East Lothian IBC ladies side hopes of landing the Scottish Cup title for a first time ended in failure with the elite from the Alex Marshall Arena stalling 8-2 on points against Balbardie in the quarter-final action at Bainfield IBC last Saturday.Read More
The garden county went into the clash as firm favourites as they finished a massive 10 points ahead of the Bathgate based opposition in the recently completed East Premier Division and that included taking all 4 points against them. But Balbardie are noted for being a good cup side and that came to the fore again as they inflicted misery on three of the four East Lothian rinks with only a good 16 shot win on the rink skipped by Emma Logan giving something positive to reflect on. “The final outcome was a fair result as Balbardie played an attacking game that we simply could not respond too”, reflected team manager Sheena Currie. “It wasn’t to be but in the main it has been a terrific season for us and the highlight for us was finishing runners-up to Midlothian in the league”. Balbardie had the complete measure of the rinks skipped by Yvonne Veitch and Lauren Baillie and punished both with 17 and 13 shot defeats respectively while the rink skipped by Janet Fairnie lost out by 3.
The East Lothian contingent of Alex Marshall MBE, Scott Kennedy, Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver and Jamie Higgins were last weekend part of a Scotland side that for the second-year running had to settle for runners-up spot behind England in the British Home International series staged at Belfast IBC.
The opening game of the series saw the Scots battle their way past a stubborn Ireland side by an overall shot win of 110-99 and followed that up with a very confident 123-88 win over Wales to set up a final game winner takes all clash with England who had also won their opening two matches. Scotland made an encouraging start in the title decider but it was the start of a false dawn as England slowly but surely took control of proceedings and ran out 118-112 winners. On the overall performance ladder, Higgins, Mellors and Oliver formed a rink along with West Lothian star Thomas Mann that enjoyed two excellent wins against Ireland and Wales respectively but suffered a damaging defeat against England. Team captain Kennedy played third in a rink skipped by world stage star Paul Foster that recorded two wins and one defeat but the rink skipped by Marshall endured a disappointing series and suffered three straight defeats albeit all by single figure margins. Bowls Scotland elite player Derek Oliver has a busy schedule this weekend with the recently crowned outdoor national singles champion in action at the Scottish Indoor Championship Finals being staged at Aberdeen IBC where his is double-handed with the Triples and Four in his sights. The 32-year-old Scotland cap remains at the height of his career and takes centre stage at 9.30am on Saturday as he skips Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson and Jamie Higgins in the semi-final of the Fours with the opposition coming from Falkirk. The other contenders for the Fours title is Blantyre and Garioch. Both Oliver and Johnston return to the carpet on the 2pm session along with middleman Willie Wood MBE in a high-profile garden county trio that faces Balbardie in the semi-final of the Triples. The other semi-final clash features Inverclyde against Garioch. East Lothian IBC are triple-handed in these championships with Dean Riva representing the banner in the Under 18 mixed singles and faced with a semi-final corker in the shape of Garioch star Carla Banks on Sunday at 9.30am. Robert Hunter of Alloa and Darren Weir of Prestwick contest the other semi-final. All finals will be played on Sunday with session times scheduled as 9.30am and 2pm.
The super youth side from East Lothian IBC were once again in title winning form last Sunday this time lifting the SYIBA National Top Ten title at Falkirk IBC. The garden county young brigade won the prestigious trophy for the first time putting in two great performances against Alloa and Abbeyview respectively. Wins in the singles, triples and fours saw them score a 7-2 points win over Alloa in the semi-final action with the highlight being Danny Stevenson winning a brilliant game in the singles clash, 21-20. In the final, the Fours and Triples played outstanding to give East Lothian a massive advantage on the overall shots aggregate winning 24-5 and 19-2 respectively. The singles and pairs battles went the way of Abbeyview but the garden county collected the bonus points for winning the overall shots battle (69-44) and saw them crowned champions. “Everyone is chuffed to bits that after a few near misses we have finally got our hands on the Top Ten trophy”, beamed youth team convenor Peter Fallen.
The qualifying play in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, continued at the Alex Marshall Arena last Wednesday and Dalkeith based side Midlothian celebrated a comfortable 6-2 points win over Bainfield while in the other match played Perth defeated Abbeyview by a similar scoreline. The qualifying play continued Wednesday and featured a local derby clash between East Lothian and Midlothian while the other fixture played saw West Lothian clash with Perth. Meanwhile Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith will stage the semi-finals of the ever increasingly popular Central District Seniors Top 6 on Sunday from 2pm. The last four line-up features defending champions Abbeyview against two time previous winners Perth while Alloa play Balbardie in the other tie with neither team having won it previously. The final is due to be played at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline on Saturday April 8 with again play commencing at 2pm.
Finally, on a very sad note, the local bowling community is in shock over the sudden death of Alan ‘Colonel’ Clydesdale, 51, who passed away in the early hours of Monday morning. Clydesdale, was a valued bowling member at East Linton Bowling Club but also enjoyed spells at North Berwick and Macmerry respectively. It was the latter – his home town club – where he enjoyed most success on the bowling green, reaching the final of the national junior singles in 1990 before making it through to the semi-finals of the national pairs nine years later with good friend Jock ‘Scoop’ Henderson. He was a member of the East Lothian side that captured the Andrew Hamilton Trophy back in 2003 and more recently was part of the East Linton side that captured the ELBA Top 10 title in 2016 (pictured on front with cap on). He is survived by his loving wife Joyce and son Jamie. Funeral details are still to be finalised by the family.