Billy Mellors survived a tough challenge from Chris Fallen in the final of the East Lothian IBC Gents Singles Championship and his 21-16 victory triggered excited celebrations of a record-breaking fourth title in five years.Read More
“It was a scrappy game that it could have gone anyway, so I’m delighted to have managed to get over the line and it is a dream come true for me to become the first player to win the title four times”, said a delighted Mellors. He surpassed the three-time champion accolade held by garden county legends Ian Bell and Graham Robertson. The additional bonus for Mellors is entry into the 2018/19 national singles.
14-year-old Aaron Betts produced one of the best singles performances ever witnessed at the Alex Marshall Arena when he proved too strong for former World Indoor Singles champion Joe Mower in the final of the gent’s junior singles final and wrapped up a sensational 21-4 victory in 12-ends. It climaxed a fantastic finals week for Betts as he had already celebrated title successes in the Under 13 and Under 17 singles.
The competitive outdoor bowling season will well and truly burst into action this Friday evening as the opening fixtures in the East Lothian Leagues are staged around the length and breadth of the county.
Officials at ELBA have confirmed that well known Prestonpans, Tranent and Gullane based company East Coast Carpets have kindly agreed to be league sponsors for an eighth consecutive year.
As ever the main spotlight will be on the race for the blue riband Division 1 title and holders Cockenzie & Port Seton get the defence of their title on their own patch against West Barns. The champions go into this campaign with the exact same squad of players that served them so well last season and the club is still buzzing after the recent double gold medal heroics of club champion ‘Sir’ Derek Oliver at the recent Commonwealth Games. West Barns survived a close relegation shave last season but if they can get all their top players firing and playing on a regular basis they should have no such issues this season. Newly promoted Elphinstone face a tough opening game challenge as they head to Tranent based EL-Coop. The ‘peepers’ have boosted their squad by capturing the double signing of county side regulars Ross Thomson and Stephen Cochrane from their opening week opponents while Declan French returns to his native club following a short spell at Aberlady. EL-Coop has also been busy in the close season transfer window and have snapped up Alex Cormack from neighbours Tranent along with the talented Dean Riva from Gifford. It should be quite a night at Haddington when their first and second teams go head to head in an opening week showdown. The club have confirmed the signing of former junior cap David Sked from Gifford while Jamie Blair also returns to the limelight after a self-imposed break from the game. One piece of negative news for the ‘Hi Hi’s’ is that icon figure Glenn Blair is set to miss the whole season as he continues his recovery from a serious hand injury. Tranent start with a home game against Dunbar and they will include a familiar face in their opening week line-up in the shape of Dean Higgins following his switch from Midlothian side Pathhead. Dunbar will parade new signing Liam Gallagher following his winter move from West Barns. East Linton open at home against Castlepark and their ranks have been severely boosted by the return to the club of former players Kevin Dean and Calvert Allison while they have also secured the services of experience campaigner Ian ‘Dinger’ Bell from Haddington. Castlepark also welcome back a former player in the shape of James Hogg but his appearances could be curtailed slightly as the now Edinburgh based player juggles playing commitments with his primary club Carrick Knowe.
The action also gets underway in Divisions 2, 3 & 4 on Friday night with the following fixtures: – Division 2 – Athelstaneford v Ormiston; Longniddry v Cockenzie & Port Seton A; Prestongrange v EL-Coop A; Macmerry v Gifford; Winton v Aberlady. Division 3 – Dunbar A v East Lothian Labour; Castlepark A v East Linton A; Aberlady A v Haddington B; Tranent A v Cockburnspath; Prestongrange A v Cockenzie & Port Seton B. Division 4 – Castlepark B v Prestongrange B; Dirleton v West Barns A; Macmerry A v Stenton; Ormiston A v North Berwick
All clubs in Divisions 1-4 reminded that the starting time for the opening four games of the season is 6.30pm. The action in the Thursday afternoon Senior Leagues gets underway next Thursday (May 3) with a full card of action in Divisions 1, 2 & 3. 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.
Finally, you can keep up-to-date with all that is happening on the outdoor bowling scene in the garden county by following the website by East Lothian Bowling Association. All bowlers are urged to view by clicking on www.eastlothianbowls.com