2016 Scottish champions Derek Oliver and Gordon White are the crowd pullers to Belfast based Belmont Bowling Club in Northern Ireland this week with the talented garden county duo bidding to enhance their national title by adding British Isles crowns.Read More
Cockenzie & Port Seton king pin Oliver challenges for the gents singles crown and his bid for British title glory started today (Thursday) at 9am when he faced well known Ireland national champion Barry Kane in a preliminary round encounter. The winner will then face Thomas Greechan of Jersey in the semi-final on Friday morning with the final being staged later in day at 2.30pm. Due to the surprise withdrawal of the England representative from the event, David Kingdon of Wales has received a bye straight into the final. Aberlady star White challenges for the gents Under 25 singles crown and will take to the green simultaneously with Oliver as he also faces a preliminary round engagement with Ben Harvey of Guernsey providing the opposition. England champion Jamie Walker awaits the winner in the semi-final. Live real time scoring from the championships can be viewed by clicking on http://britishislesbowls.com
Meanwhile, the East Lothian presence will be surprisingly low in numbers this weekend when Scotland bid to reclaim back the British Isles Home International event also being staged at Belmont BC. Scotland face host nation Ireland in the opening match on Saturday morning but only the name of Malcolm Higgenbotham (Haddington) features in the opening 24-man line-up. Cockenzie & Port Seton star Scott Kennedy is one of the travelling Scotland reserves and he will hope to feature at some point during the series.
Massive congratulations to Gifford’s world stage icon figure Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE on winning the Australian Open Men’s Fours title along with Bowls Scotland teammates Paul Foster MBE, Ryan Burnett and Darren Burnett. Marshall dedicated his title success to his mother who sadly passed away while he was competing in Australia. The four international stars put on a tremendous display, showing why they were hot favourites to claim the $12,000 first prize.
East Lothian hopes of qualifying through to the knockout stages of the Scottish Counties Championships were ended last Saturday when the defending champions lost out to runaway East section winners Midlothian by 25 shots in a high-octane encounter that was very high in entertainment for the large crowd gathered at Rosslyn BC.
The garden county players played with heart and soul and gave there all in a 130-105 defeat but in the end came up well short against an exciting Midlothian side making it seven wins out of seven and it was them and West Lothian who claimed the two spaces up for grabs in the very competitive East section qualifying race. Defeat on five rinks saw Alister Kennedy the only skip to deliver an East Lothian win with John McCrorie (-1), Steven Morgan (-3), Billy Mellors (-3), Brian Young (-12) and Scott Kennedy (-13) all suffering setbacks. “Disappointed we did not make it especially after making such a great start to the qualifying campaign. Unfortunately, the earthquake loss we sustained last week gave West Lothian a lifeline to snatch the second qualifying place and they grabbed it by winning their final game”, said a dejected team manager Stewart Johnston.
The East Lothian Under 25 brigade return 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 Borders at Shettleston BC awaits. The set-up for the Scottish Cup sees team’s just field four rinks instead of the usual six and games are played over 17 ends rather than standard 21. At the time of this report going to press no team news was available from team manager Michael Greenan but it will be announced later this week via social media.
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 to Burnhead BC in Larbert to tackle Stirling East. The following side has been announced: – B.Scott, G.Gray, G.Smith, G.Cowan skip A.McCue, J.Smith, D.Arnot, A.Morgan skip J.Hogg, B.Davidson, D.Kennedy, T.Young skip K.Morgan, J.P.Hamilton, G.Blyth, D.Pryde skip B.Brunton, J.Murray, R.Strang, A.Russell skip Reserves: – M.Gordon, K.Borthwick, D.Temperley, A.Jamieson, J.Rolland, P.Fallen Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor John P Hamilton immediately on 07974 648401. All players except those travelling from Dunbar and East Linton requested to report at EL-Coop BC in Tranent for 9.45am. Meanwhile it has been announced local companies Plumbing & Electrical Services Dunbar and Had-Fab Ltd will sponsor the team for the forthcoming campaign.
Former record five-in-a-row champions Cockenzie & Port Seton have hit the front entering the second phase of fixtures in the race for the coveted Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues with their latest 6-2 away to Dunbar good enough to punish the defeat sustained by long time leaders Haddington at home to Tranent. Derek Oliver and Scott Kennedy served up winning performances for Cockenzie & Port Seton to leapfrog Haddington and move two points ahead of their nearest challengers. Kern Gallacher managed to collect what could be a valuable two points for Dunbar with a win over Steven Morgan. Haddington saw their defence of the title suffer an unexpected blow in a 6-2 defeat at home to a Tranent team who to impress and remain very much in the title race mix. EL-Coop reignited their recent ailing title bid with a confidence boosting 6-2 win at middle of the table East Linton. Castlepark remain in troubled waters this campaign but they will hope their excellent 6-2 away win at West Barns will be the launch pad for better things to come. Gifford are stranded on the bottom rung and their survivial prospects looked doomed however, they did wound Aberlady in a 6-2 away defeat.
On Friday night, Haddington have the chance to regain authority on Division 1 when they visit a struggling Aberlady while leaders Cockenzie & Port Seton do not play as their away fixture at East Linton has been postponed and rescheduled for this coming Wednesday (July 5). It is third against fourth as EL-Coop and Tranent go head to head in what should be a high-octane second Tranent derby of the campaign. Dunbar sit second bottom and will remain anchored in the relegation zone if suffering defeat away to a Castlepark team fighting desperately to put more than the current single point gap between them. West Barns will be hot favourites to bounce back to winning ways when they visit foot of the table Gifford.
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.
There is busy weekend of action coming up for local bowlers as two ELBA tournaments reach their climax. First up on Saturday afternoon is the finals day of the prestigious County Cup and Castlepark BC in Prestonpans is the host venue. The semi-final action commences at 12.30pm with the final expected to get underway around 3pm. Then on Sunday, EL-Coop BC and Cockenzie & Port Seton BC, jointly stage the semi-finals of the Andrew McKellar Top 5 singles tournament at 12.30pm with the latter club hosting the final at approximately 2.30pm. The eventual winners will go forward and represent East Lothian in the national event next season.
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