The East Lothian senior side of 2015 dream of etching their name on the prestigious Matt Purdie Trophy for a third time ended in disappointment and although it was a close call the heartbreak defeat by 3 shots (53-50) left the garden county ‘auld oaks’ feeling they had blew it against defending champions Fife County in the final of the Inter-County Senior League Cup played at Loanhead Private BC on Monday.
East Lothian made a fantastic start to the match to lead 13-1 after 3 ends played but Fife hit back to steady the ship and they then moved into a narrow lead as the match entered the halfway stage. The game then ebbed and flowed but in a tension filled climax it was the ‘Fifers’ who emerged victorious and etched their name on the trophy for a second successive year. “I can’t fault the great spirit and gallant effort put in by my players but we just came up short against a very good side”, reflected Team Manager Andy Burt.
A big East Lothian support cheered a great win on the rink skipped by Dunbar stalwart Tommy Young (+7) but it was not enough to cover the setbacks, albeit single figure ones, suffered by Alan Morgan (-1), George Smith (-2) and George Cowan (-7). The draw for the 2016 competition has been made and East Lothian have been drawn in a section along with West Lothian, West Fife and Stirling which starts on July 4th 2016. The format has been changed and it will now be a five rink competition rather than four so ELBA are now looking for more senior players aged over 60 as of April 1st 2016 to go for a trial and be part of an improving squad. Meanwhile an end of season game for the senior side has been planned for Monday August 31st at Haddington Bowling Club. All squad members are requested to attend and anyone unable to do so is requested to contact Andy Burt immediately on 07783323079.
West Barns have put the cat among the pigeons in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets East Lothian Bowling League with a sensational 8-0 away win at long time leaders Tranent that looks a severe body blow to their prospects of landing a first league title success since 2003. A severely depleted Haddington side were the major benefactors with the defending champions moving level on points with their title rivals but officially are the new table toppers thanks to better shots aggregate following their 8-0 massacre of relegation zoned Castlepark A. Mathematically speaking the race for the coveted title is still a three horse one as Cockenzie & Port Seton kept their noses just about in the title picture with a good 6-2 away win at Castlepark but the seasiders remain a sizeable eleven points off the pace however they have a direct chance to stir the melting pot even further tonight (Friday) when they play Haddington at home while chief rivals Tranent also face a testing away examination at Gifford who still have serious relegation concerns after they went down to an 8-0 hammering at EL-Coop and still remain only seven points clear of safety. The clash between relegated Dunbar and East Linton was the subject of a late postponement due to a waterlogged green and was rescheduled for Tuesday evening.
So the stakes are very much high going into tonight’s (Friday) penultimate week of fixtures in Division 1 with both Haddington and Tranent facing tough looking away assignments. Haddington welcome back a number of top team stars into their first team line-up ahead of their trip to Cockenzie & Port Seton while the home side have icon figure Steven Morgan available again after missing the previous game. Jamie Higgins is set to make a welcome return to the Tranent side who visit a struggling Gifford outfit badly in need of a boost of any description and they might just get that with the news that world stage star Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall will definitely make his first appearance of the league campaign. Castlepark A has home advantage over EL-Coop and they must use it to good effect or a swift return to Division 2 will beckon. Elsewhere West Barns entertain Dunbar while Castlepark visit East Linton.
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 ELBA County Championships are now up and running with the semi-finals due to be played on Wednesday evening at Elphinstone, EL-Coop and Polson Park (Tranent) bowling green’s respectively while the finals day will be staged at Macmerry BC tomorrow (Saturday). The finals of the gent’s singles, junior singles, pairs, triples, fours and senior fours will all be down for decision at 2.30pm and a day of anticipated action packed drama gets underway at 12.30pm with the finals of youth singles and fours. Meanwhile ELBA Match Secretary Keith Fender is calling on all 2014 winners to hand back their respective trophies to him or hand them into Macmerry BC before tomorrow.
The action in the most prestigious cup competition of the season, the ELBA Jubilee Cup (Top 10), swung into preliminary round action on Monday evening with two ties being staged which seen both Haddington and Prestongrange progress through to the first round proper at the expense of Castlepark and Macmerry respectively. The first round matches take place on Monday evening at 6.30pm and the ties feature:- Prestongrange v Haddington; Gifford v East Linton; Tranent v Dunbar; Longniddry v Ormiston; Winton v Elphinstone; Athelstaneford v North Berwick; EL-Coop v Aberlady; Cockenzie & Port Seton v West Barns.
Scott ‘Twisty’ Thorburn has made his mark at his beloved West Barns by winning the championship singles title for a first time having served up a strong performance to beat the talented Gary Landells in a high quality final played last Saturday evening. Daniel Peart is the new champion at Longniddry after he held all the aces in a commanding 21-7 triumph over Mike Carey in the final. The championship singles final at Prestongrange was be staged on Wednesday evening and it was an all family affair with father Robert Cochrane taking on his son Reece Cochrane. Brian Maynard and Kenny Donaldson were due to contest the Macmerry final on Tuesday evening with the eventual winner celebrating a first ever title success. Former world stage star Angus Blair was due to participate in his 18th championship singles final at Haddington last night (Thursday) and standing in his way of a eleventh title success was Andrew Dunleavey. The ladies championship final at EL-Coop was being staged on Tuesday evening and would feature Derryn McKillop against Megan Kivlin. The gent’s championship singles at Cockenzie & Port Seton has reached the semi-final stage and it features seven time champion Derek Oliver against four time title holder Craig Valentine while new boy Colin Leishman tackles Derek Inglis with both matches being staged on Wednesday evening.
Draw for Gifford Bowling & Sports Club Senior Open Triples, sponsored by Leisure Time Sports of Haddington, on Wednesday (August 26) is as follows:- 9.30am B.Mitchell, Dirleton 3, M.Wood, A.Brown, B.Wilson, R.Stevenson, R.Veitch, Jim Currie, T.Kerr, M.Hunter, J.Forbes, B.Brunton, T.Taylor, J.Grindlay, Jim Thomson, E.Denholm 10.30am Bellsburn 1, Dirleton 1, G.McLeod, S.Anderson, P.Lorimer, June Kerr, Bellsburn 3, W.W.Wood MBE, S.Nish, P.Laidlaw, D.Waugh, Bellsburn 2, W.Kerr, Dirleton 2, S.Plenderleith, Late Entry