East Lothian continue to be the dominant force in the East section of the Scottish Counties Championship with the garden county making it three wins out of three with a comfortable 145-92 victory over Fife County at Leslie Bowling Club last Saturday.Read More
Winning performances on four of the six rinks propelled East Lothian to a sizeable victory with the positive contributions made by skips Scott Kennedy, Brian Young, John McCrorie and Stephen Cochrane. The rinks skipped by Glenn Blair and Craig Valentine did suffer setbacks however the master scoreboard always showed the visitors holding the upper hand from the opening ends. “Absolutely delighted to register such a good win on away terrority and were now in a terrific position to capture one of the two qualifying places up for grabs”, commented Johnston.
Team captain Kennedy included big counts of 6, 7 and 5 as he skipped Stewart Thomson, Craig McLeod and Willie Wood MBE to a whopping 35-13 win over Alan Pearson. Young stretched from 8-7 to 20-7 and skipped Matt Osborne, Billy Cormack and Billy Dunleavey to an eye-catching 31-12 win over Gary Mackie. McCrorie and his front three of Gordon White, Jamie Gordon and Stevie Greenan flew out the traps to lead 18-3 after 9 ends but then suffered a mid-game collapse to lose 14 shots without reply before reasserting themselves in the closing ends to beat Jim Fernie, 28-18. Cochrane made his seasonal debut and was in fine form as he skipped Ross Thomson, Davie Whitson and Joe Mower to a 19-8 triumph over Calum Young. Blair, you would have to say, blew it in a 19-18 defeat from 18-13 up against Davie Comrie while Valentine slipped from 5-6 to a 22-14 defeat from Jim Forbes.
Elsewhere in the East section previously undefeated Midothian suffered a shock home defeat against Borders while Edinburgh & Leith and West Lothian both registered big wins. With the three rounds of fixtures played East Lothian, top the section with 6 points and a shot margin bank of 76 with West Lothian, Edinburgh & Leith, Midlothian and Borders all on the 4-point mark.
The side faces a stern test on Saturday when they face local rivals Midlothian at West Barns BC in undoubtedly Scotland’s match of the day. Haddington star Billy Mellors, Gifford’s Dougie Berwick and Chris Johnston of Ormiston all return to the team at the expense of Gordon Baillie (Cockenzie & Port Seton), Tommy Young (Dunbar) and Andy Burt (Haddington). A slightly recast line up reads: – R.Thomson (ELCO), D.Whitson (Tra), J.Mower (Hadd), S.Cochrane (ELCO) skip C.Johnston (Orm), M.McCormack (Win), R.Cochrane (P/G), G.Blair (Hadd) skip G.White (Aber), J.Gordon (C&PS), S.Greenan (PG), J.McCrorie (Tra) skip M.Osborne (Tra), B.Cormack (Mac), B.Dunleavey (Aber), B.Young (Tra) skip S.Thomson (Hadd), C.McLeod (Win), W.W.Wood MBE (Giff), S.Kennedy (C&PS) skip A.Martin (Tra), D.Berwick (Giff), C.Valentine (C&PS), B.Mellors (Hadd) skip Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stewart Johnston immediately on 07939 700720. All players are to report at West Barns BC by no later than 1.30pm. Meanwhile it has been confirmed that the team is being sponsored by Macmerry based company Had-Fab Ltd for a third consecutive year.
The East Lothian Under 25 side hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the Scottish Under 25 League Cup remain alive after they produced a wonderful team performance to inflict 183-93 misery on Borders at Kelso BC last Sunday. The sensational margin of victory saw them consolidate their position at second in the East section but they remain 2 points adrift of leaders Edinburgh & Leith with only one round of fixtures remaining.
“Edinburgh & Leith still remain firmly in the driving seat and with just one game to go they are the form horse to beat Midlothian at home but we must remain focused and win our last game at home to Fife then hope for the best”, commented co team manager Stevie Greenan.
The most pleasing aspect for the garden county selectors is that the side delivered wins on all six rinks with three of the rinks managing double-digit margin triumphs. James Burnett claimed top honours and the sweepstake money as he skipped his rink to a whopping 47-11 win. Other rink scores were Reece Cochrane 34-13, Joe Mower 28-14, Steven White 27-16, Glenn Blair 23-17 and Gordon White 24-22. This Sunday the side takes a break from league action and turn their attentions to the Scottish Cup campaign where a first round encounter against Stirlingshire at Polton BC awaits. The set-up for the relatively new national tournament sees team’s field just four rinks instead of the usual six rinks so this has meant team co-managers Stevie and Michael Greenan have had to name a 16-man line-up rather than the usual 24. They have settled on the following team:- L.Gallagher (W/B), Dec French (Elph), C.Bell (Hadd), S.White (ELCO) skip S.Mackie (ELCO), J.Robertson (Tra), R.Thomson (ELCO), G.White (Aber) skip C.Brock (Hadd), D.Young (ELCO), C.Darling (Giff), R.Cochrane (P/G) skip S.Clark (P/G), Dean French (Elph), K.Frame (C/P), G.Blair (Hadd) skip/capt Reserves: L.Newland (Ath), S.Gray (C/P), K.Yule (P/G), R.French (Elph)
Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stevie Greenan immediately on 07712 277681. All players requested to report at Polton BC by no later than 1.15pm. Any player unsure of travel arrangements is requested to contact him immediately.
Meanwhile the garden county trio of Joe Mower (Haddington), Dean Riva (Gifford) and Calvert Allison (East Linton) head to the National Centre for Bowling, Ayr Northfield, on Sunday to participate in the Bowls Scotland Junior International Trial match.
Haddington and Tranent are the joint table toppers in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues with the former and current titleholders both continuing their excellent early season form in last Friday night’s action. The clash between EL-Coop and Haddington was a cracking affair and the visitors will be reasonably pleased to depart a testing away challenge with a 4-4 share of the spoils. Defending champions Tranent made home green advantage count as they registered a 6-2 win over Gifford. Cockenzie & Port Seton moved into third place and made some ground on the leaders following their 7-1 home win over relegation zoned Prestongrange. East Linton moved clear of the relegation zone following a fantastic 6-2 away win at West Barns while Castlepark added to foot of the table Elphinstone woes with a whopping 8-0 home win.
Tranent proved last season that they have the tough mentality it takes to stay on when hitting the front but the champions of 2015 will have that put to the test in Friday night’s Division 1 top of the table battle against Haddington. The champions are making a great defence of their title, but, on away terrority, this is their toughest task yet of the current campaign. Another cracking affair looks in prospect at fourth placed EL-Coop when they entertain third placed Cockenzie & Port Seton. Gifford welcome Castlepark while relegation zoned Prestongrane and Elphinstone are both at home against West Barns and Elphinstone respectively.
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.
East Lothian senior convenor Andy Burt has announced that the trial match for the forthcoming Inter-County Senior League Cup campaign for the Matt Purdie Trophy is being staged at Haddington BC on Monday June 27. All players nominated by their respective club are requested to report at Haddington for 9.30am.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club are staging an Open Triples tournament on Saturday 18 June and entries are now being accepted by contacting Brian Bissett on 07903 541373.
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
Finally, officials at East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club have confirmed that the club will continue to remain open during the summer months. The opening hours during this period will be 10am-3pm.