East Lothian made if four wins out of four in the East section of the Scottish Counties Championship as they produced a strong team performance with wins on four of their six rinks powering them to a convincing 27 shot victory (140-113) over local rivals Midlothian at West Barns BC last Saturday.Read More
Wins were posted on the rinks skipped by Brian Young, John McCrorie, Billy Mellors and Glenn Blair but Colin McFarlane and Craig Hodge of Midlothian did manage to inflict the pain of defeats on Stephen Cochrane and team captain Scott Kennedy. “In our pre-match team talk it was drummed into the players that getting a positive result against Midlothian could be key to us grabbing one of the two qualifying places so I was absolutely delighted that the players responded by producing their best performance of the season against a very useful side”, said a delighted team manager Stewart Johnston.
Current national pair’s titleholder Young was in exciting form and emerged East Lothian’s top performer to skip Matt Osborne, Billy Cormack and Billy Dunleavey to a 27-12 win over Ramsay Blair. McCrorie skipped Gordon White, Jamie Gordon and Stevie Greenan to an excellent 30-17 triumph over Stuart Roseburgh while Mellors produced a grandstand finish to skip Adam Martin, Dougie Berwick and Craig Valentine to a 25-14 win over former world stage star David Peacock. Blair and his front three of Chris Johnston, Marc McCormack and Reece Cochrane finished 2, 1 to clinch a 23-19 win over Scott Briggs. Cochrane and his rink of Ross Thomson, Davie Whitson and Joe Mower looked in all sorts of trouble at 12-0 down but produced a spirited fightback before slipping to a 23-21 defeat from Colin McFarlane while Kennedy and his front-three of Stewart Thomson, Craig McLeod and Willie Wood MBE suffered a 28-14 setback against Craig Hodge. Elsewhere in the East section both West Lothian and Borders kept tabs on the leaders with excellent home wins over Edinburgh & Leith and Fife respectively. With the four rounds of fixtures played East Lothian continue to top the section with 8 points with West Lothian and Borders both on the 6-point mark.
The side faces a stiff task on Saturday when they head west to tackle West Lothian at Kirkliston BC and will be without the services of the Cockenzie & Port Seton pairing of Craig Valentine and Jamie Gordon. Team manager Stewart Johnston is very hopeful that Gifford icon figure Alex Marshall MBE will be able to play despite only arriving back into the UK from Australia late Friday evening while Alister Kennedy of Haddington is a returnee. The line-up reads: – R.Thomson (ELCO), D.Whitson (Tra), J.Mower (Hadd), S.Cochrane (ELCO) skip C.Johnston (Orm), M.McCormack (Win), G.Blair (Hadd), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip G.White (Aber), R.Cochrane (P/G), S.Greenan (P/G), J.McCrorie (Tra) skip M.Osborne (Tra), B.Cormack (Mac), B.Dunleavey (Aber), B.Young (Tra) skip S.Thomson (Hadd), C.McLeod (Win), W.W.Wood MBE (Gif), A.Marshall MBE (Gif) skip A.Martin (Tra), D.Berwick (Gif), A.Kennedy (Hadd), B.Mellors (Hadd) skip Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stewart Johnston immediately on 07939 700720. All players are to report at Kirkliston BC by no later than 1.15pm and the team manager has requested that players travel share and anyone taking a car will be reimbursed petrol expenses.
The East Lothian duo of Alex Marshall MBE of Gifford and Cockenzie and Port Seton’s Lauren Baillie has been part of a Bowls Scotland High Performance squad that headed out to the Gold Coast to face Australia in a test series. Two of the biggest bowls nations went head to head at the Broadbeach Bowls Club earlier this week with 10 females and 10 males from each country participating in the 3-day test series.
Meanwhile its congratulations to the East Lothian trio of Billy Mellors (Haddington), Scott Kennedy (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and Brian Young (Tranent) after all received the news they have been included in the Bowls Scotland Senior International Team that heads to Llandrindod Wells BC in Wales in early July for the British Isles Home International series.
