The East Lothian star pairing of Alex Marshall MBE and Derek Oliver were last weekend part of a Scotland gent’s side that retained the Co-operative Funeralcare Test Match following a 6-5 point’s win over England at Stanley IBC in County Durham.Read more
Marshall and Oliver were joined in the gents team by fellow Scots Paul Foster MBE (Prestwick Ambassador), Iain McLean (Blantyre), Mike Stepney (Elgin) and Colin Walker (Midlothian) and they got off to a blistering start by winning the opening day of action 4-1 and that meant they only required 2 wins out of the 6 matches being played in Sunday’s final day of singles. But things didn’t go to plan as the Scots struggled badly and with five games completed only Alex Marshall had registered a victory for the defending champions. Thankfully Mike Stepney held his nerve in the very last match to win his game and claim the last point required to win the series.
East Lothian IBC’s men’s side hopes of landing the spoils in the B section of the Scottish Premier League suffered another major setback when they went down to a second consecutive defeat after being on the wrong end of 94-64 thumping from Aberdeen.
A severely depleted garden county made the trip North with a degree of trepidation as they were facing a side cock-a-hoop after a fine opening day win at Falkirk and close to invincible on their home carpet. And the home side did not take long to stamp their authority on proceedings as they registered 22 shots on the scoreboard before East Lothian eventually struck a blow. The visitors did manage to claw the deficit back to 8 shots entering the halfway stage but another disastrous run of ends across the carpet saw them lose major ground and the home side ran out comfortable winners.
Jamie Higgins carded a five on his final end to skip his rink of Ewan Fallen, Matt Osborne and Stewart Thomson to a 22-22 share of the spoils with Alan McKay but that was about as good as it got for East Lothian with Willie Wood MBE (-1), Graham Robertson (-8) and Scott Kennedy (-21) all suffering damaging defeats.
“It’s always hugely disappointing when defeated and our “achilles heel” for the second week in a row was our very poor start. Although the end scoreline on paper shows a heavy defeat it in no way reflects the performance of the team with Aberdeen by their own admission receiving the rub of the green during most of the match. One pleasing factor was the introduction of some younger players who conducted themselves well. However the team and each individual player must raise their game and I am confident we will get back to winning ways shortly”, reflected team captain Mark Johnston.
It’s a free weekend for the men tomorrow (Saturday) as the National Junior Singles playdown action takes centre stage and club champion Calvert Allison is in action at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline. He faces a preliminary round encounter tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 11am against Garioch. The ladies playdown action also takes place at Abbeyview IBC on Sunday and the local challenger is full cap Emma Brown and she faces Stonehaven in the first round action at 10am.
Meanwhile ladies club champion Dee Hoggan was in National Singles playdown action last weekend at Coatbridge IBC and enjoyed a magnificent run to the quarter-finals before eventually losing out to world stage star Julie Forrest of Teviotdale, 21-11. On route to the last eight Hoggan clocked up impressive wins against very tough opposition. On Saturday morning she came back from 11-3 down to defeat Sharon Leitch of Balbardie 21-14 then followed that with a convincing 21-10 victory over Audrey Stewart of Forfar. In Sunday morning’s last 16 clash with Lorna Cameron of Whiteinch, Dee looked down and out when she trailed 17-9 but a magnificent run of ends saw her score nine shots without reply and cross 18-17 before going on to win a thrilling battle 21-20.
The ladies side from East Lothian IBC are back in Scottish Ladies League action tomorrow (Saturday) when they welcome border raiders Teviotdale to Meadowmill stadium. The absence of star figure Emma Brown is a major concern for team manager Sheena Currie and it leads to the call up of Louise Morgan for her garden county debut while Muriel Hamilton is moved from third to skip. The full team reads:- M.Kivlin, A.Berwick, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip L.Morgan, M.Devine, D.Rowan, Y.Veitch skip R.Mackintosh, J.Russell, C.Ward, M.Hamilton skip M.Murray, I.Combe, G.Mackintosh, N.McNeil skip
Two times former East Lothian IBC club champion Jamie Higgins was in SIBA Champion of Champions action last Sunday at Coatbridge IBC and after recording an opening round win over Alex Fleming he then lost out to Ardrossan’s Martin McCalley in the second round.
The ultra-talented senior side continued their dream start to their campaign in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League by inflicting 62-49 pain on local rivals Midlothian at Meadowmill stadium last Wednesday. The side was due to be back in action on Wednesday but opponents Berwickshire have had to withdraw from the league so the garden county ‘auld yins’ received a walkover. They are now back in action on Wednesday October 29 when they travel to Galashiels to tackle Tweedbank.
Meanwhile there was mixed fortunes for the East Lothian representatives in last Sunday’s national senior championships playdown action. Senior club champion Alan Morgan travelled to West Lothian IBC to participate in the singles but it was a short lived affair as he crashed to a 21-14 first round defeat against Midlothian. In the Pairs action Lessel Middler and Jim Robertson made the short trip to Midlothian IBC and were in fine form to defeat Balbardie in their opening round clash but could not repeat their form in their next match against Alloa and went down by 5 shots. The Triple of Jim Neilson, Billy Higgins and Alister Russell travelled to Bainfield IBC and having received a bye into the second round they faced strong opposition in the shape of Falkirk and a great performance seen them progress to the third round with a 14-9 triumph. They now play again on Sunday November 9 when they tackle Midlothian at West Lothian IBC.
Up and rising youth star Megan Kivlin was in Scottish Youth Masters qualifying action last Sunday at Falkirk IBC. Kivlin was drawn in a tough qualifying section and failed to qualify to the next stage but she was delighted with the two impressive wins she registered against more experienced opposition.
On the domestic front at East Lothian IBC the East Coast Carpets sponsored Top Club tournament will run from November to April, it will be played in a league format initially with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. Games will be played on Friday nights and teams may consist of gents, ladies and youths. Please contact the club or match secretary via the website if you would like to enter.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club is staging a celebration evening tonight (Friday) for the Scotland bowlers who won gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Host club superstar Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE along with Paul Foster MBE, David Peacock, Neil Speirs and Darren Burnett will all be in attendance at the star studded event which gets underway at 7.30pm.