East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club’s three-pronged attack on three national titles in the final stages of the Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships played at Aberdeen IBC, ended up with a title celebration in the gent’s triples discipline following the heroic performances of Mark Johnston, Willie Wood MBE and Derek Oliver.Read More
They showed great resolve against Garioch trio Colin Banks, Brian Reid and Jason Banks to survive a nerve racking final end shoot out in last Sunday’s final. The garden county champions held a 10-3 lead after 7 of the 18 ends completed, but only scored one more shot over the course of the next seven ends and faced a 17-11 deficit with only four ends to play. End 15 was to spark an East Lothian revival however and it came with a count of 3 that moved them onto the 14 mark. The next two ends saw East Lothian card two successive singles that hiked up the match tensions on both triples with now Garioch defending a slender 17-16 lead. The final went into a last end decider and although played out on a tightrope situation the pendulum did seem to swing in the direction of Garioch with the head building up in their favour in the shape of them holding one shot. Oliver played his last delivery of the final and it brought the current national outdoor singles winner one of his finest moments in a career of many highs with the 32-year-old attacking the head with a pin point strike that ended with the jack in the ditch and when the dust settled found EL holding a title winning lye. Opposing skip Banks had the last bowl of the final but he failed as he fell a yard shot of playing the hero role resulting in East Lothian carding a double to take the Triples title for a fifth time.
“Absolutely delighted to land other national title especially as things looked very bleak for us at 17-11 down but we dug deep and managed to get over the line in dramatic circumstances and we can now look forward having a go at the British Isles title next year”, beamed Oliver afterwards. “Would like to give a special mention to Willie (Wood) as still to be winning gents national titles at the grand old age of 78 is quite simply a remarkable fete”.
But there was to be disappointment for East Lothian in the Fours final on Sunday afternoon when Johnston and Oliver teamed up with Stevie Thomson and Jamie Higgins and suffered an agonising 22-20 defeat against Blantyre. The task of teenager Dean Riva in the Under 18 singles was a tough one against Carla Banks of Garioch and glimpses of good form couldn’t prevent a 21-17 semi-final exit. Banks confirmed her rising star status with a 21-15 win over Robert Hunter of Alloa in the final.
Fresh from winning the SYIBA National Top Ten title the super youth side from East Lothian IBC were yet again in title winning form last Saturday, this time retaining the East of Scotland Junior League Top Ten title. The garden county youngsters produced five tip top performances to claim the title for a second successive year. “A massive well done to all our youth section for another successful season. To bring back three main team trophies shows the quality throughout the section”, said a delighted Youth Convenor Peter Fallen. “Good luck to Cameron Shaw, Chris Robertson, David Young, Craig Mackintosh and Megan Kivlin for their future in the sport as that’s them played their last season in the youths”.
The qualifying play in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, continued at the Alex Marshall Arena last Wednesday and East Lothian celebrated a 6-2 points win over Midlothian to secure a top of the table finish in Section A with Midlothian also progressing through to the knockout semi-finals as runners-up. The qualifying play reached its climax on Wednesday with the race for the top 2 places in Section B to be decided. Current table toppers West Lothian were set to face nearest challengers Abbeyview while Headwell still had an outside chance qualification when they tackled Tweedbank. The semi-finals will be staged this coming Wednesday (April 5) with the final being played a week later.
A mixed side from East Lothian IBC is in action on Sunday when they head to Dunfermline for the second-round action of the Headwell Mixed Team Championship. Methil based side East Fife will provide the opposition with play getting underway at 2pm.
The funeral of well-known and respected East Lothian bowler Alan ‘Colonel’ Clydesdale will take place next Thursday (April 6) at Warriston Crematorium at 1pm.