East Lothian and world bowls icon Alex ‘Tattie’Marshall MBE hopes of landing a record breaking fourth World Indoor Pairs title with former garden county teammate Paul Foster MBE were thwarted when they suffered defeat against the English duo of Simon Skelton and Robert Paxton in Monday’s final at Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.
The English pair defeated the Scots, appearing in their fifth successive final, 5-12, 15-5, 2-1. It was the second successive year that Commonwealth Games gold medallists, Foster and Marshall, have lost in the World indoor final. World number one Foster and Marshall, ranked four, were in imperious form as they dominated the opening set. But the English pair – Paxton is the world number two and his partner 15th – never lost control of the second set after scoring a three in the opening end. The Scots drew first blood on the opening end of the three end tie break after Marshall played an inch perfect bowl with the final bowl of the end. But Skelton and Paxton hit back to claim the second end then took the third end and the title despite a magnificent effort from Marshall to claim victory with the final bowl of the game.Shaking his head afterwards, Marshall said “I was disappointed with the way I performed. If I could have played half the game that I know I can then things might have been different. Paul was different class in the match. He kept us in it and was outstanding. I had chances but I never took them. I found the centre line but I struggled to find the weight”.
Meanwhile Marshall’s involvement in the mixed pair’s event was ended at the semi-final stage when along with partner Julie Forrest they were pipped on the finishing line in both sets against the Wales/England pairing of Marion Purcell and Robert Paxton. Marshall’s next singles match was due to be staged yesterday (Thursday) evening when he tackled Australian qualifier Ben Twist. The record five times winner was pushed all the way by 19 year old Welsh qualifier Liam Bouse in his first round clash before eventually getting over the winning line 10-5, 5-8, 2-0 to book his second round berth.
The men’s side from East Lothian IBC had their realistic dreams of making it to the playoff final of the Scottish Premier League absolutely crushed by cruel 29 shot away defeat from Falkirk in the penultimate round of fixtures in the B section last Saturday.Falkirk – who were in relegation bother going into the clash – led from start to finish and won on all four rinks to celebrate a 97-68 victory and wipe away any relegation fears. To make matters worse for the garden county results did not go their way after section leaders Aberdeen registered a thrilling one shot victory over Lanarkshire to extinguish any hopes of winning the section.“Unfortunately our undefeated run came to an abrupt halt with a defeat against an inspired Falkirk side that were fighting for survival”, reflected team captain Mark Johnston.“It was a disappointing performance from us and we were quite simply beaten by the better team on the day. We just did not have enough consistency and could not quite grasp the excellent and very fast carpet at Falkirk”.Billy Mellors suffered a heavy double figure defeat while Jamie Higgins, Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver were also punished by a Falkirk with the bit between their teeth. The writing came on the wall early for East Lothian as after 10 ends completed the major scoreboard reading 52-21 in favour of the home side and in all honesty it never got any better for the visitors.
Meanwhile the ladies side hopes of landing the honours in Division 1C of the Scottish Ladies League ended in disaster when they suffered a 14 shot home defeat at the hands of chief rivals Balbardie in last Saturday’s winner takes all clash .The victory for the Bathgate side saw them top the table and they now go forward to the knockout stage of the promotion play-offs.“We had been previously been undefeated at home so we were quietly confident we would get over the line but sadly we performed just below par and unfortunately we paid the ultimate price”, said team manager Sheena Currie.However it must be mentioned that our top skip this season Nancy McNeil had to withdraw from the team due to a leg injury and that was a massive blow to our hopes of winning”.Defeats on the rinks skipped by Emma Brown (-16), Janet Fairnie (-4) and Yvonne Veitch (-5) severely blunted the challenge of the home side and the tremendous win on the rink skipped by Gillian Mackintosh (+19) paled into in significance.
The talented senior side from East Lothian IBC were in Scottish Senior League quarter-final action on Wednesday when they tackled current title holders Falkirk at West Lothian IBC in Livingston. Meanwhile the qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup continued last Wednesday and East Lothian A were in fine form to inflict 8-0 point’s misery on Dunfermline side Headwell. In the other clash played Midlothian won their second consecutive match this time beating Tweedbank, 6-2. The action continued on Wednesday but only one fixture was being played as Perth clashed with Teviotdale.
A side from East Lothian IBC progressed through to the second round of the Scottish Mixed Team Championship event following a tremendous 6-2 point’s win over a strong West Lothian side in last Sunday’s first round action at Balbardie IBC in Bathgate. The side now tackle Balbardie at Falkirk IBC on Sunday February 8.
East Lothian IBC youth convenor Peter Fallen is over the moon to receive the news that Megan Kivlin has been selected for the Scotland Under 17 side that will play in an international event in Guernsey sometime in April. Other garden county youngsters Dean Riva, Craig Mackintosh and Lewis Betts also participated in the recent trial match but unfortunately failed to make the final 12 man line-up.
Current national under 18 singles champion Calum Darling has progressed through to the finals day of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games qualifying event. Bowls Scotland and the Scottish Indoor Bowling Association have combined forces to create a qualifying competition for a male and female player to achieve bowls qualification criteria for this summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. Darling did have the luxury of being drawn in the qualifying section being played at East Lothian IBC and he used his home carpet knowledge to good effect to go through the qualifying process undefeated and book his place in finals day at Glasgow IBC on Sunday March 1.
The youth side from East Lothian IBC enjoyed a double success over Falkirk at Meadowmill stadium last Saturday. First up was an East of Scotland Junior League clash between the sides and the garden county young brigade emerged triumphant with a 5-2 points win. That was followed by a SYIBA Top Ten first round encounter and East Lothian again came out on top to book a quarter-final home clash against either Garioch or Elgin later in the season.