East Lothian won the Matt Purdie Trophy at Haddington on Monday following a five shot win over holders West Lothian in a game played on an excellent surface.
East Lothian started the game well and led 29-10 after 5 ends. East Lothian held onto this double digit lead and at 10 ends were leading 56-39. East Lothian have had a reputation for poor finishes to games this season and this combined with some strong West Lothian play seen the gap close right down to four shots at the penultimate end, however, the Garden County Auld Yins has enough fight to hold onto the lead and win 73-68 to capture the Matt Purdue for a third time. Ali Russell’s rink were the heroes of the day with a huge 33-7 win over Ronnie Erskine which was backed up by a 14-9 win for Tommy Young’s rink. These results more than made up for the reverses suffered by George Cowan (11-18 v Gary Smith), Keith Fender (7-15 v Gordon Logan) and Andy Burt who lost 8-19 to George Sneddon. The winning team was as follows: M Newlands, D Kennedy, A Valentine & G Cowan (Skip) P Fallen, D Pryde, G Smith & T Young K Boyd, B Scott, D Whitson & K Fender Hamilton, D Hogg, D Arnott & A Russell J Murray, T Rattray, W Franklin & A Burt Reserves: R Strang, I Veitch, B Brunton & A Jamieson
The race for the East Coast Carpets League One title came to a conclusion last Friday and the champagne corks were once again popping at Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club for a third consecutive year. The leaders went into their home game against Prestongrange knowing four points would most likely be suffice due to their superior shots difference and they delivered the title with a 6-2 home win. The scoreline was closer than the final result suggests and Prestongrange came within a couple of late deliveries of turning the result into a 5-3 win for them which would have resulted in Haddington winning the league following their 8-0 win against Dunbar. Following East Linton defeating Elphinstone 8-0 in a re-arranged game earlier in the week they were safe and Winton went into their final fixture know that full points were required to survive in the league, however, the result against Elphinstone went the opposite way with the 8-0 defeat meaning Winton were sent down along with Dunbar. Other scores were Castlepark 6 East Linton 2 and Tranent 4 EL Co-op 4.
In Division Two there was a lot to play for as mathematically Ormiston, West Barns and Aberlady could all still win the league. It however, transpired that Ormiston defeated Haddington A 6-2 to mean only West Barns could catch them if they defeated Aberlady 8-0, however the points were shared meaning Ormiston won the league. West Barns were jubilant though as the four points they won meant they joined Ormiston in the top division next season. Relegation was settled with Haddington A down and Longniddry requiring two points to avoid the drop which they achieved in a 6-2 loss to East Linton A meaning the Labour Club fall to Division Three whilst other scores on the night were Macmerry 2 Port Seton 6 and EL Co-op A 8 EL Labour Club 0.
Division Three’s promotion issues had been resolved as Tranent A and Prestongrange A were both promoted with Tranent leading Prestongrange by three points going into the last fixtures and with both winning 6-2 Tranent A were crowned champions. Relegation wise Haddington B were already down and the final spot was between Castlepark A on 46 points, Dunbar A on 47 and Athelstaneford also on 46 points. Castlepark A won 8-0 to avoid relegation whilst Dunbar A were defeated 7-1 at home to Co’path and Athelstaneford lost 6-2 at Prestongrange to mean that Athelstaneford were down due to an inferior shots difference.
In Division Four one game remains and Stenton now lead Prestongrange B by seven points and know that two points in their final fixture at home to Ormiston A will see them crowned champions. Prestongrange B know they are also promoted to Division Three, however they will look to capitalise on any slip up from Stenton with maximum points at home to EL Co-op B.
The new League Cup competitions drew to a conclusion on Saturday with four finals days played across the county. It was the league champions Port Seton who triumphed in the League One Cup at Gifford having defeated East Linton in the semi-final and Castlepark in the final. Castlepark defeated Haddington in the other semi-final. The final was a cracking affair with the lead changing hands on a couple of occasions before the game came down to the last bowl with Port Seton one up overall and lying the shot on the final rink. Castlepark skip George Thomson played a running bowl which hit its target perfectly and lay the shot momentarily before falling over and resulting in Port Seton still holding the one shot required. In the Division Two League Cup promotion winners West Barns were crowned the winners following play at Prestongrange where they defeated EL Co-op A in the final following semi-final wins for West Barns over Ormiston and El Co-op A over Longniddry.
Division Three League Cup winners at East Linton were Tranent A who defeated Prestongrange A in the final after they had both defeated North Berwick and Cockburnspath respectively in their semi-finals. To cap of an excellent weekend for Port Seton their A team captured the Division Four League Cup at Elphinstone by defeating Aberlady A in the final. Port Seton defeated Ormiston A in the semi-finals whilst Aberlady A defeated Prestongrange C.
The Champion of Champions gets underway next month and several championships have been decided with Brian Burnside defeating Sam Gray 21-15 at Prestongrange while Scott Kennedy defeated Jamie Gordon 21-20 in a cracker at Port Seton. Scottish Champion Gordon White is again the Aberlady champion giving him a chance to defend his national title following his final victory over Stuart Robison. Grant Thomson defeated Graham Bell 21-14 to capture the East Linton title, Dean Riva was the 21-18 victor over Adam Osbourne at EL Co-op and Gary Henderson scooped the Longniddry championship following a 21-12 win over David Wyllie. Colin Glen is Elphinstone champion following a 21-10 success over Mark Riding, John Holmes Jnr defeated Graham Dickson 2-16 to win the EL Labour Club championship and Dan Rowley was the 21-14 winner over Dick Veitch at Ormiston.
The County finals take place this Saturday at Elphinstone. Due to recent poor weather several quarter finals were due to take place on Monday and Tuesday nights of this week, followed by the semi-finals on Wednesday. A full report of results will appear in the column next week.
The Garden County Young Guns were in action last Sunday when they had two comprehensive victories over Midlothian (+24) and Edinburgh (+16) at Craigentinny to move forward to the national finals of the Andy Houston trophy at Blacklands, Kilwinning on Sunday 1st September where they will face West Lothian, for the title. Anyone interested in a seat on the bus travelling through to support the youngsters should contact convenor Stuart Thomson.
County Young Gun Kieran Dodds was due to represent Scotland in the Under 18s Tri-Nations event taking place in Belfast on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
The following team has been selected to represent East Lothian in the Under 25 Calder Cup round robin format against Dumbartonshire, West Lothian and Ayrshire at Sighthill on Sunday 25th August: Pairs: Kieran Simants & Declan French Triples: Danny Stevenson, Reece Cochrane & Dean Riva Fours: Kieran Dodds, Chris Brock, Calum Darling & Joe Mower
The Gifford Senior Open Triples sponsored by Tillicoultry Quarries, A Dagg (Plant Hire) Ltd and Gifford Garage takes place on Wednesday 28th August and the following is the draw: 9.30am – J McLeod, J Kerr, C Kennedy, Dirleton 2, E Denholm, J Carpenter, T Taylor, P Fallen, I Gibson, T Bradshaw, J Bain, B Brownlee 10.30am – Dirleton 1, M McLeod, J Stevenson, W W Wood, J Stephen, Bellsburn 1, J Forbes, B Donaldson, T Kerr, E Bell, R Skea, Bellsburn 2.