The climax to the Bowls Scotland National Championships played at the well-attended Ayr Northfield Complex saw stars from East Lothian bowling fraternity capture two Scottish Crowns.Read More
Tranent Bowling Club’s Dee Hoggan reinforced her well-earned reputation as a blooming talent with the 27-year-old winning the Ladies Singles after storming to a 21-11 win, in 17 ends, over Gillian Gorman of Glenluce in the final. Winner of the Junior Singles in 2009 and the 2016 Mixed Pairs with her uncle John McCrorie, Hoggan hit the lids to race into a 12-0 lead then remained in command at 15-5 and 17-11 before reaching the magic figure of 21 with a 1, 3 finish. The excitingly talented star was following through on a sparkling semi-final performance that produced a runaway 21-4 win over Lisa Thomson of Westhill.
A second East Lothian success followed when Welshman Joe Mower of Haddington Bowling Club won the gents junior singles title in spectacular fashion producing a tremendous fight back from the gaping jaws of defeat to snatch a 21-19 victory over Dean Mackintosh of Edinburgh club London Road Foundry. Mackintosh thrilled his support with a tremendous start that saw him establish a commanding 18-10 lead over Mower, a recent winner of the World Indoor Junior Singles title. Mower remained under immense pressure at 19-13 down; but he is a fighter not fazed by the psychological challenge of sitting in the trap of the graveyard figure, as he proved. The 20-year-old Haddington ace escaped to 16 with a magic count of 3 then inspired by that he grinded out further scores of 1, 1, 2, 1 to capture the glory in a 25-end thriller.
There were two silver medallists, too, as Castlepark’s Janet Fairnie narrowly missed out on the senior ladies singles crown, while Haddington ace Billy Mellors was also a defeated finalist, in the gents’ singles. And the county’s medal haul was completed by Haddington’s Colin Dick, Stuart Thomson and Alister Kennedy, as they won bronze in the men’s triples.
In the other events played the strong Cockenzie & Port Seton pairing of Steven Morgan and Derek Oliver produced two sparkling performances to reach the quarter-finals of the gent’s pairs before losing 19-17 to Northfield. In the ladies pairs four times champions Leanne and Lauren Baillie of Cockenzie & Port Seton lost 15-12 in the second round against eventual winners Uphall Station. Haddington’s Caitlin Thorburn won her opening game in the ladies junior singles 21-20 but then was a 21-11 victim of Abbeyview. Jean Russell, Margaret Thomson and Janet Fairnie of Castlepark suffered a first-round defeat in the ladies triples while it was the same outcome for the EL-Coop rink of Arlene Berwick, Ann Hogg, Veronica Auld and Yvonne Veitch in the ladies fours. In the ladies senior fours, West Barns exited at the second-round stage, losing 15-8 to Abbey. In the gent’s fours the Tranent rink of Kevin Cunningham, Davie Sands, Matt Osborne and John McCrorie delivered a great 20-6 win in their opening round match against Lockerbie before making a 17-4 second round exit to Uphall Station. Haddington’s Andy Burt produced two sparkling performances to reach the last eight of the gent’s senior singles before losing 21-14 to Bearsden.
Meanwhile the SYBA National finals ended a week of top class bowling at Ayr Northfield last Sunday but unfortunately there was to be no national title successes for the East Lothian representatives. EL-Coop’s newly crowned British Junior Singles champion Megan Kivlin was drawn in a very competitive section and failed to qualify through to the knockout stage. The Cockenzie & Port Seton paring of Logan Kennedy and Lucy Hogg put up a tremendous showing in the Pairs playdown action but 2 wins from 5 was not good enough for them to progress further in the competition. The EL-Coop triple of Beth Riva, Robbie Shields and Cameron Shaw went through their qualifying section undefeated, winning all five games played. Unfortunately, they came up against a very strong triple in the shape of defending champions Dumfries in their semi-final and lost 15-3.
East Lothian senior side resuscitated their flagging campaign in the Inter-County Senior League Cup for the Matt Purdie Trophy with an upbeat performance on home soil that was rewarded with the scalp of Stirling East at Haddington BC on Monday. The uplift to the garden county ‘auld yins’ spirits will hopefully fire up their hopes of finishing a troubled campaign on a high albeit their remaining fixtures are seen to be extremely tough ones. East Lothian sits a hopeless six points adrift of undefeated table toppers Borders with only two fixtures remaining. Wins on four rinks skipped by Tommy Young (+14), Peter Fallen (+6), Alastair Russell (+3) and George Cowan (+3) reflected a strong team performance with the only setback suffered by Alan Morgan (-9). The side is back in action on Monday when they head over the River Forth to Headwell BC in Dunfermline to tackle West Fife. Not surprisingly the selectors have decided to name an unchanged side for the penultimate match of the qualifying campaign. The side reads: – G.Blyth, G.Gray, D.Arnot, Fallen skip J.Murray, B.Brunton, R.Strang, A.Russell skip K.Morgan, K.Borthwick, J.P.Hamilton, A.Morgan skip B.Scott, J.Smith, D.Kennedy, T.Young skip D.Hogg, A.Jamieson, G.Smith, G.Cowan skip Reserves: M.Gordon, A.McCue, D.Temperley 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 Haddington requested to report at EL-Coop BC in Tranent for 10am.
The action in the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues got back on track on Wednesday night with a full round of midweek fixtures in all four divisions and it continues on Friday night as the campaign enters the crucial home straight. In Division 1 Cockenzie & Port Seton’s title credentials will receive a stern examination when they face a tough away assignment at EL-Coop. Fellow title contenders Haddington are also on the road when they visit relegation threatened East Linton. Elsewhere West Barns host relegation zoned Dunbar, foot of the table Gifford welcome Tranent and Aberlady entertain Castlepark. All clubs are reminded that the remaining league fixtures must commence at the earlier start time of 6.30pm. 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.
The most prestigious cup competition of the domestic outdoor calendar will reach its conclusion this weekend as four clubs will battle it out to win the ELBA Top Ten Championship for the Jubilee Cup. The semi-finals will be staged at neutral venues on Saturday afternoon from 1pm and it features EL-Coop against Cockenzie & Port Seton at East Linton BC while at Polson Park in Tranent defending champions East Linton tackle West Barns. The final is on Sunday at 1pm and will be staged at Haddington BC with the eventual winners going onto represent East Lothian in the national equivalent next season.