Members of Haddington Bowling Club are in celebration mode having signed off their season of competition in the East Lothian Bowling Leagues with a hard fought 47-33 shots victory over Division 4 champions Cockburnspath in the final of the ELBA Courier Cup played at Macmerry BC last Saturday.
Haddington went into the end of season tournament having already been crowned champions of Division 1 so were fired up by a strong ambition of etching their name on the prestigious trophy for a remarkable fourth time in seven years.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Angus Blair and Glenn Blair tipped the match scales in Haddington’s favour and covered the defeat sustained on the rink skipped by Jamie Blair.
“Winning the Division 1 title for the first time was a dream occasion for the club and now it is great that our team of twelve have added the Courier Cup to win two major honours in the ELBA”, said team captain Angus Blair.
The rink skipped by former world stage star Blair and compromising Stewart Thomson, Craig Bell and Brian Hunter produced an awesome display that set the Haddington support alight with a 24-7 win over David Watt. A strong second half saw Craig Dick, Charlie Sobolewski, Gordon Hunter and Glenn Blair register a 15-11 win over Willie Reid. Jamie Blair and his rink of Graeme Wilson, Chris Brock and Billy Dunleavey were always chasing shadows in a 15-8 defeat from Stewart Blyth.
The Courier Cup is a knockout tournament featuring all the evening league champions and the semi-final action saw Haddington easily beat their Division 2 counterparts Castlepark, 47-25, while Cockburnspath defeated Division 3 challengers East Lothian Labour, 43-41, in a thrilling encounter.
Meanwhile the champagne corks were popping in the EL-Coop clubhouse last Thursday evening after their senior brigade won the ELBA John McDonald League Cup for the first time with a convincing victory over Aberlady in the final played at North Berwick BC.
East Linton ace Grant Thomson was last weekend part of a Scotland Under 25 side that had to settle for runners-up spot in the Junior Home International series at Belmont Bowling Club in Belfast. The young Scots, who only managed one win against Wales last year and finished with the wooden spoon, made sweeping changes to their 24-player team this time round but once again failed to dent auld enemy England’s confidence, this time crashing 152-100 in their opening match in the series. They regrouped in their second match and bounced back against Wales 130-97 and despite registering a narrow 126-121 win over hosts Ireland in their final match it was England who retained the title, completing the series unbeaten after wrapping up a 129-110 victory against Wales to equal the Scots record of eight series wins since the championship began in 1992. Thomson played third in a rink skipped by Ryan Burnett and registered a healthy win over Wales but suffered two narrow defeats against England and Ireland respectively.
A large number of bowlers from around the county will descend on Haddington Bowling Club tomorrow (Saturday) as they are giving the honour of hosting the East Lothian Leagues Presentation of Prizes day following them winning the Division 1 title. Representatives from a number of clubs along with ELBA officials and delegates from league sponsors East Coast Carpets will be in attendance and the special day of proceedings will get underway at around 1.30pm.
Turning attention to the now up and running indoor bowling season and officials at East Lothian IBC have announced that the action in Division’s 1 & 2 of the Evening Leagues will get underway next Friday (September 26) evening. The club is also still accepting entries for the Evening Mixed Fours League. All domestic fixtures can now be viewed on the club’s website by clicking on www.elibc.co.uk. The ladies side at East Lothian IBC will step up preparations for their forthcoming Scottish League campaign on Sunday at 1pm with a practice match against the talented youth side. Any youth player wishing to play is requested to contact Peter Fallen or put name up on youth notice board. Finally membership fees must be paid by 30th September; prices are £58 for full membership, £30 for Junior and £5 for Youth.