East Lothian hopes of celebrating title glory in the national finals climax to the indoor bowls Scottish Championships played at Falkirk were threefold; but these dreams were dashed by disappointing semi final exits in the Gents Pairs, the Ladies Fours, and the Gents Under 21 SinglesRead More
In terms of ranking expectations the ‘garden county’ spotlight focused on the exciting partnership of internationalists Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver as five star challengers as they had been course and distance title winners in 2013. A semi final confrontation against Jim Meikle and Iain McLean of Blantyre represented a tough assignment so the optimism in the East Lothian camp was fuelled by a strong performance that delivered a battling 24-16 victory.
It was a real test of nerve when Higgins and Oliver faced the prospect of a developing disaster at 11-4 down after 10-ends, but carding a mighty five at the next end showed there was fire in the East Lothian bellies. Then having conceded a single to stand 12-9 down Oliver and his lead fired up their challenge with a sizzling run of 2, 1,4 that saw them hit the front at 16-12, however the melting pot was well and truly stirred with the loss of 1, 1, 2 that squared the game at 16-16. The deadlock set the scene for a dramatic finish and it came in grandstand style by the East Lothian partnership that delivered a run of 2, 4, 2 that powered them into the final. The outcome in the final looked promising in the early stages for East Lothian with a 9-2 lead after six ends established over Colin Smith and Andy Furye of Arbroath however the partnership that had edged out Craig Lindsay and Paul Foster MBE, 18-17, in their semi were no spent force.
Arbroath rallied with a run of 1, 3, 1, (1), 1, 4, 2 that crossed them into a 14-10 lead and propelled them to the title with a 21-16 victory.
Play in the Ladies Fours saw the EL rink of Dee Hoggan, Mags Thomson, Yvonne Veitch, and Janet Fairnie lead 9-4 after seven ends of their semi final against Turriff; but suffer a 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 5, 1, 1 collapse to trail 17-9 then lose 18-14. Auchinleck had defeated East Kilbride, 24-19, in their semi final and their rink skipped by Claire Johnston stormed to a 26-7 triumph over Turriff in a one sided final.
The task of teenager Calum Darling in the Under 21 Singles was a daunting one against the 2015 national Under 25 Junior Singles champion John Fleming from Inverclyde and glimpses of good form couldn’t prevent a 21-11 exit. Fleming confirmed his rising star status with a 21-8 win over Jason Banks of Garioch in the final.
Bainfield dreams of carrying the Edinburgh banner to title glory in the national finals of the indoor bowls Scottish Championships played at Falkirk were dashed in nightmare fashion with a heavy defeat in the semi finals stage of the gents Triples.
The prospects on paper looked favourable for the talented trio of Josh Spalding, Daniel Gormley, and John McDermott; but the Under 30 stars from the Hutchison Crossway Stadium failed to shine in a 21-7 defeat from Auchinleck. It was too early for the writing to come on the wall at 6-0 down after four ends but the signs were more significantly there at 11-4 down entering end 10 then the roof did cave in at 12-7 with Gary Johnstone skipping his triple to a 4, 2, 1, 2 finish. The final against Turriff was a hard fought affair with all to play for at 10-10 after 11-ends and the result went right down to the wire with Graham Alexander, George Barclay, and Connor Milne edging a 15-14 win over Derek Ferguson, Craig Johnston, and Johnstone.