The competitive action in the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues got underway in overcast and relatively cold conditions last Friday evening and reigning Division 1 champions Haddington hit the ground running in a stuttering fashion after suffering a 7-1 points defeat at 2015 champions Tranent.Read More
Polson Park legends Graham Robertson and John McCrorie provided the shine on the Tranent performance after skipping their rinks to convincing victories over Haddington returnee Malcolm Higgenbotham and Alister Kennedy while Alan Young battled hard to gain a deserved draw against Scotland Junior trialist Glenn Blair. “Losing Brian Young and Jamie Higgins during the winter transfer window was a major blow but we still think we still have enough quality in our ranks to be mount a serious title challenge”, said a Tranent spokesperson. Fellow based Tranent club EL-Coop had a few first team players missing when they opened at home against East Linton but still had enough in reserve to record a convincing 6-2 win over the visitors. Cockenzie & Port Seton also enjoyed opening week success but despite having home advantage were made to fight all the way by newly promoted Dunbar before recording a 6-2 triumph. West Barns turned in the performance of the opening night after they registered an eye-catching 5-3 away win at Castlepark. Division 2 champions Aberlady began life back in the top flight with an 8-0 points win but they did so without having to throw a bowl after Gifford had to forfeit the match as they were unable to acquire the services of twelve members to field a team. In Division 2, Winton got their campaign off to a tremendous start following an 8-0 home win over Ormiston while Prestongrange and Haddington A also got off to a flyer after 7-1 wins over Castlepark A and Cockenzie & Port Seton A respectively. There was fine 6-2 away wins for both Elphinstone and EL-Coop A against Athelstaneford and Tranent A. In Division 3, there was 6-2 opening week wins for East Linton A, Prestongrange A, North Berwick and Longniddry while the clash between Macmerry and East Lothian Labour ended in a 4-4 draw.
The league action continues Friday night and match of the night takes place at Polson Park where Tranent and near neighbours EL-Coop clash in the first Tranent derby of the season. The home side are likely to name an unchanged side for the eagerly awaited contest while the visitors are expected to welcome back Chris Fallen and Paul McLaren into their first team line-up. Cockenzie & Port Seton have home advantage for the second consecutive week when they entertain East Linton while Aberlady will finally get some competitive league action when they make the trip to tackle champions Haddington. Officials at Gifford are hopeful they will get enough bodies to fulfil their fixture away to West Barns while just up the road Dunbar play host to Castlepark. There is also a full fixture card in Division’s 2 and 3 while Friday night is the opening week of fixtures in Division 4. There is also a full round of fixtures in Division’s 1, 2 and 3 this coming Wednesday evening.
All clubs in Divisions 1-4 are reminded that the starting time for the opening four games of the season is 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 East Lothian Under 25 side preparations for the Scottish League Cup campaign suffered a blow when they failed badly in their attempt to retain the Borders BA hosted Inter-County 4 team tournament. The defending champions suffered defeats against West Lothian (-11) and Midlothian (-5) but did finish with a flourish beating host side Borders. “We went with high hopes of retaining the title but the playing surface at Hawick was very tricky and a lot of our players struggled to adapt to the conditions”, reflected team convenor Stevie Greenan. The side start their 2017 national league cup campaign on Sunday and the opening challenge for the garden county young brigade is a home fixture against local rivals Midlothian at Haddington Bowling Club. The selection process for the opening game was made harder with the news that key players Glenn Blair (Haddington) and Dean Riva (Gifford) are unavailable for selection with both players participating in the Bowls Scotland Under 25 trial match at Ayr Northfield. Blair will wear the captain’s armband for a third successive year but with him absent on Sunday Sam Gray of Castlepark will deputise. The team for the opening game reads: – M.Kivlin (ELCO), R.French (Elph), C.Brock (Hadd), S.Gray (C/P) skip/capt D.Stevenson (ELCO), J.Ferguson (Long), D.French (Elph), R.Cochrane (P/G) skip L.Newlands (Athe), J.Lockhart (Hadd), J.Robertson (Tra), J.Burnett (C/P) skip C.Innes (P/G), D.Young (ELCO), F.Pringle (C/P), Dec French (Elph) skip E.Leith (Abe), K.Yule (P/G), L.Gallagher (W/B), R.Thomson (ELCO) skip
S.Robertson (C/P), H.Cunningham (C&PS), S.Clark (P/G), C.Darling (Hadd) skip
Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor Stevie Greenan immediately on 07712 277681. All players are requested to report at Haddington BC by no later than 1.30pm. Meanwhile the side has received much needed financial support after securing season long sponsorship deals with Flowers by Arrangements, Eddie Clark Minibus Hire, Flyers Private Hire, Andrew Wilson & Sons, Links Road Garage, Edmunson Electrical of Loanhead, Seton Private Hire and Catering Equipment Hire.
The first silverware of the ELBA domestic season will be won on Saturday as the finals day of the ELBA Trophy takes centre stage. The semi-finals get underway at 12.30pm then the successful sides will battle again at 3pm. The semi-final ties take place at West Barns and Dunbar respectively with the latter club hosting the grand finale.
Finally, 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