East Lothian faced a testing home challenge to rivals Stirling County East at Haddington Bowling Club last Saturday in their second match of the Scottish Counties Championship for the coveted Andrew Hamilton Trophy, but the six times champions came through with flying colours to win, 128-115.Read More
The visitors finished with the upper hand over the East Lothian rinks skipped by Graham Robertson, Billy Mellors and Craig Valentine, but the points were secured for the garden county by triumphs for Brian Young, John McCrorie and Glenn Blair. “Even this early in the campaign we felt this was a must win fixture for us so I asked the team for a big performance and in delivering I was impressed by their sense of focus and strong will to win”, commented team manager Stewart Johnston.
Current national pair’s titleholder Young claimed top honours and the sweepstake money as he skipped Matt Osborne, Billy Cormack and Billy Dunleavey to a whopping 34-18 win over David Taylor. McCrorie and his front three of Gordon Whyte, Jamie Gordon and Stevie Greenan looked in a spot of bother at 7-2 down but then produced a whirlwind run of 1, 1, 3, 2, (2), 2, 5 to then go on and register a 29-17 triumph over Stuart Hogg. Host club star Blair served up an outstanding individual display as he skipped Chris Johnston, Marc McCormack and Reece Cochrane as they delivered a fine 22-14 victory against Stuart Williamson. Stand in skip Robertson and his front three of Stewart Thomson, Craig McLeod and Willie Wood MBE slipped to a 19-13 defeat from Simon Thomson while Ross Thomson, Dougie Berwick. Joe Mowers suffered a late collapse in a 22-15 defeat from Darren Couper. Valentine and his rink of Adam Martin, Gordon Baillie and Tom Young were always against the collar and went on to lose 25-15 to Craig Ross.
The side is back in action on Saturday when they make the trip across the River Forth to tackle Fife County at Leslie Bowling Club in Glenrothes. Team manager Stewart Johnston has had to make three enforced changes, as Billy Mellors (Haddington) and Dougie Berwick (Gifford) are unavailable for the clash while Graham Robertson (Tranent) is also an absentee. Team captain Scott Kennedy (Cockenzie & Port Seton) makes a welcome return while there are seasonal debuts for Stephen Cochrane (EL-Coop) and Davie Whitson (Tranent) in a team that reads: – R.Thomson (ELCO), D.Whitson (Tra), J.Mower (Hadd), S.Cochrane (ELCO) skip C.Johnston (Orm), M.McCormack (Win), R.Cochrane (P/G), G.Blair (Hadd) skip G.White (Aber), J.Gordon (C&PS), S.Greenan (PG), J.McCrorie (Tra) skip M.Osborne (Tra), B.Cormack (Mac), B.Dunleavey (Aber), B.Young (Tra) skip S.Thomson (Hadd), C.McLeod (Win), W.W.Wood MBE (Giff), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip A.Martin (Tra), G.Baillie (C&PS), T.Young (Dun), C.Valentine (C&PS) skip Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stewart Johnston immediately on 07939 700720. All players are to report at Leslie BC by no later than 1.15pm and the team manager has requested that players travel share and anyone taking a car will be reimbursed petrol expenses.
Meanwhile the garden county trio of Scott Kennedy (Cockenzie & Port Seton), Billy Mellors (Haddington) and Brian Young (Tranent) head to Partick Bowling Club in Glasgow on Sunday to participate in the Bowls Scotland Senior International Trial match. Cockenzie & Port Seton icon figure Derek Oliver was originally named in the 48-man squad but his withdrawn due to family commitments.
Its congratulations to Cockenzie & Port Seton star Lauren Baillie after she was named in the Bowls Scotland Ladies Senior International side that will participate in the British Isles Home International series, which this year is being staged locally at Sighthill Bowling Club in Edinburgh on June 19-21.
