East Lothian continued to be song in their bid to capture the Scottish Cities and Counties Championship for a seventh time and in match aggregate terms were always calling the tune in a battling 13 shot victory (122-109) over Lanarkshire West in their semi final clash at Broughty BC in Dundee.Read More
Winning performances on the rinks skipped by Scott Kennedy, Brian Young, and John McCrorie kept East Lothian in the driving seat although Glenn Blair was held to a peel and Alister Kennedy and Billy Mellors suffered setbacks. There were two significant influences on the master scoreboard both were clean sweeps and East Lothian was the beneficiary in the shape of a 9-0 registered on end 7 and 10-0 on end 11. The sight of an acceleration into an extended 48-36 match lead entering end 8 and from 62-45 to 72-45 entering end 12 certainly raised the temperature in the East Lothian camp to high levels of expectations that a place in the final was in their grasp.
“I was pleased that the team showed a strong focus on the opening ends that was rewarded by an encouraging lead and although never quite reaching a comfort zone we always played with an air of being in command”, reflected team manager Stewart Johnston. East Lothian entered the match boosted in morale by their inspired win over defending champions Lanarkshire South in the quarterfinals and although no shrinking violets Lanarkshire West represented a bit less of a challenge – on paper. Team captain Scott Kennedy made a dream start in skipping his rink into a 19-4 lead that was instrumental in East Lothian capturing the first seven-end honours, 48-36, after which the team exchanges were hotly contested with ‘the garden county’ edging the second phase, 36-32, then narrowly losing the third, 41-38. Kennedy celebrated twin highs of carding a mighty 5 at end three and a super 6 at end six to lead 16-4 then suitably inspired he skipped Chris Johnston, Mark McCormack, and Jamie Higgins to a 29-15 win over Robert Brown of Blantyre.
Young still had it to do at 13-11 down to Alex Kelly but stormed to a 22-7 victory by skipping Matt Osbourne, Billy Cormack, and Billy Dunleavey to whirlwind finish of 1, 2, 2, 1, (4), 5. McCrorie was also involved in a pressure keg climax at 13-13 with two to play against G Prentice but clinched an 18-13 win by skipping Adam Martin, Jamie Gordon, and Willie Wood MBE to a 3, 2 finish. Blair sent the EL support into raptures with the carding of a magnificent 7 at end 12 to skip Ross Thomson, Dave Whitson, and Tommy Young into a 16-7 lead; but the form wasn’t sustained in a 21-21 peel with Gary Prunty. Kennedy (Alister) lost and early 6 to come against the collar at 9-3 down and went on to suffer a 21-12 defeat from Steven McLaren while Mellors slipped from 19-14 up to a 22-20 defeat from Robert Brown of Eddlewood. Dumfriesshire beat Renfrewshire West, 114-102 in the other semi final.
In Last Night’s Top Ten the results were Craigintinny 5 Vs Slateford 3 Dean 4 Vs Northern 4 (Northern win on shots). Carrick Knowe 8 Vs Tanfield 0 Hillside 4 Vs Summerside 4 (Hillside win on shots) Semi Final’s are Craigintinny Vs Northern at Postal and Carrick Knowe Vs Hillside at Goldenacre both series on 13th August 2pm.