Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE hopes of ending his Scottish International Open hoodoo were thwarted at the semi-final stage when he lost out in straight sets (10-8, 10-2) to fellow Scot and good friend Paul Foster MBE.Read More
The eagerly anticipate battle between the royalty of Scottish bowling did not disappoint the large crowd at the Dewars Centre in Perth last Friday afternoon. The opening set could have gone either way and going to the final end the scores were tied at 8-8 but a brilliant trail by Foster with his second bowl saw him card a double to take the set. The opening two ends in the second set were shared and on the third, Marshall was counting a cracking three before Foster played a special bowl to trail the jack for an unlikely double. Marshall tried hard to force himself back into the match but an inspired Foster was not to be denied and he took the second set 10-2. Foster lost in the final to Englishman Greg Harlow.
East Lothian IBC men’s side substantial 35 shot win over Lanarkshire (94-59) at the Alex Marshall Arena was their fourth triumph in a row in the B section of the Scottish Premier League and the puts the former six time champions in pole position going into the second phase of fixtures.
The continuation of their undefeated run is rewarded by a two-point lead over Aberdeen and Ardrossan that is supported by a 72-shot margin plus while the rest of the chasing pack comprises Paisley and Lanarkshire on four points and Balbardie occupy bottom spot with only two points from their five games played. “It was a good solid team performance against a very good Lanarkshire side and we now have two consecutive away fixtures against Ardrossan and Aberdeen coming up where two wins would see us strong favourites to win the section”, said team captain Graham Robertson. Wins for the rinks skipped by Robertson, Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver kept the faithful home support in a good frame of mind however; Billy Mellors suffered a single figure defeat. Rink scores – Derek Oliver 19 John Simpson 14; Billy Mellors 17 Robert Grant 24; Scott Kennedy 27 Gordon Prentice 11; Graham Robertson 31 Robert Gordon 10.
Meanwhile the ladies side came close to capturing two unexpected win points at Midlothian in fixture number 5 of their East Premier Division campaign but the garden county elite were denied the fruits of victory by a stunning finish from the home side.
Midlothian edged a hard fought 91-80 victory but the end outcome is a painful one for the East Lothian ladies as at one stage in the local derby they held a 10-shot advantage but the home side raised their game in the final phase and unfortunately the visitors could not respond. “We competed really on the first three phases of the match but they massacred us on the final and showed why they are the hot favourites to finish top of the table and go onto the knockout stage”, said team manager Sheena Currie.
Margaret Thomson and her rink of Beth Riva, Muriel Hamilton and Irene Gray will want to forget what was a miserable day at the office for them having been in bowling terms murdered 32-8 by Stacey McDougall. Yvonne Veitch skipped Pat Turner, Rose Mackintosh and Nancy McNeil into a possible winning position but then the roof fell in and they collapsed to a 26-16 defeat. On a more encouraging note, Emma Logan skipped Margaret Murray, Jean Russell and Megan Kivlin to an excellent 28-16 success over Shona Johnstone while Lauren Baillie and her front three of Cathy Ward, Margaret Devine and Gillian Mackintosh beat Sandra McLeish, 28-17.
There is no national league action for either the gents or ladies on Saturday as the bowls calendar this weekend is devoted to the playdown action of the gents and ladies fours. The challenge in the gents is in the capable hands of Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson, Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver. They compete in the section of draw being played at Lanarkshire IBC in Wishaw and launch their campaign on Saturday at 9.30am in the prelim round against Prestwick. East Lothian are yet to make a title-winning impression in the ladies event and the latest hopes are invested in the shape of Dee Hoggan, Yvonne Veitch, Margaret Thomson and Janet Fairnie who also open in the prelim round at 9.30am against Cowal at Blantyre IBC.
The senior side had a free week last Wednesday but received an exciting bonus when news filtered through that table toppers Midlothian had lost at Balbardie meaning the garden county ‘auld yins’ are now top of the East B section on shot aggregate. On Wednesday, they returned to league action when they travelled to Hawick to tackle foot of the table Teviotdale.
The East Lothian banner will be prominent in the final stages of the national senior championships at Paisley IBC on the weekend of March 4 and 5 with the pairs and triples booking their place in the semi-finals line-up after both produced two winning performances in the playdown action at Midlothian IBC last Sunday. The strong pairing of Lessel Middler and Willie Wood MBE suffered a scare in their second-round match against East Fife before eventually winning 18-17 but there was no such scare in their quarterfinal encounter against Alloa as they coasted to a 20-13 triumph and now face Ardrossan in the semi-final. The triple of Jim Neilson, Brian Bisset (late replacement for the injured Billy Higgins) and Tommy Young raced into a 13-0 lead in their second-round clash with West Lothian and never looked like losing in an 18-7 victory. In the quarterfinal, they came up against a strong triple from Alloa but the garden county trio emerged from the battle with a 14-9 victory and will now also tackle Ardrossan in the last four.
A mixed Under 35 side from East Lothian IBC progressed through to the next round of the Scottish Under 35 cup following a hard fought 6-4 points win over Edinburgh rivals Bainfield in last Sunday’s first round action at West Lothian IBC. Their opposition in the round two comes in the shape of Buchan/Garioch with the clash being staged at Arbroath IBC on Sunday February 5.
The youth side got their latest campaign in the East of Scotland Junior League off to a winning start with a tremendous 6-1 points win away at Stirling last Saturday morning. Lewis Betts skipped his rink to a 22-3 victory while Megan Kivlin and her rink won 22-5. The rink skipped by Craig Mackintosh drew 17-17. On Saturday the talented rink of David Young, Megan Kivlin, Lewis Betts and Craig Mackintosh are in East of Scotland Fours action at Stirling IBC.