East Lothian IBC gent’s side determination to win the Scottish Cup for a magnificent seventh time was evident in a battling performance to beat fellow Premier League rivals Falkirk 81-79 in their first round clash at Balbardie IBC in Bathgate last Saturday.
Falkirk went into the clash as favourites after inflicting pain on East Lothian twice in the recent national league qualifying campaign but the garden county rose to the challenge and it proved to be third time lucky as they ended the cup hopes of the Premier League play-off finalists.
Falkirk did inflict pain on Alex Marshall MBE and Billy Mellors but the rinks skipped by Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver were successful and just managed to get East Lothian over the line. “We were tested under real pressure when the master scoreboard showed us two shots down after 18 ends but then an inch perfect weighted bowl saw Billy (Mellors) ditch the jack that yielded a count of 4 shots and that seemed to inspire the team to go on and win the match”, said team captain Scott Kennedy.
For the second successive week Kennedy was the standout figure for East Lothian after skipping Andrew Jeffrey, Glenn Blair and Graham Robertson to an admirable 25-13 win over Steven Allan while Oliver skipped Ewan Fallen, Jamie Gordon and Stuart Thomson to a commendable 23-21 win over Gary Flynn. Mellors and his front three of Lessel Middler, Dougie Berwick and Joe Mower lost 20-18 to John McHutchison while Mark Johnston, Andy Burt, Jamie Higgins and Marshall went down 25-15 against former garden county star Steven Glen. The draw for the second round has pitched East Lothian against another Premier League side in the shape of Paisley and the clash will be staged on Saturday March 5 at a neutral venue still to be confirmed by the SIBA.
The ladies side is in Scottish Cup first round action tomorrow (Saturday) with the elite of East Lothian IBC making the trip over the River Forth to Headwell IBC in Dunfermline to tackle Premier Division side East Fife. The garden county will go into the clash as underdogs but the side is in a rich vein of form and the team charged with trying to deliver a positive outcome is: – D.Rowan, P.Turner, N.McNeil, I.Gray skip M.Murray, J.Russell, A.Irvine, E.Logan skip J.Rutherford, M.Hamilton, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip M.Devine, I.Combe, G.Mackintosh, L.Baillie skip
On the international stage Emma Logan was part of a Scotland Ladies Under 25 side last weekend that had to yet again settle for runners-up spot behind winners England in the international series at Paisley IBC. Team captain Brown skipped her rink to an excellent 24-11 win over Wales but was on the wrong end of a 21-13 defeat against England. This weekend current national junior singles champion Ewan Fallen will be parading his exciting skills at Bristol IBC, as he is part of the Scotland Gents Under 25 side looking to successfully defend the British Home International Series title.
The senior side returned to competitive national action on Wednesday when they entered the Scottish Senior Cup fray with a first round clash against West Lothian at Bainfield IBC in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, 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 it produced a shock result as East Lothian suffered an 8-0 mauling against an impressive Abbeyview side. In the other match played West Lothian came out on top against Teviotdale with a 6-2 scoreline.
A senior side from East Lothian IBC is in Central District Top Six quarter-final action today (Friday) when they travelled to West Lothian IBC in Livingston to face Falkirk. The team is, Singles J.P.Hamilton; Pairs B.J.Smith & D.Pryde; Triples M.Trenholme, B.Higgins & R.Douglas.
More good news from the ultra-talented youth section at East Lothian IBC after the pairs and triples both emerged victorious in the East region qualifiers for the SYIBA National Finals that are being staged at the Alex Marshall Arena on Sunday March 6.
The top-notch partnership of Megan Kivlin and Lewis Betts remain on course to retain their title from last year after winning all three of their group play games. The triple of David Young, Craig Mackintosh and Dean Riva continued their good form from the previous weekend but done things the difficult way in their group play games before eventually making it through to the final stages. The youth side were also in East of Scotland Junior League action last weekend and produced a brilliant team performance on home terrority to inflict 7-0 point’s misery on local rivals Bainfield. Team captain Dean Riva skipped his rink of Cameron Shaw, Robbie Buchanan and David Young to 23-4 win. Craig Mackintosh and his front three of Robbie Shields, Beth Riva and Kieran Dodds triumphed 22-4 while Aaron Betts, David Stevenson, Megan Kivlin and Lewis Betts won 18-5.