The East Lothian banner will appear in the last four stage of the gents Scottish Fours Championships at Lanarkshire IBC in Wishaw on the weekend of Saturday March 28 as the reward for four super performances from the rink of Andrew Jeffrey, Scott Kennedy, Derek Oliver and Billy Mellors in the playdown action at Bainfield IBC last weekend.
Wins over Stirling, Berwickshire, Tweedbank and Midlothian were delivered in grand style and with great authority although Mellors and Co did have sweat on their brow before emerging from the melting pot to win a nail-biter against Midlothian. The garden county rink hit the ground running in their early morning prelim round match against Stirling and stormed to an impressive 23-14 win over Richard Kelly, Steven Hazel, James Brown and Gary Malcolmson. Berwickshire provided the first round opposition to Mellor and Co but the Border rink of Ross Neil, Gavin Douglas, Stuart Bebbington and Graeme Forsyth made their exit to a crushing 23-15 defeat from the on fire East Lothian challengers. Mellors & Co returned to the Bainfield carpet on Sunday morning to face Derick Pearce, Neil McInally, Kenny Johnstone and Ross Nichol of Tweedbank in the second round and produced another sound performance to score a hard fought 25-20 victory. The section final against fellow premier leaguers in the shape of Midlothian rink Jamie McNab, Jamie Aitken, Andrew Kelly and Ronnie Duncan had all the hallmarks of being a classic encounter and it did indeed turn out to be an epic battle. East Lothian were rocked back onto their heels in the early stages and it looked like curtains for them as Duncan and his front three made an explosive start that fired them into a 11-3 lead after 10 of the 21 end confrontation. Mellors and Co managed to arrest their alarming collapse by carding a single on end 11 and that sparked a strong fight back to 14-14 after 19 ends. The dramatic change of momentum in favour of East Lothian fired up the strength of their challenge over the remaining two ends and although it was a tightrope and tension filled climax it was Jeffrey, Kennedy, Oliver and Mellors that edged a 17-14 victory. “Reaching the final stages of the championships gives East Lothian the chance to win the title for a fourth time and this particular campaign is dedicated to Willie Wood MBE who had to drop out due to a medical operation”, said a jubilant Scott Kennedy.
In the ladies playdown action at West Lothian IBC in Livingston the East Lothian rink of Jackie MacFarlane, Catherine Jones, Cathy Ward and Cathy McLeod were sidelined in the prelim round bowing out to a 38-5 hammering from Balbardie.
The opening week of action in the Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare sponsored Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup saw East Lothian B cause a major shock with a tremendous 6-2 points win over last years runners-up and one of the pre-tournament favourites Perth. The other opening week encounter was a Borders derby between Berwickshire and Teviotdale and it was the latter side that came out on top with a 6-2 triumph. The action takes a break over the festive period and continues again on Wednesday January 7 when East Lothian A clash with Bainfield and Midlothian line-up against Abbeyview.
The bowling stars of the future will be on parade at Meadowmill stadium this coming Saturday as East Lothian IBC stage their annual Youth Team Championship tournament with all the action getting underway at 9.30am. Six sides from the length and breadth of Scotland will participate with the eventual winning side capturing the coveted and magnificent East Lothian Council trophy.
Finally, East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club is now offering Half Season memberships at a cost of £35 for full members and £20 for junior members and is effective from January 1st. Anyone wishing to join should call into Meadowmill Stadium or apply online at www.elibc.co.uk. Anyone wishing to enter any of the post-Christmas leagues should also apply online via www.elibc.co.uk or contact the Match Secretary as soon as possible.