Reigning Scottish Pairs Champions Jim Bonner and Brian Young were the hero figures that helped Tranent capture the East Lothian Jubilee Cup with a shot margin victory over Cockenzie & Port Seton in the final played at East Linton..
The final was a hard fought affair with the points shared 4-4 but wins in the Pairs and Fours combined to give ‘The Belters’ a handsome 16 shot superiority over their ‘seasiders’ opposition. Etching the Tranent name on The Jubilee Cup comes with the exciting bonus of representing the East Lothian Banner in the 2016 Scottish Inter County Top Ten Tournament – a title won by Cockenzie & Port Seton in 2007. “It’s great to end the outdoor season on the high of being crowned the East Lothian Top Ten Champions and to do so at the expense of formidable opposition enhances the value of our team performance on the day”, said a spokesman for Tranent.
The final started extremely well for Cockenzie & Port Seton with Scotland star Derek Oliver conjuring up his range of magic skills in spectacular style to crush Tranent icon figure John McCrorie, 21-7, in the Singles. It’s a margin of victory that normally inspires a team to on and win the match but in this case the only winning support in the shape of 16-13 win for Jamie Gordon, Steven Thomson, and Craig Valentine over Alex Cormack, Davie Whitson, and Jamie Higgins in the Triples wasn’t good enough.
The game changing result was stolen from Oliver in the Singles by Tranent Royalty in the shape of Bonner and Young who served up a brilliant master-class display that overwhelmed Ronnie Branley and Steven Morgan, 33-6. Their 27 shot contribution to the shot-margin bank became the dominant factor in the destination of the title and a 20-14 triumph in the Fours over Tommy Thomson, Gordon Bailiie, John Gearty, and Colin Leishman triggered the Tranent celebrations. The title clinching performance being served up by the rink of Kevin Cunningham, Davie Sands, Kevin Jones, and Mathew Osborne.
The climax to the ever popular Weslo Housing sponsored WLBA Seniors Open was a highly entertaining affair in front of a decent sized crowd at Glenmavis (Bathgate), and a memorable one with finalists Stuart Smith and Norrie Alexander both playing under the Ratho banner. Smith captured the coveted crown with a strong performance to beat Alexander, 21-16, in 23-ends and became the first player from Ratho to etch his name on the silverware. Alexander had come into the final on the impressive high of storming to a formbook upsetting 21-8 win over 2012 champion Gordon Scott of Armadale in a quick 15 ends having carded 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, to lead the former mainstream star, 13-4. Smith had been harder pressed in his semi final against John Collins of Middleton Hall having faced pressure at 12-11 but responding with a burst of 1, 1, 1, 2 to stretch into a 17-12 lead then clinch a 21-12 victory in 24-ends.
The final saw Smith steal a march on his club colleague to lead 11-4 after eight ends then being tested at 12-9 produced a timely answer of 3, (1), 1, 1 (2) 1 to stand in full sight of the title at 18-12; but it was five ends later before a single on the 23rd triggered the victory salute. Smith had emerged The Champion from a starting field of 96 and summed up his feelings by saying, “It’s a special feeling to etch your name on a trophy for posterity and to achieve it from an Open Field enhances the feeling of achievement”.