East Lothian 26/4

All the major finals have been being played at the Alex Marshall Arena over the past two weeks culminating with the gents singles final between Billy Mellors and Chris Fallen last Friday and what a final to end with.  It was Billy Mellors who scooped title number five in the last six years but only after a monumental scrap with Chris who fought hard and lay game himself on two occasions.  

The game was slow to get going and was tight for most of the first half before Billy slowly edged his way in front and after bagging counts of 4 and 3 lead 20-13 it looked like he was going to repeat his win of last year over Chris.  Chris had other ideas though and a run of 1,3,1 made the score 20-18.  Chris had indeed saved the match twice with last bowl draws when he scored the two single shots.  

Now on a run of form Chris put Billy under tremendous pressure by putting his first three bowls at the next end to within a foot and a half of the jack to lie the match.  Billy failed with his third bowl to draw the shot and despite the crowd expecting a strike he opted for the draw shot again with this last bowl and drew the second shot to make the score 20-19.

On what was to turn out the last end Billy put the pressure on Chris straight away with a draw to within inches of the jack and as Chris failed with his second and third deliveries Billy covered the spots.  With his last deliver Chris played a perfectly weighted “chap and lie” shot to replace Billy’s bowl and lay the two he required for the game leaving Billy around 7 inches to draw the shot and 20 inches to save the match.  As he has done at the highest level before Billy rose to the occasion and drew 6 inches to the side of the jack to claim title number five and leave Chris heartbroken.  However, both players put on a spectacular end to the game and the season at the Alex Marshall Arena and both should be proud of their performances.  Billy now goes forward to try and regain the Scottish Singles title next season and has added the singles title to the pairs and fours he had already won this season at East Lothian.

The remaining finals completed last week were as follows:

Tuesday 16th April

Monday Fours Final – I Cunningham, B Bentley, M Devine and A Irvine 20 v 12 J McFarlane, P Turner, R Mackintosh and M Murray

Ladies Triples Final – Melissa Penman, Kim Hoggan and Dee Hoggan 27 v 11 Hazel Fender, Jean Russell and Janet Fairnie

The final of the Jock Brodie Seniors Challenge Trophy Sponsored by N T Craig, Tom Young Plumbing & Electrical Services and Colin Glen Roofing took place last Wednesday as Midlothian faced Perth in the 21st year of the competition.  It was indeed Midlothian who triumphed in the first running of the event.  This year’s final at the Alex Marshall Arena was a cracker of a game with Midlothian taking an early lead before Perth fought their way back into the game.  After the full distance of seventeen ends had been played the teams were tied at 4pts meaning an extra end was required to decide the winner.  It was the inaugural and now five time winners Midlothian who triumphed following a measure by two shots to one to once again engrave their name on the trophy and consign Perth to the runners-up berth for the second year running.  Rink results were: (Midlothian names first) AJ Knight 16 v W Taylor 19, I Fleming 24 v R Brown 11, G Cairns 19 v D Lambert 21.  As mentioned, this tournament has now been going for 21 years and continues to attract the top senior teams thanks to the organisers and the sponsors.

The East Coast Carpet Leagues get underway tonight (Friday).  In Division One the defending champions Cockenzie and Port Seton are going for three titles in a row and open up at home to Dunbar.  Last year’s second and third place teams, who both lost out on the last end of play last season, play each other as Haddington entertain EL Co-op.  Top Ten champions Tranent will be looking to get involved in the title race this year and open up at home to East Linton.  Castlepark have home advantage against Elphinstone and the two newly promoted teams meet each other when Winton travel to Prestongrange.  It’s hoped this season is as exciting as the last two when the title has been decided on the last bowl of the last night of fixtures.

If any clubs wish to inform the reporter of their new signings, any special anniversary years or of any open tournaments they are hosting over the season please send an e-mail to sackman@live.co.uk.