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 current titleholders of the Andrew Hamilton Trophy made a tremendous start with an excellent, but hard fought victory over West Lothian at EL-Coop BC in Tranent last Saturday.Read More
Wins on three of the six rinks made it a relatively pleasing performance in depth for team manager Stewart Johnston and the 119-115 victory is the perfect boost to morale going into this weekend’s touch away assignment against Borders. “Terrific performance against one of our biggest rivals especially given the fact at the halfway stage we trailed quality opposition by 10 shots. I need to give a special mention to Alex Marshall MBE as he was absolutely magnificent on a tricky looking rink and destroyed his opponents – it was vintage Tattie”, said team manager Stewart Johnston.
World stage icon figure Marshall inspired the East Lothian charge to victory at EL-Coop after he skipped Dean Riva, Graham Dodds and Alister Kennedy to a match winning 22 shot triumph with support coming from Scott Kennedy (+2) and captain Billy Mellors (+1). The visitors did inflict the pain of defeat on John McCrorie (-1), Brian Young (-7) and Glenn Blair (-13). The side travel to Galashiels on Saturday to face Borders at Gala Waverley BC (2pm). Team manager Stewart Johnston must cope with two major enforced changes after receiving call-offs from Alex Marshall MBE and Alister Kennedy. Former Scotland cap Scott Dodds of EL-Coop has answered an SOS call from Johnston and he will fill the skipping role vacated by Marshall with younger brother Graham playing at third. Tranent’s Matt Osborne is handed a seasonal debut and will play second in the rink skipped by Dodds. The line-up reads: – D.Riva (Giff), M.Osborne (Tra), G.Dodds (ELCO), S.Dodds (ELCO) skip R.Thomson (ELCO), J.Carpenter Jnr (Athe), S.Cochrane (ELCO), J.McCrorie (Tra) skip C.Darling (Hadd), G.Pryde (ELCO), M.Higgenbotham (Hadd), B.Mellors (Hadd) skip/capt S.W.Thomson (Hadd), A.Martin (Tra), T.Young (Dun), G.Blair (Hadd) skip C.Johnston (Win), M.McCormack (Win), G.White (Aber), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip S.White (ELCO), S.Mackie (ELCO), B.Dunleavey (Aber), B.Young (ELCO) skip
Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stewart Johnston immediately on 07939 700720. All players requested to report directly at Gala Waverley BC by no later than 1.20pm.
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 last season’s table-toppers edged out to a two-shot defeat (117-115) by chief rivals Edinburgh & Leith in a dramatic climax to the head to head at Tanfield BC. The garden county young brigade celebrated wins on the rinks skipped by captain Glenn Blair (+14), Declan French (+6) and Sam Gray (+1) but they failed to cover the defeats of Ross Thomson (-2), Reece Cochrane (-7) and James Burnett (-14). “We made the short trip into Edinburgh 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 Michael Greenan.
On Sunday, East Lothian face Borders at Cockenzie & Port Seton BC in match number three and team manager Michael Greenan is expected to make several changes to his line-up. At the time of this report going to press the team had not yet been finalised and it will be announced later in week via social media. Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor Stevie Greenan immediately on 07712 277681. All players requested to report directly to Cockenzie & Port Seton BC by no later than 1.30pm.
East Linton iced the cake on a great end to last season with the capture of the East Lothian Top Ten title and the bonus reward for that is the right to carry the garden county banner in the 2017 Scottish Top Ten. Sunday’s first round proper marks the debut of East Linton in the national event and their opening test is a challenging one in the shape of a home clash with West Lothian champions Linlithgow. Graham Bell leads the attack as the spearhead figure in the Singles and he is supported by Colin Murdoch and George Cowan Snr in the Pairs while Grant Fender skips father Keith and Calum Blair in the Triples. In the Fours, Stevie Kerr skips George Cowan Jnr, Terry Sawangsuk and Mike Newlands. A face missing from the East Linton side that captured the county title last year will of course be Alan ‘Colonel’ Clydesdale following his recent death. In a fitting tribute, Alan’s family will be guests of the club at the match on Sunday.
Cockenzie & Port Seton are good value for money performers in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues and the former five-in-a-row champions have made an excellent start to the 2017 campaign with 26 points from a possible 32 banked over the first four games. Last Friday night’s 6-2 away win at Tranent was a hard-fought success and delivered by wins for the rinks skipped by Craig Valentine and Derek Oliver. John McCrorie saved the whitewash with a good win over Steven Morgan. EL-Coop have also made a flying start and although they did drop points on away terrority there 4-4 draw at Division 2 champions Aberlady is seen as respectable result and leaves them just two points behind the leaders. Castlepark added to Gifford’s early season woes with an 8-0 home win while the clash between Dunbar and East Linton ended 4-4. Defending champion’s Haddington home fixture with West Barns was postponed last Friday night and rearranged for Wednesday night.
Friday night’s action, the headline clash in Division 1 features table toppers Cockenzie & Port Seton at home to defending champions Haddington. EL-Coop has home advantage over newly promoted Dunbar while there is a clash of two inform sides when West Barns host Aberlady. For the third consecutive Friday Tranent play at home this time Castlepark the visitors to Polson Park while it’s the clash of the bottom two sides when Gifford host East Linton.
All clubs in Divisions 1-4 are reminded that the starting time for 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.
The Bowls Scotland District qualifiers for the ladies in East Lothian took place at Aberlady Bowling Club last Sunday and all the undernoted winners will now go forward and represent the East Lothian banner in the national finals at Ayr Northfield in late July. Singles – Dee Hoggan (Tranent) Pairs – Leanne & Lauren Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton) Triples – Jean Russell, Margaret Thomson & Janet Fairnie (Castlepark) Fours – Arlene Berwick, Morag Salter, Veronica Auld & Yvonne Veitch (EL-Coop) The ladies senior singles and fours qualifying action takes place this weekend and will reach a climax at Prestongrange BC on Sunday.
Finally, officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club will remain open during the summer months from 10am to 3pm daily (including weekends).