East Lothian continue to be the dominant force in the East section of the Scottish Counties Championship as they stretched their unbeaten run to five games but they hard to fight all the way to grab a sensational 115-115 draw against arch rivals West Lothian at Kirkliston BC last Saturday.Read More
“We were mostly against the collar but showed unbelievable fighting spirit on the last few ends to grab unlikely draw and we now know one more victory in our two remaining games will see us through to the knockout stages”, said team manager Stewart Johnston.
East Lothian suffered setbacks on the rinks skipped by John McCrorie (-2) and Alex Marshall MBE (-12) but the dark cloud had four silver linings with wins for Stephen Cochrane, Scott Kennedy, Brian Young and Billy Mellors. Cochrane was the top performer and collected the sweepstake money as he skipped Ross Thomson, Davie Whitson and Joe Mower to a 19-14 win over Andrew Dunnett. Captain Kennedy led from start to finish as he skipped Chris Johnston, Marc McCormack and Glenn Blair to a 22-18 win over fellow cap Grant Logan. Young and his front three of Matt Osborne, Billy Cormack and Billy Dunleavey made it five out five wins with their latest success a 24-21 triumph over Sandy McDougall. Mellors produced a strong finish as he skipped Adam Martin, Dougie Berwick and Alister Kennedy to an 18-16 win over Steven Fleming. Elsewhere in the East section, Borders came out on top against West Fife 124-118 while Midlothian remained in the frame with a hard fought win against Edinburgh & Leith. With only two fixtures remaining East Lothian continue to top section with 9 points but Borders are now only a single point adrift while West Lothian are two points off the pace.
Therefore, everything is set up for a mouth-watering clash on Saturday when East Lothian face up to nearest East section challengers Borders at Prestongrange BC. Team manager Stewart Johnston is dealt a number of serious blows with the news he will be without the services of Alex Marshall MBE, Willie Wood MBE, Alister Kennedy and Stephen Cochrane. The Cockenzie & Port Seton duo of Craig Valentine and Jamie Gordon along with Prestongrange’s Reece Cochrane are returnees while there is seasonal debut for Tranent star Jamie Higgins. The recast line-up reads:- R.Thomson (ELCO), D.Whitson (Tra), T.Young (Dun), G.Blair (Hadd) skip C.Johnston (Orm), M.McCormack (Win), J.Higgins (Tra), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip R.Cochrane (P/G), J.Gordon (C&PS), 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), G.White (Aber), C.Valentine (C&PS) skip A.Martin (Tra), D.Berwick (Gif), J.Mower (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 Prestongrange BC by no later than 1.30pm.
The junior brigade of East Lothian bowlers was in rampant form yet again at EL-Coop BC last Sunday with Fife County their latest victims as the garden county “young yins” romped to a sensational 75 shot victory in their final qualifying match in the East section of the Scottish Under 25 League Cup. “We finished with 6 points plus a cracking shot margin back of plus 198 and now lead the section but we need Midlothian to do us a massive favour and beat Edinburgh & Leith so we will have everything crossed on Sunday”, said team manager Stevie Greennan. The overall contribution to the final 162-97 match score reflects a magnificent team performance with the only setback for Joe Mower (-3) a small blot on the copybook but excellent wins for the rinks skipped by Reece Cochrane (+20), Steven White (+20), Glenn Blair (+15) and Gordon White (+13) easily carried the day while Kieran Frame drew.
The father-in-law and son-in-law partnership of Jim Bonner and Brian Young will carry the East Lothian banner into the national finals stage of the Bowls Scotland Championships at Ayr Northfield next month having successfully defended their pairs crown in the District Finals played at Gifford BC on Monday evening. The Tranent duo will now get the opportunity to defend their national crown after booking their place at the sports theatre of dreams again following a hard fought 16-13 win over the East Linton partnership of George Cowan and Graham Bell.
