The East Lothian IBC duo Alex Marshall MBE and Scott Kennedy were part of a Scotland team last week who clinched a famous victory over auld enemy England to retain the David Bryant Cup.Read More
The talented duo was among the team taking part in a two-day international test series at New Earswick IBC, in York, which was screened live on ITV4.
Kennedy teamed up with Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker to defeat the English trio of Mervyn King, Rob Paxton and Nick Brett on the opening day. Then, Marshall, along with Stewart Anderson and Paul Foster made it 2-0 to Scotland after defeating Mark Dawes, Jamie Walker and Jamie Chestney. Marshall and Foster then made it 3-0 in the pairs before England edged their way back into the tie to trail by one going into the second day. Stewart Anderson then made it 4-2 to Scotland with victory over Rob Paxton before Marshall picked up his third win to put Scotland on the brink of lifting the David Bryant Cup. Midlothian ace Ronnie Duncan then wrapped up the victory with a tiebreak win against Jamie Chestney. To their credit the English team did complete a respectable finish when they won the remaining singles matches as the series finished with 6 points to 5 total in favour of Scotland.
After a shaky start the East Lothian IBC men’s side are now sitting pretty at the top of the table in Section B of the Scottish Premier League with their latest success an impressive 86-64 away victory at Paisley.
Paisley made the stronger start to edge the first five-end phase, 27-18, but East Lothian came good on the next phase to turn the tables and read a 54-51 match score in their favour on the master scoreboard. Entering the final phase of action with the match finely balanced on a knife-edge East Lothian produced a tremendous finish across all four rinks and registered a 32-13 dominance to win the match. “We commented pre-match that any away in this competitive section was a good win and our performance as a team delivered the result we were looking for. Our three young players Lewis (Betts), Craig (Mackintosh) and Dean (Riva) all playing their second competitive game at this level all performed well and this bodes well for the long term future of the Club”, said team captain Graham Robertson. Derek Oliver and Jamie Higgins both chalked up double-figure triumphs that were supported by a plus contribution from Graham Robertson while the only setback was a narrow one suffered by Scott Kennedy. Oliver skipped Lessel Middler, Matt Osborne and Andrew Jeffrey into an encouraging 12-7 lead after 10 ends but faced tough menace at 15-14 before finishing with flourish to clinch a 25-14 win over Callum Taggart. Higgins carded a couple counts of four as he skipped Mark Johnston, Lewis Betts and Glenn Blair to a 26-16 win over David Stobo. Robertson and his front three of Craig Mackintosh, Andy Burt and Willie Wood MBE got off to the worst possible start and found themselves 12-0 in arrears but a tremendous battling performance saw them complete the comebacks of all comebacks and register a 21-19 triumph against John Gilmartin. Kennedy and his rink of Ross Thomson, Dean Riva and Dougie Berwick were involved in a ding-dong battle with Dave Moffat before slipping to a 15-14 defeat.
It is a free week for the men’s side this weekend as the National Junior Singles playdown action takes centre stage and club champion Joe Mower is in action at Arbroath IBC. The current World Indoor Under 25 singles champion faces a first round encounter on Saturday at 2pm against Jamie Aitken of West Lothian. The ladies playdown action also takes place at Arbroath IBC but commences on Sunday, the local challenger is Kim Hoggan, and she faces Heather Garvie of Stonehaven in the first round action at 10am.
The ladies side return to national league action on Saturday and they will be looking to make home advantage count against East Fife in the East section of the Scottish Premier League. Team manager Sheena Currie is upbeat about experienced campaigner Nancy McNeil making her first appearance of the campaign while she has handed a debut to promising youngster Beth Riva. Anne Barclay and Irene Gray are the players sidelined. The team reads:- M.Murray, J.Russell, A.Irvine, E.Logan skip M.Devine, M.Hamilton, C.Ward, L.Baillie skip P.Turner, R.Campbell, N.McNeil, Y.Veitch skip B.Riva, A.Berwick, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip
Meanwhile the senior sides bid to complete four opening wins in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League ended in failure with the garden county elite stalling (59-52) on their visit to play Midlothian at Dalkeith last Wednesday.
Tommy Young and B J Smith put up strong shows to skip their rinks to good 6 and 2 shot wins respectively but it was not enough to cover setbacks for Willie Wood MBE (-3) and Alastair Russell (-12). “We started well enough and enjoyed the better of the exchanges over the opening seven-ends then did enough on the second period to stay competitive but sadly failed to hold Midlothian in the run in”, reflected team convenor John P Hamilton. Their mission to achieve a quick return to winning ways started on Wednesday when they played host to Tweedbank.
There was mixed fortunes for the East Lothian representatives in last Sunday’s national senior championships playdown action. Senior club champion B J Smith made the short trip to Midlothian IBC to compete in the singles but his participation was a short-lived affair as he suffered a 21-13 first round defeat at the hands of Bainfield. The strong looking partnership of Lessel Middler and Willie Wood MBE represented the local banner in the pair’s event at Bainfield IBC, and they received a bye into the first round proper before coming through a sterling test unscathed against West Lothian to progress to the next round and now face East Fife. Also positive news in the triples as the garden county trio of Jim Neilson, Billy Higgins and Tommy Young reeled off two excellent wins at Midlothian IBC to book their place in the last 16 and now tackle West Lothian. The next rounds of both the pairs and triples will again be staged at Midlothian IBC on Sunday November 13.
Meanwhile ladies club champion Janet Fairnie was in National Singles playdown action last weekend at Auchinleck IBC and went into the event with high hopes but she failed to find her very best form and bowed out with a 21-9 defeat from host club star Claire Johnstone.
Two times former East Lothian IBC club champion Scott Kennedy was in SIBA Champion of Champions action last Sunday at Auchinleck IBC and after recording a comprehensive opening round win over Robert Grant of Lanarkshire he then lost out in straight sets to fellow Scotland cap Ronnie Duncan of Midlothian.
Emerging young star Danny Stevenson was in SYIBA Young Masters playdown action last Sunday at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline. Stevenson was drawn in a tough qualifying section and failed to progress to the next stage but he can be proud of the way he performed in all his matches against more experienced opposition. Meanwhile the youth side are in competitive action on Sunday as they make the short trip to Dalkeith to participate in the Midlothian IBC Annual Youth Tournament. All players selected requested to report at East Lothian IBC by no later than 8.45am.
The youths Friday sessions at East Lothian IBC are up and running from 2-4 pm every week, while the Saturday sessions take place from 8-10am.