The destination of the prestigious Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues is set to go right down to the wire with EL-Coop the new leaders entering this week’s penultimate round of fixtures defending a narrow 1-point lead over defending champions Tranent while Haddington in third are only a further point behind. Cockenzie & Port Seton occupy fourth but are now 5 points adrift of the leaders.Read More
Last week’s round of fixtures was billed as ‘judgement night’ in the race for the title as the top four sides went head to head. EL-Coop were well delighted with a 6-2 away win at Cockenzie & Port Seton while Tranent failed to make home advantage count as Haddington departed Polson Park with a convincing 6-2 triumph. Stephen Cochrane and Chris Fallen were the hero figures for EL-Coop after skipping their rinks to victories over Steven Morgan and Derek Oliver respectively while Scott Kennedy grabbed a consolation win for Cockenzie & Port Seton with Paul McLaren his victim. Glenn Blair and Alister Kennedy were the star performers for Haddington as they skipped their rinks to excellent triumphs against Brian Young and John McCrorie respectively while Billy Mellors lost to Graham Robertson. The race to beat the drop also looks like going to the final week with only 5 points separating the bottom three sides. Elphinstone moved off the foot of the table following an excellent 5-3 win away to East Linton with Prestongrange now propping up the table after defeat at West Barns, who eased their relegation fears with a 6-2 win. Gifford remain in serious relegation trouble but the couple of points they picked up in a 6-2 defeat at Castlepark could be key in their quest to avoid the relegation trap door. Dunbar lead the way in Division 2 but are being closely tracked by Aberlady and now looks a straight fight between them for the title but Tranent A remain a menace in third place and could pounce if the top two falter in their final two fixtures. Winton look on course to land the Division 3 title while the race for the second promotion place is between Athelstaneford, Longniddry and Macmerry. Dunbar A are hot favourites to land the spoils in Division 4 while Gifford A and Prestongrange will battle it out for the runners-up spot. In the Thursday afternoon senior leagues, it is going to be an exciting climax to the Division 1 title race with no fewer than four teams still in with a chance of landing the spoils. Going into todays (Thursday) penultimate round of fixtures East Linton and East Lothian Labour shared top spot on 52 points but EL-Coop were only 1 point behind and Haddington another couple adrift.
The league action continues on Friday evening and match of the night in Division 1, if not the season, takes stage at leaders EL-Coop as they welcome neighbours Tranent in the biggest local derby match in years. The home side go into the eagerly awaited clash at near full strength but the visitors will be the missing the services of first team regulars Jamie Higgins, Jim Bonner and Kevin Jones. Haddington entertain West Barns and will be without Scotland cap Billy Mellors but the blow is softened a little with the return of former world stage star Angus Blair to their line-up. Cockenzie & Port Seton make the trip to Elphinstone and would normally be favourites to land the spoils but a weekend stag doo rules out no fewer than six first team regulars for the clash. Foot of the table Prestongrange will hope to make home advantage count but will expect no favours when local rivals Castlepark come calling. Gifford will again be without icon figure Alex Marshall MBE when they play host to East Linton but with the threat of relegation hanging over them the home side is expected to produce a big performance. All clubs are reminded that the remaining fixtures of the season, including all ELBA County Championship ties, must all commence at the earlier start time of 6.30pm.
Just a reminder that 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 East Lothian senior side campaign in the Inter-County Senior League Cup for the Matt Purdie Trophy descended into nightmare proportions with the garden county ‘auld yins’ suffering their fourth defeat in six when losing by 36 shots away to West Lothian in the final fixture of the qualifying campaign. Lack lustre displays from East Lothian teams is uncommon since the launch of the tournament in 2010 but their 88-52 defeat at East Calder was their second in a row following the previous weeks defeat at home to West Fife. Not for the first time in this campaign a winning performance was served up on the rink skipped by George Cowan (+11) but Tommy Young (-19), John Murray (-15), Alan Morgan (-9) and Alastair Russell (-4) all suffered the pain of defeat. “We tried to change things around after last week’s disappointing performance but on the day West Lothian produced a great display on a tricky playing surface and ran out comfortable winners”, said a dejected team convenor Andy Burt.
Scott Kennedy has made an instant mark at his new club Cockenzie & Port Seton by winning the championship singles title at the first time of asking. Scotland cap Kennedy served up a strong performance to beat record eight times champion Derek Oliver, 21-15, in a high quality final played last Thursday evening. In the ladies final Leanne Ballie was crowned queen of her club for a fifth time after she held all the aces in a commanding 21-5 triumph over Louise Morgan. Elsewhere its congratulations to Gary Swan on retaining the championship singles title at Aberlady having been on top form to beat national junior singles champion Gordon White, 21-11, in the final. Joy McLeod won the ladies title following a nail biting 21-19 triumph over defending champion Jackie Fraser in the final. Steven Thomson continues to make his mark at his beloved Castlepark and is celebrating a magnificent seventh championship singles title success having produced a fine display to beat Jamie Frame, 21-17, in the final for a second successive year.
You can now 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