The clubhouse was rocking at Haddington Bowling Club last Friday night with the celebratory anthem ‘we are the champions’ getting big licks from the jubilant choristers hailing the Division 1 title capture of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian League for a second time in three years.Read More
The outcome of the 2016 campaign had gone right down to the wire with Haddington going into match 18 defending a slender 1-point lead over defending champions Tranent. Elphinstone arrived at Haddington intent on spoiling the party but were sent home nursing an 8-0 defeat from a strong home team performance with winning performances on the rinks skipped by Angus Blair, Billy Mellors and Alister Kennedy.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to win the title again but this one is extra special as with four games to go we looked well out of the title picture but we managed to amass 38 points out of 40 in those remaining games and that has been good enough for us to be crowned kings of East Lothian one more time”, said a club spokesperson.
Although there were mainly jubilant scenes at Haddington, there was also a downcast feeling for Elphinstone with not only the result sentencing the home club to the title; but plunging the visitors through the relegation trapdoor. Prestongrange also made a quick return to Division 2 after they suffered a damaging 6-2 defeat away to third placed EL-Coop. Gifford did not do their survival cause any big favours in a 6-2 away defeat at Cockenzie & Port Seton; but in the end, the four points collected in the final two games were lifesavers. West Barns ended their relegation fears with a strong home performance to inflict 8-0 misery on middle of the table Castlepark. Defending champions Tranent put up a bold bid to retain their title and ended the campaign with an 8-0 win at home against East Linton; but left them viewing a league table showing them one point adrift of Haddington.
Its congratulations to all concerned at Dunbar Bowling Club after they captured the Division 2 title with a 7-1 home win over title rivals Aberlady. Despite the bad result, it was not all doom and gloom for Aberlady as the one point they bagged was good enough for them to be confirmed runners-up, just pipping Tranent A by a single point. At the other end of the table East Linton A and North Berwick were sentenced to life in Division 3. Athelstaneford won the title honours in Division 3 and will be joining them in Division 2 next season will be Winton. The escape hatch in the relegation zone was closed on Stenton and Wallyford and they must now look forward to life in Division 4. There was a double celebration at Dunbar after their second string side won the Division 4 title while Prestongrange A snatched runners-up spot from under the noses of Gifford A.
West Barns hopes of landing the Inter-County Top 5 Singles title for a second time in three years when they suffered an agonising last bowl quarterfinal defeat at home against Dumfries & Galloway champions Stranraer last Sunday. The 2015 East Lothian champions celebrated wins for Gary Landells (21-7) and Calum Gordon (21-15) but defeats for Ian Thorburn (21-20), Kevin Thomson (21-15) and Scott Thorburn (21-12) saw the visitor’s progress into the semi-finals with a 3-2 points win.
Meanwhile, an East Lothian Under 25 team made a bold effort to bring the prestigious Calder Cup back to the garden county for the first time; but fell at the final hurdle. Sighthill BC in Edinburgh hosted the end of season tournament and East Lothian emerged from a tough qualifying section as table toppers to book a semi-final clash with Grampian. East Lothian produced a fantastic performance to record an emphatic 6-0 point’s win and West Fife provided the opposition in the final. National junior singles holder Gordon White skipped Dean Riva and Sam Gray to victory in the triples contest but defeats for Reece Cochrane and Glenn Blair in the pairs and Chris Brock, John Robertson, Ross Thomson and Steven White in the fours saw West Fife take the honours with a 4-2 points triumph. “Really pleased with the level of performance from all the players but in the end we just came up short against a very strong West Fife side”, reflected joint team manager Stevie Greenan. Greenan also gave special praise to Vice-captain Steven White after he played his last competitive game at Under 25 level.
The East Lothian youth side are in Andy Houston Trophy action on Sunday with the climax to the event now being staged at Eddlewood BC rather than Orbiston BC. The garden county young brigade has been drawn in a qualifying section that includes Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Fife. The following team has been announced:- K.Dodds (ELCO), B.Riva (ELCO), H.Cunningham (C&PS), D.Riva (ELCO) skip C.Johnstone (C&PS), M.Kellagher (Aber), C.Shaw (ELCO), D.Young (ELCO) skip/capt M.Penman (Aber), R.Reay (Orm), R.Shields (ELCO), M.Kivlin skip (ELCO) skip C.Lynn (Aber), G.Lumsden (C&PS), J.Clark (ELCO), R.Buchanan (ELCO) skip Reserves: D.Stevenson (ELCO) & L.Hogg (C&PS)
A coach will depart EL-Coop BC at 8.15am and anyone wishing to check on the availability of seats should contact Gordon Pryde on 07841 747695. The youths would like to thank sponsors Mums @ The Mill, The Workshop Port Seton, Gare Property Maintenance and A.B.Splash for their invaluable continued support.
John Carpenter Jnr was crowned king of Athelstaneford BC for a second consecutive year when he held most the aces to defeat Sam Newlands in the final. Kim Hoggan emerged queen of the villagers when she saw off the challenge of Kerrie Deans in the ladies singles championship final. Steven Kerr is celebrating after he won the gents championship singles at East Linton having served up a great performance in the final to beat club stalwart figure Mike Newlands while Dawn Murdoch is the ladies champion after victory over Amy Newlands. Its congratulations to Jim Bain after he became champion of East Lothian Labour Club for a first time after defeating Cameron Maxwell in the final. Former county star Struan Robertson turned back the clock to become champion of West Barns for a second time after he beat Chris O’Brien, 21-18, in a thrilling final. Mark Riding is the champion of Elphinstone after seeing off the challenge of Lessel Middler in the final.
The opening round action of the prestigious ELBA Champion of Champions gets underway tomorrow (Friday) evening with a host of ties taking place around the length and breadth of the county. All ties get underway at 6.30pm prompt.
With the indoor season fast approaching officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club has announced the club will be open on Thursday 8th, Friday 9th and Monday 12th September from 10am-12noon and 6.30-8.30pm for bounce games and membership fees will also be taken during these times. Try Bowls Tester sessions are being organised on 3 of the 6 rinks on both sessions on Monday 12th September so there will only be 3 rinks available for bounce games. Should you wish to register for the Try Bowls sessions please contact the new East Lothian Bowls Co-ordinator Billy Mellors on 07930 716073 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The club will open on a full-time basis from Tuesday September 13 with membership’s fees being taken between 10am-12noon and 6.30-8.30pm every weekday. The Tuesday Morning League and Top Four begin on Tuesday 13th with the other leagues following on.