East Lothian bowling icon figure Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE and partner Paul Foster MBE hopes of landing the World Indoor Pairs title for a fourth time were thwarted when they suffered a shock quarter-final defeat to the England/Wales partnership of Les Gillett and Jason Greenslade in last Saturday’s last eight action at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.Read More
Gillett and Greenslade drew first blood by taking the opening set 8-5 but Scotland golden boys Foster and Marshall stormed back to take the second set 10-2. In the best of three end tie break both pairs kept the audience on the edge of their seats with the result swaying one way and then the other before a precise firing shot from skip Greenslade with his second bowl pushing the holding match winner out of the head, with Marshall failing to solidify a winning positing as his bowl drew up agonisingly short of the head. Marshall is back on the portable rink on Friday afternoon at 3.30pm when he is involved in the World Mixed Pairs Championships where he teams up with Katy Smith of England. The newly formed pairing has a tough looking opening round clash against the very talented England/Scotland pairing of Nick Brett and Claire Johnstone.
On Monday evening, Marshall will begin his quest to extend his remarkable record to seven titles in the Just Retirement World Indoor Singles Championships. Number 2 seed Marshall will open his 2017 campaign against the highly talented Welsh qualifier Robert Chisholm at 7.30pm.
East Lothian IBC men’s side continue to fly high in their campaign to capture the top of the table honours in the B section of the Scottish Premier League and having hit the heights for the sixth time in eight games they have soared three points ahead over their two nearest rivals.
The sparkling stars from the Alex Marshall Arena are over the moon that their latest home clash with Paisley resulted in a convincing 20 shot victory (87-67) having produced a strong team performance to win on all four rinks. The result was given extra value when news filtered through that chief rivals Ardrossan and Lanarkshire had cut each other’s throats by drawing their clash at Wishaw. “A great performance from the team in a high-quality match. To come away with a victory on all four rinks adds to the confidence within the squad. One more victory at the weekend sees us into the final and that is our goal”, said team captain Graham Robertson.
Scott Kennedy inspired the EL effort by skipping Andrew Jeffrey, Dean Riva and Dougie Berwick to a 20-11 win over David Moffat while Ross Thomson, Stuart Thomson, Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver added a 21-15 success win over Callum Taggart. Billy Mellors skipped Calum Darling, Lewis Betts and Glenn Blair to a roller coaster 27-23 win over John Gilmartin while Graham Robertson skipped Mark Johnston, Andy Burt and Willie Wood MBE to a battling 19-18 win over Graeme Sloan. The league table with eight of the 10 fixtures completed reads; East Lothian 12 (+144), Ardrossan 9 (+28), Lanarkshire 9 (-8), Aberdeen 6 (-19), Paisley 6 (-55), Balbardie 6 (-60). The side faces a hectic double header of fixtures this coming weekend when they play host to foot of the table Balbardie on Saturday (2pm) then on Sunday they travel to Wishaw to tackle Lanarkshire in a re-arranged fixture. One win is all that is required for East Lothian to be confirmed section winners and they will be hoping they can get the job done at the first time of asking against a Balbardie team who despite being bottom of the table are in a rich vein of form having won their last two matches. Team news for the Balbardie clash is that icon figures Alex Marshall MBE and Billy Mellors are significant absentees but reigning World Under 25 Singles champion Joe Mower returns and will fill the shoes vacated by Mellors. The team reads: A.Jeffrey, D.Riva, D.Berwick, S.Kennedy skip M.Johnston, A.Burt, W.W.Wood MBE, G.Robertson skip/capt C.Darling, L.Betts, G.Blair, J.Mower skip R.Thomson, S.W.Thomson, J.Higgins, D.Oliver skip
The team for the fixture against Lanarkshire on Sunday will be announced shortly after the game on Saturday.
The ladies side was also feeling cock a hoop last Saturday evening after they produced a brilliant display on away terrority in their penultimate match in the East Premier Division of the Scottish Ladies League to beat East Fife, 96-69. The result ensures they will finish in runners-up spot behind runaway winners Midlothian.
“I cannot praise my team highly enough as they put on a brilliant display against East Fife and we were in total command from start to finish and ran out comfortable winners. We are happy with a second-place finish behind a strong Midlothian side but on both occasions, we played them we were only beaten by the narrowest of margins so we must look to build on that next season”, said team manager Sheena Currie.
Lauren Baillie emerged the inspirational leader of the garden county pack with the World Bowls bronze medallist skipping her rink to a 33-12 win over Julie Sword. Emma Logan skipped her rink to a 23-15 triumph over Alice Fyall while Alicia Irvine beat Kath McAndrew, 25-21. Yvonne Veitch looked on course to deliver win number four for the visitors but a late collapse saw them suffer a 21-15 defeat to Ray Stewart. The side round off their qualifying campaign on Saturday when they travel to Bathgate to tackle Balbardie. Stalwart figure Nancy McNeil is an absentee with the services of the ever-reliable Irene Gray called upon to cover her absence. The team reads: – M.Murray, J.Russell, M.Kivlin, E.Logan skip J.McFarlane, M.Hamilton, I.Gray, Y.Veitch skip M.Devine, C.Ward, G.Mackintosh, L.Baillie skip B.Riva, R.Campbell, M.Thomson, A.Irvine skip
The ultra-talented senior side were in Scottish Senior League quarter-final action on Wednesday when they tackled East Section A table toppers East Fife at West Lothian IBC in Livingston. 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 on Wednesday when Headwell faced Perth while West Lothian tackled Tweedbank. There is more action this coming Wednesday (January 25) when Teviotdale Bainfield and Midlothian line up against Berwickshire.
East Lothian’s participation in this year’s Central District Senior Top Six tournament was a disappointing short-lived affair after suffering a 5-1 points defeat at the hands of Lanarkshire in last Wednesdays first round action at Balbardie IBC in Bathgate.
On the international stage its congratulations to the East Lothian contingent of Derek Oliver, Billy Mellors, Jamie Higgins, Alex Marshall MBE and Scott Kennedy after they were all named in the Scotland team for the British Home International series being played at Belfast IBC from March 16 to 18. It will be an extra special occasion for Kennedy after it was announced he will captain his country for a first time at the series. In the ladies equivalent the garden county representation is three strong and headed by Emma Logan who remains an ever-present since her debut in 2011. Logan is joined by continued recognition for Dee Hoggan and Yvonne Veitch. The ladies British Home International series is also being played at Belfast IBC from March 10 to 12. It’s also congratulations to Megan Kivlin after she received the exciting news she has been selected for the Scotland Under 17 side following a development day at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline last Sunday. The Under 17 International series will be staged in Belfast in early April.
After a lengthy break the youth side from East Lothian IBC return to East of Scotland Junior League action on Saturday morning and make the short trip into Edinburgh to tackle Bainfield.
Finally, East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club are staging a Bowls ‘N’ Burn Night on Saturday January 28 from 6pm till late. Tickets for the event are now on sale from bar or canteen at the club and are priced at £12.00 for bowls, meal and entertainment or £10.00 for entertainment and meal only. Following the bowls from 6-8pm the Haggis will be piped in followed by speeches, meal and then entertainment from the Fiona Matheson Dancers and Brighter Lites Discos.