Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club world stage figure Lauren Baillie added another medal to her ever growing tally when she was part of a Bowls Scotland High Performance team that won three bronze medals in a 6 nations series recently held in Christchurch, New Zealand. The garden county ace partnered Laura Welsh in the pair’s event and a 19-12 win against New Zealand in their final group play match saw them bag a well-deserved bronze medal. Baillie was also involved in the fours action and an agonising 23-22 defeat against South Africa denied Scotland another bronze medal. Bowls Scotland’s High Performance Coach, John Price said, “The players should be congratulated for their application and efforts during the tournament. They have been a joy to manage and gelled well as a team supporting each other throughout.”
The East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club trio of Emma Logan, Dee Hoggan and Yvonne Veitch were last weekend part of a Scotland Senior Ladies side that claimed their first British Isles International Series title since 2008 after a stunning 129-110 final match victory over England at Llanelli IBC in Wales. The Scots opened brightly and led 29-15 after four ends and despite a few nervous moments, they continued to dominate an English side who in the early stages simply had no answers. England did find a spark around the halfway mark of the contest and brought themselves back into contention and at 15 ends; the master scoreboard read 92-81 in favour of Scotland. Many thought a very talented and experienced England side would kick on and win the match but the new look Scottish team had other ideas as they won 10 of the next eighteen ends to re-establish their 20 shot advantage. The last few ends was played in front of a vocal support who knew the Clara Johns Trophy was returning to Scotland after an overdue delay. Both Logan and Hoggan had memorable series as both were involved in rinks that won all three matches played while reserve Veitch never got any game time but was very much part of the winning team.
This weekend (Thursday to Saturday), it’s the turn of the men with Willie Wood MBE, Scott Kennedy, Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver, Jamie Higgins and Alex Marshall MBE making the trip to Llanelli IBC to join their colleagues in an ultra-talented Scotland gents team.
Meanwhile, our current national indoor champion Ewan Fallen failed in his bid to add a British crown but done the local banner very proud with his efforts at Llanelli IBC on Monday evening. In the gent’s junior singles semi-final Fallen was beaten 21-16 by Welsh counterpart Ross Owen.
On the World Bowls Tour arena, six times World Indoor Singles Champion Alex Marshall put up another great showing at the recent International Open and made it through to last Friday afternoon’s semi-final action at Blackpool Newton Hall IBC before losing to England’s Jamie Chestney 4-10, 9-8, 0-2.
The men’s side from East Lothian IBC stepped up their bid to win the Scottish Cup for a record extending seventh time with a strong team performance to beat Division 1 side Balbardie by a comfortable 35 shots in the quarterfinal action played at Dunfermline venue Abbeyview IBC last Saturday. The result was a formbook one with the class attack style that reflected the premier league status of East Lothian dwarfing the bold and determined but unsustainable effort produced by a Balbardie opposition that had finished top of Division 1 North and will be playing in the premier league next season. “Balbardie did make their presence felt against us and did manage to get their nose in front during the early stages of the match but we eventually got their measure on all four rinks and finished commanding winners”, reflected East Lothian team captain Scott Kennedy. It was Kennedy himself who stepped up to the plate to deliver an inspirational performance in skipping Andrew Jeffrey, Glenn Blair and Graham Robertson to an excellent 27-12 victory over Sandy McDougall. Jamie Higgins also inflicted double figure pain on Balbardie having skipped Mark Johnston, Andy Burt and Ewan Fallen into an early 9-0 lead then stayed on strongly to score a 22-10 victory over James Spiers. Billy Mellors and his front three of Lessel Middler, Dougie Berwick and Joe Mower looked nailed on for victory at 14-8 up but a mid-game wobble saw them clawed back to 17-16 but they produced a big finish to register a 25-18 against Walter McDougall. Derek Oliver made it four out of four supremacy by skipping Malcolm Higgenbotham, Jamie Gordon and Stuart Thomson to a hard fought 13-12 win against Ewan Shearer. The semi-final action at Stirling IBC on Saturday, March 26, promises to be a real cracker with East Lothian going head-to-head with four times champions and arch rivals Midlothian.
The super youth side from East Lothian IBC were once again in title winning form last Saturday this time lifting the East of Scotland Top Ten title at East Fife IBC in Methil. The garden county young brigade was drawn in section 2 along with Bainfield and defending champions Abbeyview. First up was Bainfield and wins for the pairs, triples and fours saw East Lothian register a 6-2 win and they followed that up with a sensational 8-0 triumph against Abbeyview and book a place in the final where host club East Fife would the opposition. The final was a close affair but East Lothian once again demonstrated their quality with team captain Dean Riva getting the ball rolling in the singles with a 21-13 victory. David Young and Lewis Betts added a 9-7 win in the pairs while Aaron Betts, Robbie Buchanan and Craig Mackintosh ran out 11-4 winners in the triples. The clean sweep was completed by the rink of Robbie Shields, Kieran Dodds, Cameron Shaw and Megan Kivlin after they won 11-5. The same 10 players go again on Sunday when East Lothian makes the trip to Ayrshire to tackle Prestwick in the semi-final of the SYIBA Top Ten.
The qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, continued at the Alex Marshall Arena last Wednesday and Bainfield caused a major shock by inflicting 8-0 misery on a previously undefeated Abbeyview side. In the other match played Headwell came out on top 6-2 against Tweedbank. The action continued on Wednesday when Bainfield were back in action against Tweedbank while the other match played was an all borders affair between Teviotdale against Berwickshire. This coming Wednesday (March 23) it’s all to play for in Section B when Midlothian tackle West Lothian and current table toppers Perth face basement strugglers Teviotdate.
Meanwhile a senior side from East Lothian IBC are in Central District Top Six semi-final action tomorrow (Saturday) when they tackle Lanarkshire at Dunfermline venue Abbeyview IBC. The team is Singles: Lessel Middler; Pairs: B J Smith and George Gray; Triples: Mike Trenholme, Davie Pryde and Ronnie Douglas.
Turning attention to the fast approaching outdoor season and bowling members of Gifford Bowling & Sports Club are reminded that their AGM will take place on Sunday April 3 at 2pm.