC. The team news from the garden county is that they welcome back a top star in Janet Fairnie to the exclusion of Cathy Ward while Pat Turner replaces the unavailable Arlene Berwick. The team reads:- M.Murray, K.Hoggan, M.Kivlin, E.Logan skip B.Riva, M.Devine, J.Fairnie, Y.Veitch skip M.Penman, J.Russell, M.Thomson, D.Hoggan skip J.McFarlane, P.Turner, Le.Baillie, La.Baillie skip/capt
Meanwhile the men’s side made heart-thumping progress into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup with the stars from the Alex Marshall Arena surviving a dramatic tension filled climax to beat Falkirk in their quarterfinal clash at Headwell IBC. An epic encounter from start to finish saw the premier league rivals trade punch and counterpunch in dynamic fashion in a battle royal that went into an extra end climax after the points were shared 5-5. East Lothian triggered the victory salute when they won the extra end shots total, 4-2.
“What a great game to be involved in with players from both teams giving everything from the opening end and we had to work our socks off to eventually get the win”, commented team captain Dougie Berwick. Opposition in the semi-final at Falkirk IBC on Saturday is a challenging one when they line-up against newly crowned Premier Division champions Blantyre. Already missing the services of top stars in the shape of Alex Marshall MBE and Derek Oliver the task in hand is made even harder with captain Dougie Berwick along with fellow regulars Lewis Betts and Ewan Fallen all being unavailable. There is no lack of replacements thirsting to be part of the Cup fever gripping the players from The Alex Marshall Arena so opportunity knocks for experienced campaigners Lessel Middler and Andy Burt along with Jamie Gordon in a slightly recast line-up that reads: – M.Yuill, A.Burt, M.Johnston, G.Robertson skip L.Middler, K.Cunningham, J.Higgins, J.Mower skip A.Betts, D.Sked, S.W.Thomson, S.Kennedy skip A.Jeffrey, J.Gordon, D.Riva, B.Mellors skip
Fired up by an excellent win for Willie Wood MBE the seniors brigade from East Lothian IBC defeated Ardrossan 6-4 on points in a thrilling climax to their semi-final of their Scottish Cup tie played at Whiteinch IBC, Glasgow, last Wednesday. Wood skipped Billy Higgins, George Gray and David McGill from 8-1 down to a 23-11 victory that was then supported by a crucial 15-12 win from Alistair Russell who tipped the scales with a magic count of 3 on his final end. Ardrossan dealt 21-16 and 19-12 defeats to Dougie Berwick and Tom Young respectively. They will now bid for a fourth national cup triumph when they lined up against Lanarkshire in the final played at Headwell IBC in Dunfermline on Wednesday.
The qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Plumbing and Electrical Services of Dunbar, continued at the Alex Marshall Arena last Wednesday with Perth enjoyed a 6-2 success over Berwickshire while the other match featuring Midlothian and Tweedbank ended in a 4-4 draw. Meanwhile, due to East Lothian’s continued participation in the Scottish Cup resulted in their final section A qualifying fixture against Bainfield being brought forward and played last Friday. The garden county went into the clash requiring a big win to qualify for the knockout stages and they duly delivered inflicting 8-0 pain on their Edinburgh rivals. The qualifying action in section B was due to come to an exciting climax on Wednesday with three of the four teams still in with a chance of qualification. Tweedbank and Midlothian are joint leaders on 16 points with West Lothian close behind on 15 points. The final fixtures pitched Tweedbank against West Lothian while Midlothian tackled foot of the table Headwell.