Pulse rates are rising to racing levels down East Lothian way with ‘the garden county’ still living the dream of being able to snatch a place in the playoff final of the indoor bowls premier league.Read more
Aberdeen’s one time six-point lead at the top of the B section is now down to just two with two fixtures remaining to be fulfilled suggesting that if East Lothian continue to produces the goods then an exciting climax is guaranteed, East Lothian’s latest battling 79-71 win at home to Lanarkshire was hard earned but their fifth in a row and it was a massive bonus that Aberdeen showed signs of a wobble in suffering an 88-75 defeat at Ardrossan. “This was a tough encounter against good opponents and we didn’t get things all our own way but a solid team performance was rewarded with the victory we needed to keep the pressure on Aberdeen”, reflected EL captain Mark Johnston. The rink honours were shared two-two but the wins on the home rinks skipped by Billy Mellors and Jamie Higgins more than covered the defeats inflicted on Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver.
Lanarkshire are probably in a false position deep in the relegation zone and the phase scoring reflects the threat they posed to an East Lothian team fired up by the dream of making it to the playoff final.EL opened up a 10 shot lead on the first of the seven-end phases with a 12-5 contribution from Mellors the chief factor in a 32-22 score and Mellors also shored up the second phase with a 7-1 input to the 27-22 edge gained by the home team.EL continued to be hard pressed by the visitors with Lanarkshire finishing the stronger on the third phase to win it 27-20.Mellors emerged the major influence on the outcome of the match as he carded shots at 14 of the 21 ends to skip Ewan Fallen, Calvert Allison, and Dougie Berwick to a 25-13 win over Mark McGowan.The chief highlight coming in the shape of an eight end run that produced 12 shots without reply to accelerate his command of the game from 7-5 after five ends to 19-5 after 14.Higgins and added 1, 3 to skip Mark Johnston, Calum Darling, and Andy Jeffrey into a 12-7 lead over Robert Gordon after 11-ends then answered pressure at 12-11 by battling on to win 20-15.Kennedy shaped up well to skip Lessel Middler, Gary Darling, and Stuart Thomson into a 15-11 lead over John Simpson after 15-ends but was outgunned 9-1 on the run and suffered a 20-16 defeatOliver and his front-three of Gary Muir, Andy Burt, and Graham Robertson opened encouragingly to lead icon figure Robert Grant 11-8 after 10-ends but were crossed 16-11 then from 16-16 slipped to a 23-18 defeat.