Scottish Cup indoor bowls title glory is now just one more win away for the gents of East Lothian with the star studded team from ‘the garden county’ emerging from their semi final battle against neighbour rivals Midlothian with a 16 shot victory (84-68).Read More
The clash of the premier league giants at Stirling was expected to be intensely fought with emotions always running high in such head to head confrontations; but the match temperature never reached boiling point with East Lothian always in command after hitting the double figure lead of 10 shots on the eighth end.
“I thought the East Lothian front-ends put us under constant pressure and with strong back-ends supporting them there is no doubt that the best team won on the day”, reflected Midlothian team manger Frank Gray. The supremacy of East Lothian was confirmed by wins on the rinks skipped by Billy Mellors, Graham Robertson, and Derek Oliver; but Midlothian did spill some blood with David Peacock getting the best of fellow gold medal hero Alex “Tattie” Marshall.
Billed as ‘the final before the final’ it was Midlothian that made the slightly stronger start to lead 14-10 after three ends but East Lothian breezed into the picture with a 19-10 reply over the next four to capture the first seven-end phase, 29-24. It became evident that the East Lothian tail was up with counts of 6-1, 6-1, 5-6, 4-1, and 7-1, 3-4, and 6-0 powering them into a 28 shot lead, and a 37-14 dominance of the second phase. With the master scoreboard reflecting a major uphill battle facing Midlothian (66-38) it forced the warriors from the Dalkeith stadium to attempt more and more adventurous shots – some paid of some didn’t and although credibly outgunning their rivals 30-18 on the third phase, it wasn’t enough.
“I think the major turning point in the match came early doors with our rink skipped by Graham Robertson carding 20 shots without reply to lead Colin Walker 20-7 after eleven ends”, said a spokesman for EL. Robertson – Scotland’s second most capped player with his tally standing at 87 to the 93 of clubmate Willie Wood MBE – went on to lead 25-8 before skipping Andy Jeffrey, Glenn Blair, and Stewart W Thomson to a 27-20 win over Andy Caldwell, Sandy Knight, Kevin McDougall, and Walker.
Mellors stole the show though for EL with the former Edinburgh IBC star skipping Les Middler, Willie Wood MBE, and Joe Mower from 10-10 to a 23-12 win over Colin Cook, Neil Linton, Colin Macfarlane, and Billy Peacock.
Oliver led from start to finish as he skipped Mal Higgenbotham, Gary Darling, and Ewan Fallen to a battling 20-14 win over Ian Forbes, Drew Pearson, Lindsay Plenderleith, and Danny McDougall. Marshall and his front-three of Mark Johnston, Andy Burt, and Jamie Higgins stood 14-14 before losing 22-14 to a 1, 5, 2 finish from Jamie Macnab, Craig Hodge, Scott Briggs, and David Peacock.