The Under 25 brigade of East Lothian hopes of landing the Scottish Cup has come to grief in the first round stage of the relatively new national tournament. The garden county young guns were hopeful of a good cup run but despite making a bold effort of it failed to get on top of their Stirlingshire counterparts and suffered a frustrating 76-67 defeat at Polton BC last Sunday. “The team put up a great effort but we just didn’t get the breaks we needed them when chasing the game at the end”, reflected co team manager Stevie Greenan. The rink honours were shared 2-2 but the shots aggregate scales were tipped in favour of Stirlingshire by the defeats sustained by Reece Cochrane (-3) and team captain Glenn Blair (-17). The good wins on the rinks skipped by Steven White (+7) and Gordon White (+4) unfortunately paled into insignificance.
The side returns to Scottish League Cup action on Sunday when they face Fife County at EL-Coop BC in Tranent in the final round of fixtures in the East section. A home win is necessary for the garden county youngsters then they must hope local rivals Midlothian can do them a massive favour by inflicting the pain of defeat on leaders Edinburgh & Leith. The following side has been announced: – L.Gallagher (W/B), Dean French (Elph), M.McWilliams (Hadd), G.White (Aber) skip S.Mackie (ELCO), J.Robertson (Tra), R.Thomson (ELCO), K.Frame (C/P) skip C.Brock (Hadd), D.Young (ELCO), C.Darling (Giff), R.Cochrane (P/G) skip S.Clark (P/G), R.French (Elph), J.Ferguson (Long), G.Blair (Hadd) skip/capt L.Newlands (Ath), S.Johnston (Orm), S.Gray (C/P), S.White (ELCO) skip D.Riva (Giff), K.Yule (P/G), Dec French (Elph), J.Mower (Hadd) skip Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stevie Greenan immediately on 07712 277681. All players requested to report at EL-Coop BC by no later than 1.30pm.
The Bowls Scotland District qualifiers for East Lothian reach their conclusion this coming Monday evening from 7pm. The venue for finals night was to be decided later this week following the conclusion of Wednesday night’s semi-final action.
The top of the table clash between 2014 champions Haddington and titleholders Tranent was a cracking affair that saw the visitors move four points clear in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues following a 6-2 win. Brian Young and Jamie Higgins were the hero figures for the ‘belters’ as they skipped their rinks to victories. The home side clinched their only victory on the rink skipped by Glenn Blair who inflicted two shot pain on John McCrorie. EL-Coop leapfrogged Cockenzie & Port Seton into third place following their hard fought 5-3 home win over the seasiders. The outcome on all three rinks was close calls and it was single shot margin (38-37) that earned the bonus two points for EL-Coop. Castlepark have enjoyed a stop start to the campaign but they captured the headline news with an 8-0 demolition of Gifford. Gifford entered last Friday night’s seventh round of fixtures in fifth place and with home green advantage confidently expected a result that sustained the pressure on those above them. “We are still trying to work out what went wrong but the simple explanation is that Castlepark fought like tigers and savaged us with an extra-ordinary away performance”, said a spokesman for Gifford. Prestongrange won 6-2 at home to West Barns while Elphinstone and East Linton drew 4-4.
In Friday night’s Division 1 action, leaders Tranent entertain third placed and neighbours EL-Coop at Polson Park in the first and eagerly awaited Tranent derby of the campaign. Haddington will hope to bounce straight back to winning ways when visit a struggling West Barns side. Cockenzie & Port are at home to foot of the table Elphinstone and East Linton to Gifford while there is a small matter of a Prestonpans derby clash when Castlepark play host to Prestongrange.
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.
East Lothian senior convenor Andy Burt 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 27. All players nominated by their respective club are requested to report at Haddington for 9.30am.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club are staging an Open Triples tournament on Saturday 18 June and entries are now being accepted by contacting Brian Bissett on 07903 541373.
You can now keep up-to-date with all that is happening on the outdoor bowling scene in the garden county by following the website by East Lothian Bowling Association. All bowlers are urged to view by clicking on www.eastlothianbowls.com
Finally, officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club will continue to remain open during the summer months. The opening hours during this period will be 10am-3pm.