The Under 25 brigade of East Lothian suffered a damaging setback in their bid to qualify from the East section of the Scottish Under 25 League Cup, with the garden county edged out to an eight shot defeat (125-117) by chief rivals Edinburgh & Leith in a cracking encounter at Cockenzie & Port Seton BC last Sunday.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Gordon White (+8) and team captain Glen Blair (+4) were hard earned and well deserved but in the end paled into insignificance as they failed to cover the setbacks sustained by Steven White (-4), Kieran Frame (-7) and Joe Mower (-9) while James Burnett drew. “We got off to a great start, appeared to have them rattled but to their credit Edinburgh & Leith fought back brilliantly, and proved stronger on the run in”, said team manager Michael Greenan. “It is not quite the end of the world but we now need Edinburgh & Leith to lose at least one of their final two games against Midlothian and Fife respectively but going by formbook that looks very unlikely”.
On Sunday, the side make the trip to Kelso Bowling Club to tackle Borders in their penultimate fixture in the qualifying campaign in the knowledge nothing other than a win will suffice as they try to keep the pressure on leaders Edinburgh & Leith. The following team has been announced:- L.Gallagher (W/B), L.Newlands (Ath), R.Thomson (ELCO), J.Burnett (C/P) skip D.Riva (Giff), K.Yule (P/G), Dec French (Elph), J.Mower (Hadd) skip J.Ferguson (Long), Dean French (Elph), M.McWilliams (Hadd), G.White (Aber) skip C.Brock (Hadd), D.Young (ELCO), C.Darling (Giff), K.Frame (C/P) skip F.Pringle (C/P), S.Johnston (Orm), C.Bell (Hadd), S.White (ELCO) skip S.Clark (P/G), R.French (Elph), R.Cochrane (P/G), G.Blair (Hadd) skip/capt Reserves: S.Gray (C/P), S.Robertson (C/P), S.Mackie (ELCO) Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stevie Greenan immediately on 07712 277681. All players requested to report at Kelso BC by no later than 1.15pm. Any player unsure of travel arrangements is also asked to contact him immediately.
East Lothian champions Tranent Bowling Club hopes of national title glory in the Co-operative Funeralcare sponsored Scottish Inter-County Top Ten were ended by Dumbartonshire champions Dumbarton Rock in last Sunday’s second round action. Jamie Higgins skipped Alex Cormack and Davie Whitson to a fine single shot triumph in the triples but that was to be the only bit of good news for Tranent as defeats in the singles, pairs and fours proved decisive and it was the home side that progressed through to the quarterfinal stage with a 6-2 point’s victory.
Its congratulations to the Tranent Bowling Club pairing of Dee Hoggan and John McCrorie after they won the Bowls Scotland District Mixed Pairs title for a second successive year and now go forward to represent East Lothian in the national finals at Ayr Northfield in late July. The talented duo defeated the Cockenzie & Port Seton partnership Leanne Baillue and Derek Oliver 16-15 in the East Lothian district final staged at EL-Coop BC in Tranent on Monday evening.
Haddington continue to be the early pace setters in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues with the 2014 champions going great guns and pleased to turn in a strong away performance that resulted in a 6-2 dominance over last season’s Division 2 champions, Prestongrange. Last Friday night’s week five round of fixtures pitched defending champions Tranent into an eye catching head to head at Castlepark, and the outcome was a spectacular 8-0 triumph for Tranent. Gifford were at home to EL-Coop and won a cracking encounter, 6-2 while Cockenzie & Port Seton were disappointed with a 4-4 share of the spoils at East Linton and the former dominant force of East Lothian seem to have lost their killer instinct and replaced it with a self-handicapping policy. West Barns produced a strong home performance and staved off the threat of relegation blue as they did themselves a massive favour with a 6-2 win over Elphinstone that gives them a five-point advantage over their second from bottom rivals.
In this Friday night’s action, the headline clash in Division 1 features third placed EL-Coop at home to current leaders and thus far undefeated Haddington. Second placed Tranent welcome Gifford to Polson Park and the visitors are a major dealt a blow with the news icon figure Alex Marshall MBE is unavailable. Elsewhere Cockenzie & Port Seton host Prestongrange; Elphinstone visit Castlepark; West Barns entertain East Linton.
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.
You can now 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