Recently crowned six times World Indoor Singles champion Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE is back in World Bowls Tour action next week as he participates in the Co-operative Funeralcare International Open which is being staged at Blackpool’s Newton Hall IBC from 1st-6th March.
The last ranking event of the 2014/15 season will feature the top 16 bowlers in the world joined by qualifiers from Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel and New Zealand. World No.4 Marshall faces a tough looking first round clash against Wales veteran Robert Weale on Monday (March 2) at approximately 11.30am. A win for Marshall could set-up a mouth watering second round clash with England’s Andy Thomson and a quick fire repeat of the recent World Indoor Singles final a strong possibility.
Sunday heralds the finals day of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games at Glasgow IBC and East Lothian have a double interest in the much anticipated event with Calum Darling and Megan Kivlin both having burning ambitions of winning their respective disciplines. 20 finalists will compete for just two places in the Youth Team Scotland bound for the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in September. Only the names of the winning male and female in Sunday’s singles knockout draw will be submitted to Commonwealth Games Scotland to be considered for the Samoa bound team. Kivlin is first in action at 10am when she tackles Ellie Borthwick of Midlothian while former national under 18 singles champion Darling steps onto the carpet at 12 noon and faces a Aaron Barrett of West Lothian.
The Gents Scottish Cup first round action tomorrow (Saturday) pitches record six times champions East Lothian against Forfar at East Fife IBC in what should be a canter for the premier league giants against lowly Division 2 opposition. Alex Marshall is counted out due to his involvement while Andrew Jeffrey will also be an absentee. Garden county legend Willie Wood MBE is recalled to the line-up as he slowly but surely regains full fitness following recent major heart surgery. The line-up reads:- L.Middler, G.Darling, S.W.Thomson, S.Kennedy skip G.Muir, A.Burt, G.Robertson, D.Oliver skip E.Fallen, K.Simants, D.Berwick, B.Mellors skip M.Johnston capt, C.Darling, W.W.Wood MBE, J.Higgins skip
Meanwhile the senior side are in the midst of cup final fever and they have stepped up preparations for the Scottish Senior League Cup Final by naming the side who will clash with Coatbridge at West of Scotland IBC on Saturday March 7. Great news is that legend of the sport Willie Wood MBE has recovered from his recent operation and returns to join Peter Laidlaw, Tommy Young and Jock Brodie as the four skips heading up the garden county ‘auld yins’ challenge. The full team reads:- L.Middler, J.P.Hamilton, A.Russell, P.Laidlaw skip D.McLeod, B.J.Smith, J.Neilson, T.Young skip P.Fallen, J.McLeod, R.Douglas, J.Brodie skip B.Bisset, R.Maguire, B.Higgins, W.W.Wood MBE skip
The club is running a coach to the final which will depart Meadowmill stadium at 9.30am. A limited number of seats on the coach are still available and anyone interested in going should contact senior convenor John Hamilton on 07974648401 as soon as possible.
On Wednesday a senior side from East Lothian IBC were in Central Scotland Senior Top Six quarter-final action against Stirling at West Lothian IBC in Livingston. This coming Wednesday (March 4) the qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup will recommence with East Lothian B tackling Teviotdale while the other clash features Perth against Berwickshire.
The youth side from East Lothian IBC are currently in a rich vein of form as they won their second consecutive away match in the East of Scotland Junior League, this time beating East Fife, 5-2, last Saturday morning. There was to be further joy on Sunday for the garden county young brigade as the pairs and triples qualified through to the finals day of the SYIBA championships at Stirling IBC on Sunday March 8 after both won through from their respective qualifying action at Meadowmill stadium. Megan Kivlin and Lewis Betts teamed up to good effect in the pairs while Aaron Betts, Dean Riva and Craig Mackintosh conquered all before them in the triples.
Finally Gifford Bowling & Sports Club will stage their AGM tomorrow (Saturday) evening at 7.30pm. All members are requested to attend.