East Lothian Senior brigade have fired themselves back into the front-line of the race to finish in the top two places of the Inter-County Senior League Cup for the Matt Purdie Trophy thanks to an impressive home win over West Fife at a wet and dreary West Barns BC on Monday.
The pre-season hype suggested that West Fife would feature prominently in the highly competitive East section and would pose a serious threat to an East Lothian team still licking their wounds after a shock opening week defeat at home to Edinburgh & Leith.
The rain interrupted match didn’t reach epic proportions but the garden county ‘auld yins’ seemed to cope better with the wet conditions and surged to a 21 shot victory (63-42). A double figure triumph on the rink skipped by Alex Jamieson (+17) were supported by single digits for the rinks skipped by George Cowan (+4) and Tommy Young (+2). The rink skipped by Alan Morgan failed to achieve supremacy over their respective opposition however the margin of defeat was slight and cause no cause for alarming concern.
“The minor changes I made to the team from last week worked well and I was delighted with the level of performance we produced against a very good West Fife side”, said team manager Andy Burt. The side faces another major confrontation on Monday when they tackle West Lothian at East Calder BC and team manager Andy Burt has decided to stay loyal with the side that performed well against West Fife. The team reads:- B.Scott (Mac), S.Delaney (Hadd), D.Kennedy (W/B), G.Cowan (E/L) skip K.Morgan (C&PS), W.Fotheringham (Long), R.Strang (Elph), T.Young (Dun) skip B.Brunton (Dun), J.P.Hamilton (W/B), G.Smith (ELCO), A.Jamieson (C&PS) skip D.Hogg (ELCO), P.Fallen (Elph), G.Blyth (ELLC), A.Morgan (C&PS) skip Reserves pool: – G.Gray (ELLC), T.Morrison (Dun), J.Smith (ELLC), J.Holmes (ELLC), K.Boyd (ELCO)
All players are requested to report at East Calder BC by no later than 11.15am. Any player selected who is unable to play or unsure of travel arrangements is requested to contact Andy Burt immediately on 07783 323079.
West Barns are the defending champions of the national Top 5 title and the champagne corks were popping in their clubhouse again last Sunday evening after they yet again served up a strong display to win the ELBA Top 5 singles for a remarkable third successive year and now have the opportunity to defend their national title. For the second year running Prestongrange played the bridesmaid role with West Barns claiming a 3-2 win in a highly competitive final played at Polson Park in Tranent. Calum Gordon, Scott Thorburn and Scott Kennedy were the hero figures for the ‘Barns’ as they registered wins over Michael Greenan, Stevie Greenan and Michael Baillie to spark the title celebrations. Prestongrange did inflict some damage on West Barns with Reece Cochrane and Ross Marwick claiming triumphs against Alister Kennedy and Kevin Thomson.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to keep our amazing run in the Top 10 and Top 5 tournaments going in East Lothian and to have won this tournament (Top 5) for three years running is a fantastic achievement for our wee village club”, said a delighted team captain Scott Kennedy.
West Barns now go forward and represent East Lothian in the national event where a quarter-final away clash against West Lothian champions Linlithgow awaits on a date in August that is still to be confirmed.
Tranent didn’t manage to fire on all three cylinders but last Friday night’s 6-2 away win at relegation zoned Castlepark A was good enough for them to keep their six point lead at the top of Division 1 intact in the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues. Nearest challengers Haddington kept their ambitions of retaining the coveted title very much alive and kicking following an excellent 6-2 win at home against EL-Coop. Castlepark moved into third place after a tremendous 6-2 away win at West Barns while East Linton’s 6-2 home win over Cockenzie & Port Seton and Gifford’s 8-0 win at home against foot of the table Dunbar moves both well clear of the relegation zone. In Division 2 Tranent A delivered an awesome 8-0 away win at foot of the table Cockenzie & Port Seton A to join long time leaders Prestongrange at the top of the table on the 62 point mark. Prestongrange recorded a hard fought 6-2 away win at Longniddry and with a clash of the top two on the immediate horizon the destination of the title will be further influenced by that outcome and with six games to play third and fourth placed Aberlady and Elphinstone could still force themselves into the picture.
In tonight’s (Friday) action all eyes will be on Polson Park as it stages the match of the season when leaders Tranent play host to chief rivals Haddington. The home side go into tonight’s confrontation with an unchanged line-up while the visitors enter the lion’s den fixture without the services of regular star Gary McNab but new short term signings Alex Hurry and Joe Mower are expected to make their debuts. Castlepark will look to keep their recent good run of results going when they entertain Gifford while there is middle of the table clashes with EL-Coop hosting Cockenzie & Port Seton and West Barns at home to East Linton. Dunbar at home to Castlepark A is a deep relegation zone clash and a win for the visitors will leave a few clubs looking over their shoulders.
Just a reminder that 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.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club is staging an Open Pairs tournament on Saturday 25 July and entries should be submitted to Brian Bisset on 07903 541373.
Meanwhile Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club are also staging an Open Pairs tournament on Saturday 15th August with a high class field expected to challenge for the lucrative £400+ prize fund on offer in the Belhaven Brewery sponsored event. The tournament is a round robin event and entries are now being accepted and can be obtained by contacting club match secretary Steven Morgan on 01875 810481.
Draw for Tranent Bowling Club Open Pairs at Polson Park tomorrow (Saturday) is as follows:- 10am J.Higgins, M.Hoggan, K.Hoggan, B.Kerr, G.Duncan, K.Cunningham, B.McKeown, R.Thomson, S.Mackie, P.McKeown, S.Fairgrieve, J.Bonner 11am C.Leishman, J.Henderson, G.Hogg, J.McCrorie, C.Allison, K.Jones, A.Cormack,
G.Watson, S.Whitson, G.Fairgrieve