East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club world stage figure Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE is in World Bowls Tour action next week when he lines up in the Co-operative Funeralcare sponsored Scottish International Open.
The opening event in the new 2015/16 World Bowls Tour season will be staged on the portable rink at the Dewars Centre in Perth from tomorrow (Saturday) until 14th November. With extensive live television coverage in BBC TV Scotland from Monday (November 9), the event will feature the top 16 players in the world, joined by qualifiers from all over the world.
In the draw just announced record six times world indoor singles champion Marshall faces a first round clash against Israel qualifier Shalom Ben Ami. The clash will be played on Sunday morning at 10am and will be streamed live on www.youtube.com/worldbowlstour.
The early season tale of woes for the East Lothian IBC men’s team continued last Saturday as they suffered their second defeat in three games after suffering an agonising 74-70 setback at Aberdeen in the B section of the Scottish Premier League.
Wins for the rinks skipped by Derek Oliver and Alex Marshall MBE banked a combined plus of 13 shots for the visitors but unfortunately it was not enough to cover the defeat of Billy Mellors and Scott Kennedy. “When a game is balanced on a tightrope and the opposition is strong the outcome is often decided on breaks and at the moment I feel they are not going our way”, reflected team captain Scott Kennedy.
Oliver clocked up his first triumph of the campaign as he skipped Mark Johnston, Stewart Thomson and Graham Robertson to an impressive 25-14 success over Mike Stephen while Marshall and his front three of Malcolm Higgenbotham, Jamie Gordon and Gary Darling picked up from 12-14 to beat Gary Forbes 18-16. Mellors lost 16-12 to Alan McKay while Kennedy suffered a disastrous 28-15 defeat at the hands of Ewan Gallan. Opportunity knocks for the side to bounce back to winning ways tomorrow (Saturday) when the garden county elite have home carpet advantage against newly promoted Abbeyview. Ace skip Alex Marshall is a significant absentee while regular Mark Johnston also misses what is being labelled a must win game for East Lothian. National junior singles semi-finalist Ewan Fallen finally makes his seasonal debut while Andy Burt is recalled to a reshuffled line-up which reads:- M.Higgenbotham, J.Gordon, G.Darling, S.Kennedy skip/capt E.Fallen, A.Burt, G.Robertson, D.Oliver skip J.Mower, M.Wyllie, W.W.Wood MBE, B.Mellors skip A.Jeffrey, G.Blair, S.W.Thomson, J.Higgins skip
The ladies side went head to head with chief promotion rivals West Lothian at the Alex Marshall Arena last Saturday and turned in a highly impressive performance to celebrate a 110-64 victory that pushed them two points clear at the top of the table in Division 1C of the Scottish Ladies League. For the second consecutive week wins on all four rinks – skipped by Emma Logan, Yvonne Veitch, Janet Fairnie and Lauren Baillie – left team manager Sheena Currie purring with delight. “It helps the good feel factor to beat a good and strongly competitive opposition in a comprehensive manner and the challenge we face now it to keep performing to these levels every game”, said Currie.
For the second week running internationalist Logan emerged the top scoring skip and showed inspirational spirit as she piloted Margaret Murray, Jean Russell and Alicia Irvine to a 33-14 win over Jennifer Sneddon. The other rink scores were Yvonne Veitch 28 L.Barrett 19, Janet Fairnie 25 J.Brown 14, Lauren Baillie 24 A.Clark 17. The side is back in action tomorrow when they travel to Bathgate and face a testing clash against Balbardie. The absence of top skip Emma Logan is a blow but team manager Sheena Currie is consoled by the return of a decent replacement in the shape of Irene Gray while Rosemary Mackintosh makes her seasonal debut at the expense of Irene Combe. The line-up reads:- D.Rowan, P.Turner, N.McNeil, Y.Veitch skip M.Murray, J.Russell, A.Irvine, I.Gray skip M.Kivlin, M.Hamilton, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip
A.Barclay, R.Mackintosh, G.Mackintosh, L.Baillie skip
Meanwhile its good luck to the East Lothian contingent of Emma Logan, Yvonne Veitch, Lauren Baillie, Dee Hoggan and Gillian Mackintosh on Sunday as they participate in the first of two international selection squad days being arranged by Scotland ladies selectors at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline.
The ultra-talented senior side made it four wins out of five to stay clear of the field in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League having performed up to the mark to score an impressive 78-62 away win over West Lothian. Wins for the rinks skipped by Willie Wood MBE (+18) and Peter Laidlaw (+8) more than covered the defeats of Alastair Russell (-4) and Tom Young (-6) to leave the garden county ‘auld yins’ two points clear of the chasing pack at the top of the section. The side had no fixture on Wednesday but will return to action this coming Wednesday (November 11) when they play host to struggling Borders outfit Teviotdale. The playdown action in the national senior tournaments continues on Sunday with all the remaining representatives in action at West Lothian IBC in Livingston. Alastair Russell competes in the singles and his second round opponent is Robert McIvor of Balbardie and they take to the carpet at 10am. In the pairs action the strong looking partnership of Jim Robertson and Willie Wood MBE carry the local’s hopes and face a second round test also from Balbardie in the shape of David McQueen and Eddie Caulfield and they also play on the 10am session. Meanwhile the national senior fours playdown action took centre stage last Sunday and the East Lothian contingent of Lessel Middler, Jim Robertson, Peter Laidlaw and Tom Young were in action at Bainfield IBC in Edinburgh. They opened with a hard fought 13-11 prelim round win over Alloa but then met their match in a 14-12 first round proper defeat from Falkirk.
The youth side launch their campaign in the East of Scotland Junior League tomorrow (Saturday) morning and face a tough away game at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline. Youth convenor Peter Fallen has the unusual luxury of being able to call upon in the main the same squad of players from last season and he will be hopeful his team will be on the bus over River Forth in great heart to face a testing challenge.
On the domestic front at East Lothian IBC it’s congratulations to Andrew Jeffrey, Willie Wood MBE, Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors after they clinched the Gents Scottish Fours title for a second successive year following a thrilling 21-17 win over Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson, Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver in the final played on Monday evening. The strong looking four will now go forward and represent the local banner in the national playdown action which will be staged on weekend of 21/22 November at East Fife IBC.