The men’s side from East Lothian IBC indifferent form during another disappointing Scottish Premier League campaign is being well and truly consigned to the past with the stars of the Meadowmill stadium currently engaged in tremendous Scottish Cup run that has taken them into tomorrow’s (Saturday) final at Paisley IBC.
Their latest success saw then engaged in an epic semi-final battle against next door neighbours Midlothian at West Lothian IBC with the garden county team emerging with a thrilling 79-68 victory and they remain on course to become the first side to win the title for a record extending seventh time. Wins on the rinks skipped by Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver plus a peel for Billy Mellors secured the match triumph for a garden county team that was denied a fourth success by Scott Kennedy being edged out by an in form Colin Walker. Higgins is in fine form these days and the Scotland cap skipped captain Mark Johnston, Calum Darling and Stewart Thomson to a 27-20 victory over Ronnie Duncan that proved to worth its weight in gold. Support for Higgins and Co came from Oliver who made a strong start to skip Ewan Fallen, John Robertson and Graham Robertson into a 14-5 lead and although the following four ends all resulted in blanks Oliver contained his losses to 5 and went on to record a 16-10 win over Billy Peacock. Mellors and his rink of Andrew Jeffrey, Andy Burt and Dougie Berwick were against the collar at two shots down with three ends to play but made a valuable contribution to the cause with a stirring fightback to grab a peel against Davie Peacock. Kennedy and his rink of Lessel Middler, Brian Galloway and Willie Wood MBE were edged out 18-16, in a thrilling encounter, by Walker. The final has all the makings of being a corker as East Lothian face up to fellow premier league giants West Lothian in a high noon showdown at Paisley IBC. No team news for the final had been released from East Lothian HQ at the time of this report going to press but it was expected that experienced campaigner Gary Darling would return to the garden county line-up. The club is running a coach to the final and there are a limited number of seats still remaining for any supporters wishing to travel and support the team. The coach is scheduled to depart Meadowmill stadium at 9.30am and anyone interested is requested to contact club secretary Scott Kennedy on 01875 614166 for further information.
Recently crowned national singles champion Billy Mellors jets out to Jersey next week to represent Scotland in the 2015 WIBC World Championships. Mellors will compete in the gent’s singles championship and has been drawn in Group C along with Damain Doubler (Wales), Scott Baxter (Jersey) and Stephen Coleman (Ireland). He was also be involved in the Mixed Pairs event and teams up with fellow Scot Lesley Doig.
Finals week at East Lothian IBC got underway on Monday evening and will reach its peak tonight (Friday) with a huge night of action as the finals of the gents and ladies championship singles down for decision at 6.30pm. The main spotlight will be on defending champion Billy Mellors and junior internationalist Ewan Fallen as they contest the gent’s final. Mellors is hoping to join an elite band of players to make a successful defence of the title and he booked his place in the final with a convincing 21-11 win over Andy Burt in the semi-final action while Fallen ended the hopes of John Robertson with a 21-14 triumph. The ladies final is a repeat of last year between current title holder Dee Hoggan and 2013 champion Janet Fairnie. In their semi-finals Hoggan ended the title ambitions of Scotland Under 18 cap Megan Kivlin with a 21-12 victory while Fairnie recorded a hard fought 21-16 win over Arlene Berwick. Two other finals will also be contested tonight and features the Division 1 playoff decider between Dougie Berwick and Mark McWilliams or Willie Wood MBE along with the gent’s two bowl pairs final as current title holders Andrew Jeffrey and Scott Kennedy clash with former national champions Mark Johnston and Willie Wood MBE. On Sunday evening at 6pm, Tranent tackle outdoor champions Haddington in the final of the East Coast Carpets sponsored Top Club tournament.
In finals played on Monday evening Haddington beat the Pans People to be crowned Saturday Morning Triples champions. Margaret Murray and Rosemary Mackintosh beat Cathy McLeod and Cathy Jones by 4 shots in the Ladies Senior Pairs final while the strong triple of Lessel Middler, Peter Laidlaw and Tommy Young edged a 11-10 extra end thriller against Willie Sinclair, Jim Neilson and Alastair Russell to capture the Gents Senior Triples title. Emma Brown won the Ladies Junior Singles title for a third time but was made to fight all the way before securing a 21-15 win over Megan Kivlin.
East Lothian hopes of bridging a 21 year gap by winning the Headwell Mixed Team Championship ended in failure after they were convincingly beaten by Perth in the final played last Sunday. John McCrorie skipped his gent’s rink to a good win but that was the only bright note for the garden county side as the senior, ladies and mixed rinks all suffered heavy defeats.
The climax to the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeral & Monumental Services, took centre stage at Meadowmill stadium on Wednesday with the final being an all East Lothian affair and being contested between the A and B sides. In last Wednesday’s semi-final action East Lothian A beat off the challenge of Falkirk while East Lothian B registered a tremendous 6-2 win over Midlothian.
The youth side had no joy at the East Fife Top Ten tournament last Saturday as they failed to progress from their qualifying section.
The AGM at East Lothian IBC is being staged on Tuesday (April 15) evening from 7pm. President Peter Fallen is hoping for a large turnout from his members.
Finally, Gifford Bowling & Sports Club stages their opening of the green on Sunday from 2pm. New members are welcomed along.