East Lothian suffered a second damaging blow to their qualifying prospects in the East section of the Scottish Counties Championship with the former seven-time champions crashing to a shock 5 shot defeat (121-116) from Stirling County East at EL-Coop BC in Tranent last Saturday.Read More
The garden county finds themselves four points adrift of joint leaders West Lothian and Edinburgh & Leith so dropping down the table with a tough run in including big matches against West Lothian and Midlothian. EL-Coop has been a happy hunting ground for East Lothian over the years, but it was not to be this time around with three of the home rinks failing to achieve supremacy over their immediate opposition. The combined defeat of the rinks skipped by Steven Mackie (-10), Scott Kennedy (-6) and team captain Malcolm Higgenbotham (-3) proved too much to be covered by the wins delivered by Brian Young (+11), Colin Glen (+2) and Billy Mellors (+1). “We are still trying to work out what went wrong but the simple explanation is that Stirling County East fought like tigers and savaged us with an extra-ordinary away performance”, said a dejected team captain Malcolm Higgenbotham.
The side faces an away fixture on Saturday against foot of the table Fife County at Strathmiglo BC and they will be fighting to keep their ailing qualifying hopes alive against a side still searching for their first win of the campaign. The selectors have had to make several enforced changes for the must win fixture. The Cockenzie & Port duo of Craig Valentine and Jamie Gordon make seasonal debuts while Tommy Young and Steven Morgan are recalls. The enforced call-offs include the international pairing of Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors along with Marc McCormack and Craig McLeod. The team reads:- C.Dick (Hadd), G.Pryde (ELCO), B.Dunleavy (Aber), B.Young (ELCO) skip C.Johnston (Win), T.Young (Dun), D.Sked (Hadd), C.Valentine (C&PS) skip D.Young (ELCO), J.Gordon (C&PS), D.Riva (ELCO), S.Mackie (ELCO) skip K.Cunningham (Tra), D.Whitson (Tra), G.White (Aber), C.Glen (Elph) skip M.Greenan (C&PS), S.Anderson (Dun), S.Thomson (Hadd), M.Higgenbotham (Hadd) skip A.Burt (Hadd), G.Baillie (C&PS), J.Blair (Hadd), S.Morgan (C&PS) skip
Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team captain Malcolm Higgenbothan immediately on 07761 101438. Players report at Strathmiglo BC by no later than 1.20pm. Any player unsure of organised travel arrangements should also contact Malcolm.
Meanwhile the East Lothian Under 25 side hope of finishing this season’s qualifying play in the Scottish Under 25 League Cup on a positive note failed to materialise as they suffered a shock 28 shot setback (137-109) against Fife County on home soil at Castlepark BC last Sunday. It seems incredible that a four-shot win for Reece Cochrane was the only win registered by the home team but that was the case with rinks skipped by Kieran Simants (-21), Declan French (-2), Ross Thomson (-5) and Joe Mower (-4) all suffering defeat. The rink skipped by Calum Darling drew 16-16. “We started the game in a very lack lustre fashion and if truth be told it never really got any better”, reflected a disappointed team manager Gordon Pryde afterwards. “Overall been a very disappointing league campaign but I’m confident the players will put that right when the Scottish Cup starts in a few week’s time”.
Its congratulations to Lauren Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and Dee Hoggan (Tranent) after both were named in the Bowls Scotland Ladies Senior International side that will participate in the British Isles Home International series, which this year is being staged at Belmont BC in Belfast on June 17-19.
Also, congratulations to the Castlepark Bowling Club pairing of Margaret Thomson and Jamie Frame after they won the Bowls Scotland District Mixed Pairs title and now go forward to represent East Lothian in the national finals at Ayr Northfield in late July. The duo defeated the Cockenzie & Port Seton partnership of Jamie Higgins and Lauren Baillie 19-9 in the East Lothian district final staged at Prestongrange BC on Monday evening.
Week 6 of 18 in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues resulted in significant changes to the pecking order including new leaders in the shape of twice champions Haddington hitting the front and early leaders Cockenzie & Port Seton dropping back to second. Last Friday night’s action saw Haddington score a commanding 7-1 victory over Tranent at home and moved them three points clear of defending champions Cockenzie & Port Seton who suffered a 6-2 defeat at fellow title contenders EL-Coop. The result for EL-Coop saw them remain in third place but cut the deficit on second place to just one point and only four off top spot. After such a positive start to the campaign the wheels have well and truly come off for previously high flying Elphinstone after they succumbed to a second successive 8-0 defeat – this time at home against Dunbar. After a dawdling start, Castlepark flashed another positive signal and moved into the top half of the table following their 6-2 win at home against West Barns. Division 2 champions Haddington A celebrated their first win in the top flight after recording a much-needed 6-2 away win at East Linton. Haddington face a tough away visit to Elphinstone in Friday night’s seventh round of fixtures in Division 1. Cockenzie & Port Seton have home advantage when they entertain Tranent while EL-Coop faces an away assignment at foot of the table Haddington A. Elsewhere Dunbar hosts Castlepark while West Barns are at home against East Linton.
All club secretaries are requested to ensure that all league and cup results, including shots aggregate score, are phoned into ELBA Match Secretary Keith Fender on 01620 860217 or via text message 07786 110416 immediately after each match.
Newly appointed East Lothian senior convenor Tommy Young has announced that the trial match for the forthcoming Inter-County Senior League Cup campaign for the Matt Purdie Trophy is being staged at Haddington BC on Monday June 18. All players nominated by their respective club are requested to report at Haddington for 9.50am.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club are staging an Open Triples tournament on Saturday June 16 and entries are now being accepted by contacting Brian Bissett on 07903 541373.
Draw for Tranent Bowling Club Gala Day Open Pairs at Polson Park on Sunday is as follows: –
10am K.Whitson, G.Duncan, J.Clydesdale, R.Thomson, E.Armstrong, A.Martin, S.Whitson,
11am A.Reid, M.Robertson, S.Hazzard, J.Williams, M.Martin, K.Jones, J.Henderson, P.Watson
12 noon G.Hogg, P.Watson
Officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club is open daily over the summer months from 10am-4pm. For more information contact the clubs catering staff on 01875-614166 then dial extension 303. If coaching required contact Development Officer Billy Mellors on 07930 716073 to arrange a suitable day and time for a lesson.