Massive congratulations to Gifford’s world stage icon figure Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE on winning the Australian Open Men’s Fours title for a second consecutive year this time alongside Scotland teammate Ryan Burnett, Australian internationalist Nathan Rice and well known Irishman Jeremy Henry. The four international stars put on a tremendous display, showing why they were one of the strong favourites to claim the $10,000 first prize.
2017 Scottish champion Joe Mower is the crowd puller to Royal Leamington Spa BC this week with the talented garden county star bidding to enhance his national title by adding the British Isles crown.
Haddington Bowling Club king pin Mower challenges for the gent’s junior singles crown and his bid for British title glory starts today (Thursday) at 10am when he faces his former Welsh teammate Ross Owen in a preliminary round encounter. The winner will play either England or Jersey in the semi-final.
The British Isles Home International series is also being staged at Royal Leamington Spa BC from Saturday to Sunday. Top bowlers from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland will be on show with the final matches of the series on Sunday morning expected to decide the title. The Scotland line-up that will face England in a tasty Saturday morning (9am) opening game features four East Lothian players in the shape of Brian Young (EL-Coop), Billy Mellors (Haddington), Derek Oliver and Scott Kennedy (both Cockenzie & Port Seton) while Steven Morgan of Cockenzie & Port Seton is one of two travelling reserves. Alistair Kennedy of Haddington was named in the original 24-man line-up but has had to withdraw due to work commitments.
Meanwhile, the East Lothian talented duo of Lauren Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and newly crowned British champion Dee Hoggan (Tranent) were last week part of a Scotland side that finished in runners-up position at the BIWBC International series after three days of competition at Belmont BC in Belfast. They got off to a flier with a 179-72 win against Jersey but then were narrowly beaten 113-117 by hosts Ireland before England – the overall winners – beat them 107-121. A 123-101 final game win against Wales saw them secure the runners-up spot.
Its huge congratulations to the East Lothian young contingent of Robbie Buchanan, Lucy Hogg (both Cockenzie & Port Seton), Robbie Shields (EL-Coop) and Melissa Penman (Aberlady) after being named in the recently selected Scottish Young Bowlers Under 17 International squad.
East Lothian hopes of ending a troubled Scottish Counties Championship qualifying campaign on a morale lifting high note came to fruition when they produced a great finish to beat Borders by 14 shots (123-109) at Castlepark BC last Saturday. East Lothian enjoyed wins on the rinks skipped by Billy Dunleavey (+13), Brian Young (+12), Scott Kennedy (+5) and Billy Mellors (+1) who finished the campaign with an impressive 100% record of wins. Two rinks did fail to achieve supremacy over their respective opposition with Malcom Higgenbotham (-4) and Stuart Thomson (-13) both suffering defeats. “Delighted to finish the campaign on a high note but it looked very unlikely that would be the case at the halfway stage as we trailed by 25 shots but credit to the lads we finished the game like a whirlwind and blew Borders away”, said team captain Malcolm Higgenbotham.
The East Lothian Under 25 side returns to competitive action on Sunday and following a disappointing league campaign they now turn their attentions to the Scottish Cup where a first round encounter with Dumbartonshire at Ardrossan BC awaits. The set-up for the Scottish Cup sees team’s just field four rinks instead of the usual six and games played over 17 ends rather than standard 21. Team manager Gordon Pryde has announced the following side. C.Brock (Hadd), R.French (Elph), D.Riva (ELCO), J.Mower (Hadd) skip C.Alison (E/L), S.Mackie (ELCO), M.Martin (Tra), R.Cochrane (P/G) skip M.Kivlin (ELCO), Dean French (Elph), R.Thomson (Elph) capt, Dec French (Elph) skip D.Stevenson (ELCO), E.Leith (Aber), K.Simants (Dun), J.Burnett (C/P) skip Reserves: C.Shaw (ELCO) & D.Peart (Long) Coach will depart outside EL-Coop BC in Tranent at 8am. Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact Gordon Pryde immediately on 07712 277681.
East Lothian senior side get their Inter-County Senior League Cup campaign for the Matt Purdie Trophy underway this coming Monday when they make the journey over the River Forth to tackle West Fife at Inverkeithing BC. Newly appointed team convenor Tom Young has announced the following side for the opening match. K.Boyd (ELCO), D.Hogg (ELCO), A.Valentine (ELCO), T.Young (Dun) skip B.Scott (Mac), J.Murray (Dun), D.Kennedy (W/B), G.Cowan (E/L) skip K.Morgan (C&PS), R.Strang (Elph), J.Bonner (ELCO), A.Morgan (C&PS) skip B.Brunton (Dun), K.Glen (Elph), G.Smith (ELCO), A.Burt (Hadd) skip J.P.Hamilton (W/B), G.Gray (ELLC), P.Fallen (Elph), A.Russell (Tra) Reserves: – G.McLeod (Aber), J.Greenwood (Aber), A.Jamieson (C&PS), J.Smith (ELLC), I.James (ELCO), D.Pryde (Mac), P.Duncan (Dun) Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor Tom Young immediately on 07759 435750. All players, including named reserves, to report at EL-Coop BC in Tranent for 10.15am. Meanwhile it has been confirmed that local companies Plumbing & Electrical Services Dunbar and Had-Fab Ltd will sponsor the team for the forthcoming campaign.
Tranent based club EL-Coop remain the front-runners entering the second phase of fixtures in the race for the coveted Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues. They passed a major test in last Friday night’s action with flying colours when they triumphed 6-2 away to Elphinstone. Haddington delivered a predictable 8-0 home win over foot of the table Haddington A and are now breathing down the necks of the leaders with the gap between the top two down to a single point. Defending champions Cockenzie & Port Seton remain in third and only four points off the pace after keeping their title challenge alive with a hard fought 6-2 away win at West Barns. Dunbar can be pleased with their recent upward move and sit comfortable in mid table after beating struggling Tranent 8-0 at home. East Linton have also enjoyed a recent revival and their tremendous 6-2 away win at Castlepark is bringing relegation zoned rivals West Barns and Tranent under increasing pressure in the battle to beat the drop. On Friday night, Division 1 leaders EL-Coop will be without influential figure Brian Young (international duty) when they play host to Castlepark. Elsewhere Elphinstone visit struggling Tranent; Haddington A entertain West Barns in a crunch relegation clash while the fixture involving third placed Cockenzie & Port Seton and high flying Dunbar was played earlier in the week due to the home side having three players away on international duty. The internationals at Royal Leamington Spa have also seen the fixture between East Linton and Haddington postponed.
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.
Four clubs will battle it out on Saturday to capture the second bit of silverware of the domestic season as the ELBA County Cup finals day takes centre stage at Gifford BC. The semi-final action gets underway at 12.30pm with the final expected to commence at around 3pm.
Officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club is open daily over the summer months from 10am-4pm. For more information contact the clubs catering staff on 01875-614166 then dial extension 303. If coaching required please contact Development Officer Billy Mellors on 07930 716073 to arrange a suitable day and time for a lesson.
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