East Lothian star Dee Hoggan is the new British Isles Singles Champion after the Tranent Bowling Club player beat Judith Wason of Wales in an absorbing final at Belmont BC in Belfast last Saturday.Read More
Hoggan – holder of the Scottish title – employed a long-jack tactic to great effect as she forged into a 20-14 lead and although Wason menacingly closed to 20-19, she retained a sharp focus throughout to clinch a 21-19 over the Wales champion in 25 ends. “I’ve been aiming at this for the past 12 months, and to climb that mountain is fantastic and I am thrilled to bits”, said Hoggan afterwards.
East Lothian hopes of qualifying through to the knockout stages of the Scottish Counties Championships were ended last Saturday when they lost out to East section table toppers West Lothian by 5 shots in a high-octane encounter that was very high in entertainment for the large crowd gathered at Buchan Park BC in Broxburn.
The garden county players played with heart and soul and gave there all in a 126-121 defeat but in the end just came up short against an exciting West Lothian side making it five wins out of six. “It was a great game that went right to the last bowl. To run the team at the top of the section so close shows we can compete but just need to have more confidence through the team. Our qualifying hopes are over, but I will be looking to finish the campaign with two points in the final game against Borders”, reflected team captain Malcolm Higgenbotham. East Lothian cheered winning performances on the rinks skipped by Steven Mackie (+12), Brian Young (+3), Billy Mellors (+1) and Malcolm Higgenbotham (+1) but the heavy double-digit defeats sustained by Steven Morgan (-10) and Scott Kennedy (-12) tipped the match scales in West Lothian’s favour. The side round off their qualifying campaign on Saturday at Castlepark BC against Borders and the following side has been announced:- A.Burt (Hadd), M.McCormack (Win), G.McNab (Hadd), M.Higgenbotham (Hadd) skip/capt C.Dick (Hadd), K.Cunningham (Tra), G.Pryde (ELCO), B.Young (ELCO) skip M.Greenan (C&PS), G.Baillie (C&PS), B.Dunleavey (Aber), S.Morgan (C&PS) skip C.Johnston (Win), T.Young (Dun), J.Frame (C/P), S.Thomson (Hadd) skip D.Young (ELCO), D.Riva (ELCO), D.Sked (Hadd), B.Mellors (Hadd) skip S.Anderson (Dun), J.Gordon (C&PS), G.White (Aber), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team captain Malcolm Higgenbothan immediately on 07761 101438. Players report at Castlepark BC by no later than 1.30pm.
The East Lothian Under 25 side return to competitive action on Sunday July 1st and following a disappointing league campaign, they now turn their attentions to the Scottish Cup where a first round encounter with Dumbartonshire at Ardrossan BC awaits. Team manager Gordon Pryde is set to announce his team in the coming days but he is requesting players let him know there availability for selection via text message 07841 747695 as soon as possible. The set-up for the Scottish Cup sees team’s just field four rinks instead of the usual six and games played over 17 ends rather than standard 21.
Haddington star Billy Mellors is no stranger to the pathway that leads to the celebrations of national title glory and the three-time former national champion will be back parading his skills at Ayr Northfield this year where his target is reign supreme again in the championships major discipline the Singles. Mellors, for a remarkable third successive year, will represent East Lothian on the national stage at Ayr next month having served up a strong display in last Sunday’s finals at Polson Park in Tranent to beat promising youngster Dean Riva of Gifford, 21-12. The final of the Junior Singles was a cracking 24-end encounter eventually won by Hibernian footballer Sean Mackie of EL-Coop at the 21-19 expense Haddington star Joe Mower, the defending national champion. EL-Coop went into the finals triple-handed and celebrated a second triumph with their strong Senior Four team of Derek Stein, Jim Bonner, Dougie Berwick and Willie Auld showing their class in a runaway 19-7 win over Lessel Middler, Kenny Glen, Banger Strang and Peter Fallen of Elphinstone. There was more to come from EL-Coop when Megan Kivlin claimed the Ladies Junior Singles at the expense of Haddington’s Caitlin Thorburn and make it an afternoon of three cheers for EL-Coop. The Dunbar partnership of Steven Anderson and Kern Gallagher were shaping up well at 14-9 against Andy Burt and Stewart Thomson of Haddington; but the exit door loomed with a five-end slippage to stand 17-15 down. The immense pressure was answered as they booked their passage to Ayr with a tension packed 2, 1 finish to win an 18-17 thriller. Haddington were back in the runners-up enclosure with their highly talented Four of Derek Logan, Jamie Blair, Joe Mower and Alister Kennedy blowing a 17-11 lead to suffer a shock 19-18 defeat from Keith Hamilton, Calum Blair, Keith Fender and Grant Fender of East Linton. The final of the Triples saw Billy Cormack play the hero role for Macmerry with a brilliant last bowl saver to skip Paul Mair and Kenny Donaldson to a 12-10 win over Raymond Frame, Kieran Frame and James Burnett of Castlepark. The final of the Senior Singles was another cracking encounter eventually won by Billy Dunleavey of Aberlady at the 21-18 expense of Macmerry’s Billy Cormack.
Last Friday night saw the first half of fixtures in the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues completed and in Division 1, table toppers EL-Coop remain in pole position and three points clear of the chasing pack. This is despite them suffering their first blip of the season in a 6-2 defeat away to Dunbar. The consolation result of the night for the leaders came with the news that second placed Haddington has also slipped up at Castlepark, losing 6-2. Defending champions Cockenzie & Port Seton were the night’s main movers moving to within four points of the leaders following their 6-2 away win at Haddington A. Elphinstone’s home fixture against East Linton was an opportunity for them to gain points on the top three but a demoralising 6-2 defeat suggest their magic wand wasn’t in working order. West Barns remain in the relegation zone but gave themselves great hope with a much needed 6-2 win at home against struggling Tranent who are now sitting just above the dreaded relegation zone.
On Friday night, Division 1 leaders EL-Coop lead at the top comes under pressure when they face a tough visit to Elphinstone in what is sure to be a high-octane encounter. It is the battle of the first team against the second team when Haddington face Haddington A while Cockenzie & Port Seton will be without their team captain Craig Valentine when they visit West Barns. Elsewhere Castlepark entertain East Linton while Dunbar hosts Tranent.
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.
Officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club is open daily over the summer months from 10am-4pm. For more information contact the clubs catering staff on 01875-614166 then dial extension 303. If coaching required please contact Development Officer Billy Mellors on 07930 716073 to arrange a suitable day and time for a lesson.