East Lothian IBC men’s side have reached the halfway stage of their Scottish Premier League campaign and with five wins from six, the defending champions sit top of the table in the B section and two points ahead of chief challengers West Lothian.Read More
Having lost away to Elgin in their previous fixture the stars from the garden county re-found their cutting edge in front of their own support to inflict 10 shot misery (78-68) on a struggling Paisley team that were losing for the fifth time in six games.
“It was nip and tuck for most of the game but we finished the match strongly to earn a victory that was hard earned and delighted to end 2017 on a winning note”, reflected team captain Dougie Berwick.
East Lothian entered the match without the services of influential figures Derek Oliver, Scott Kennedy and Jamie Higgins but they managed to overcome that loss of skill to good effect with winning performances on two of the four rinks. Billy Mellors produced the major headline performance at the Alex Marshall Arena with a spectacular contribution from the Scotland cap supported by a narrow win on the rink skipped by Alex Marshall MBE. The wins from Mellors and Marshall combined to a shot margin bank of 19 that dwarfed the narrow losses suffered by Joe Mower and Graham Robertson.
The ladies side continue to fly high in their quest to capture the top of the table honours in the East Premier Division of the Scottish Ladies League and having hit the heights again to make it a magnificent six wins out of six and remain two points ahead of chief rivals Midlothian going into the festive break.
The sparkling stars from the garden county are over the moon that their latest success, a tough away clash against East Fife at Methil, resulted in a battling 9 shot victory (83-74) having produced a strong team performance to win on three of their four rinks. “Delighted to end the year still undefeated and I’ve told the players to enjoy their festive break and come back in the New Year to finish the job they’ve started”, said a delighted team manager Gordon Pryde.
Team captain Lauren Baillie emerged the inspirational leader of the East Lothian pack with the outdoor Scotland cap skipping Jackie McFarlane, Arlene Berwick and Gillian Mackintosh to a 27-14 triumph against Donna Comrie. Margaret Murray, Melissa Penman, Megan Kivlin and stand in skip Dee Hoggan won 22-19 and Beth Riva, Jean Russell, MargaretThomson and Janet Fairnie completed the win with a 21-17 victory. Yvonne Veitch and her rink of Margaret Devine, Cathy Ward and Nancy McNeil were always against the collar in a 24-13 defeat.
Meanwhile the senior side have yet to shake off the challenge of Bainfield in the race to finish top of the table in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League, but the aging stars from the garden county continued in fine form last Wednesday at home to West Lothian. The leaders of the pack were notching up their seventh win from eight games with wins on the rinks skipped by Willie Wood MBE (+16), Tommy Young (+14) and Dougie Berwick (+5) propelling the home side to a sizeable 76-46 victory the only setback being a narrow five shot defeat for Alastair Russell. The team were back in action on Wednesday when they travelled to Bathgate to tackle Balbardie.
The national indoor bowls calendar this weekend is devoted to the playdown action of the gents and ladies national triples. The multi-talented trio of Andrew Jeffrey, Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors carry local hopes in the gent’s discipline at Bainfield IBC in Edinburgh and they launch their qualifying challenge against Whiteinch in the preliminary round at 9.30am. The local challenge in the ladies action, also at Bainfield IBC, is also very strong in the shape of Emma Logan, Margaret Thomson and Yvonne Veitch and they enter the qualifying fray on the 2pm session with a first-round clash against either West Lothian or Headwell.
Newly appointed Scotland Gents Team Manager Alex Marshall MBE looks to have selected a very strong side for the upcoming British Isles series at Paisley IBC in March. The strong East Lothian contingent of Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver, Scott Kennedy and Marshall have been selected in the starting line-up whilst Jamie Higgins has been selected as reserve. Mark Johnston was involved in last Sunday’s trial match but failed to make the final line-up. Marshall will add to his 78 caps to remain the third capped Scottish player of all time behind fellow garden county legends Willie Wood MBE (93) and Graham Robertson (87). Mellors will wear the captain’s armband as he celebrates reaching the magnificent milestone of 50 caps during the pending series. Oliver will add to his 27 caps, Kennedy will stretch his tally of 51 caps while Higgins currently has 12 caps with surely more to come.
Meanwhile the ladies Under 25 side has also been announced and its huge congratulations to Megan Kivlin on being named in the side that will represent Scotland in the British Isles Under 25 international series at Nottingham on weekend of 10/11 February. Fellow garden county teammate Beth Riva was also involved in last Sunday’s trial match at East Fife IBC but unfortunately, she failed to make final line-up.
On Sunday, the East Lothian young contingent of Aaron Betts, Robbie Buchanan, Robbie Shields and Lewis Betts head to Falkirk IBC to compete in the SYIBA Fours Championships.