East Lothian’s campaign aim in the highly competitive East section of the Scottish Counties Championship is to finish in one of the top two qualifying places and the seven-time title winners of the coveted Andrew Hamilton Trophy made a tremendous start with an excellent 125-105 victory over West Fife at Inverkeithing BC last Saturday.Read More
Wins on the rinks skipped by Billy Mellors (+21), Steven Morgan (+11), Scott Kennedy (+1) and team captain Malcom Higgenbotham (+1) carved out combined supremacy that fended off the dangers and menace posed by the heavy defeat of Brian Young (-12) while Colin Glen scored a double on his last end to grab a peel. “Fantastic start to the campaign and I’m especially happy with the contribution of the younger players. We now move on to another tough away fixture against Edinburgh & Leith but I’m confident we will give it our all and get another positive result”, reflected Malcolm Higgenbotham The side is back in action on Saturday against arch rivals Edinburgh & Leith at Parkside BC. The selectors have had to make one enforced change to the line-up with Kevin Cunningham of Tranent unavailable resulting in a seasonal debut for Elphinstone’s Ross Thomson. The team reads:- C.Dick (Hadd), T.Young (Dun), B.Dunleavie (Aber), B.Young (ELCO) skip D.Young (ELCO), D.Riva (ELCO), D.Sked (Hadd), B.Mellors skip S.Anderson (Dun), G.Baillie (C&PS), S.Mackie (ELCO), S.Morgan (C&PS) skip C.Johnston (Win), M.McCormack (Win), C.McLeod (Win), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip R.Thomson (Elph), G.Pryde (ELCO), G.White (Aber), C.Glen (Elph) skip M.Greenan (C&PS), J.Blair (Hadd), S.W.Thomson (Hadd), M.Higgenbotham (Hadd) skip
Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team captain Malcolm Higgenbothan immediately on 07761 101438. Players report at Parkside BC by no later than 1.20pm.
Meanwhile, Bowls Scotland recently announced the senior side for the BIBC Home International series, this year being hosted by Bowls England at Victoria Park, Leamington Spa on 30th June and 1st July. Six East Lothian players have been named in the 27 man squad that will travel south with Brian Young (EL-Coop), Derek Oliver (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and the Haddington duo of Billy Mellors and Alister Kennedy all been recalled while Scott Kennedy (Cockenzie & Port Seton) retain his place in the side. Well-known Cockenzie & Port Seton star Steven ‘Stretcher’ Morgan will win his first international cap after being named one of the three travelling reserves. Dean Riva of EL-Coop is the only East Lothian player named in the Bowls Scotland junior side for the BIBC Junior International series at Belmont BC in Belfast on weekend of September 8/9. The ladies squads have also been announced and includes Lauren Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and Dee Hoggan (Tranent) in the senior squad of 26 while junior squad of 18 includes EL-Coop star Megan Kivlin. The BIWBC senior internationals take place at Belmont BC in Belfast on June 17/18/19 while the junior internationals are on July 21/22 at Victoria Park in Leamington Spa.
The East Lothian Under 25 side suffered a damaging setback in their bid to dominate the East section of the Scottish Under 25 League with the garden county edged out to a one-shot defeat (116-115) by chief rivals Edinburgh & Leith in a dramatic climax to the head to head at Haddington BC last Sunday.
The garden county young brigade celebrated wins on the rinks skipped by captain Ross Thomson (+10), Calum Darling (+9) and Kieran Simants (+3) but they failed to cover the defeats of Declan French (-1), James Burnett (-10) and Reece Cochrane (-12). “We went into the match quietly confident of obtaining a favourable result and the outlook did look good for us on occasions but there was a lack of sharpness in some areas and Edinburgh & Leith punished us for that”, reflected team manager Gordon Pryde.
There was extreme disappointment for Cockenzie & Port Seton in the opening round of the Scottish Inter-County Top Ten Championships with the current champions of the garden county failing to blossom on away terrority and suffered a 5-3-point defeat from Dumfries. A catastrophic result for Scott Kennedy in the Singles saw him put through the mangle and crushed 21-6 against current national singles titleholder Martyn Rice. The visitors were kept in the picture with a good 18-13 win for Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver in the Pairs while Martin Munro, Jamie Gordon and just announced Scotland new cap Steven Morgan bagged another point for the seasiders with an 8-8 draw in the Triples contest. Hopes of a great comeback win were raised with a fight back being staged by Michael Greenan, Gordon Baillie, Steven Thomson and Craig Valentine in the Fours from 8-16 to 17-16 but dashed on the last end with the loss of a heart-breaking double. Cockenzie & Port Seton ambition of retaining the Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues is off to an awesome start with their tally of 29 points from a possible 32 belying their reputation as normal slow starters. Last Friday night’s 8-0 away win at Castlepark is of particular significance as it represents a strong form-line against quality opposition that are particularly challenging to beat on their local turf. Haddington remain in second but lost ground on the leaders when they drew 4-4 at home against third placed EL-Coop. Newly promoted Elphinstone are emerging as potential title contenders as they moved up into the lofty heights of fourth place after whacking fellow promoted club Haddington A, 8-0, at home. East Linton doubled their points tally to eight following a 4-4 draw at home against Tranent while Dunbar were well chuffed with their 6-2 home win over local rivals West Barns.
In Friday night’s action, table toppers Cockenzie & Port Seton will be without the services of icon figure Scott Kennedy when they play host to East Linton. Headline match of the night takes stage to Polson Park when Tranent host neighbours EL-Coop in the first Tranent derby of the campaign. Haddington make the short trip up the A1 to tackle Dunbar while high-flying Elphinstone face a tough away visit to West Barns. Foot of the table Haddington A are at home to Castlepark. Clubs reminded that the start time for all league games is now 6.45pm.
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.
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.
Finally, you can 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