There was also a successful title defence in the Triples as the EL-Coop trio of Craig Cochrane, Duncan Hogg and Gordon Pryde booked their place at Ayr for the second consecutive year. They looked set to sink at 10-7 down but they created a winning wave of 2, 1, 1 that capsized the Aberlady stars Brian Galloway, Colin Penman and Billy Dunleavey.
The final of the singles featured two top players in the shape of Derek Oliver (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and Billy Cormack (Macmerry); but the expected cracker failed to ignite with 32-year-old Oliver dominating the scoring to win 21-9 in 18 ends.
The final of the Junior Singles was last chance saloon scenario for 25-year-old Gordon White of Aberlady and that seem to inspire him to a 21-18 win over Haddington’s Glenn Blair. Haddington looked to be on course for victory at 8-0 up in the Fours but
Cockenzie & Port Seton’s Tommy Thomson, Gordon Baillie, Steven Thomson and Craig Valentine stormed to a 15-12 victory with a great finish against Colin Dick, Andy Burt, Derek Logan and Ian Bell. Dunbar prevailed in the Senior Fours with Bobby Brunton skipping John McKellar, Tom Morrison and Jim Murray to a convincing 16-4 victory over Haddington while David Arnott of EL-Coop captured the Senior Singles after dominating from start to finish to inflict 21-7 pain on Andy Burt of Haddington.
Congratulations to East Lothian icon figure Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE and partner Paul Foster on adding another title to their already impressive CV when they landed the Broadbeach Blue Diamond Pairs and claimed the $4,000 first prize. The tournament brought the curtain on the Bowls Scotland High Performance Squad test series against Australia .
EL-Coop enjoy an occasional flirt with the headline news coming out the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues and the Tranent based Division 1 club have captured their first of the 2016 campaign with an 8-0 demolition of titleholders Tranent. The defending champions entered last Friday night’s eighth round of fixtures as leaders and with home green advantage against their nearby neighbours confidently expected a result that would sustain the pressure on the chasing pack. “We are still trying to work out what went wrong but the simple explanation is that EL-Coop fought like tigers and savaged us with an extra-ordinary away performance”, said a spokesman for Tranent. 2014 champions Haddington took full advantage of Tranent’s slip-up and they accelerated into the leader’s position following their excellent 7-1 away triumph at West Barns. One swallow does not make a summer but the Cockenzie & Port Seton camp will hope their 8-0 home win over foot of the table Elphinstone is a launch pad for a title challenge as they moved to within four points of the leaders. Castlepark continued to make ground on the leaders after claiming the bragging rights in Prestonpans for a few weeks anyway with a 7-1 home win over rivals Prestongrange. East Linton moved well clear of the relegation zone after they won 6-2 at home to Gifford.In Friday’s night action, leaders Haddington face an away fixture but should prove too strong for basement struggler’s Elphinstone. Joint second placed clubs Tranent and EL-Coop also face tests on away terrority against East Linton and Prestongrange respectively while Cockenzie & Port Seton visits Gifford. Castlepark are usually a tough nut to crack at home so entertain West Barns with high expectations of victory.
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.
Four clubs will battle it out on Sunday to capture the second bit of silverware of the domestic season as the ELBA County Cup finals day takes centre stage at Gifford BC. The semi-final action gets underway at 12 noon with the final expected to commence at around 3pm.
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
Draw for West Barns Senior Open Pairs (3 Bowl) being held on Tuesday (June 21) is as follows:- 9.30am G.Good, C.Kennedy, J.Brodie, P.Johnstone, L.Mitchell, W.Higgenbottom, A.Brown, E.Denholm, D.Hogg, Dirleton 4, V.Renwick, A.Young, B.Scott, B.Brunton, W.Smith, Dirleton 2 10.30am M.McLeod, T.Gill, P.Fallen, B.Marshall, T.Kerr, T.Thomson, Dirleton 1, M.Hamilton, S.Galloway, Dirleton 3, J.P.Hamilton, J.Currie, W.Reid, R.Drysdale, P.Lorimer, A.Currie Any pair named in the draw that are now unable to attend should contact tournament organiser John P Hamilton immediately on 07974 648401.