Billy Mellor’s reign as national indoor singles title holder came to an end at Cumbernauld IBC last Sunday morning after he suffered a 21-17 third round defeat to Abbeyview IBC champion Paul Brown.
The East Lothian IBC champion launched the defence of his title with an impressive 21-4 victory in 13-ends against host club champion John Cowie. Mellors then fired up his support with an explosive start to his match against the talented Paul Brown of Abbeyview IBC and seemed to have the Dunfermline challenger well in his grip at 12-3 up after eight ends. But the killer instinct that has made Mellors a major name on the national scene seemed to desert him as Brown became the assertive figure with a steady fight back that closed the gap to a single figure at 16-15 after 17-ends. Mellors arrested his slide with a single to 17 but was unable to impose himself further as Brown toppled the champion with a storming 2, 2, 2 finish to win 21-17 in 21-ends.
East Lothian had two bites at the cherry with junior cap Ewan Fallen a strong second string and he showed nerves of steel to survive a 21-20 nail-biter in a 22-end prelim round battle against Jamie Mitchell of Berwickshire. Fallen’ s campaign soon ended in disappointment however with a 1, 4, 3, 2, 1 collapse from 10-6 down sentencing him to a 21-6 exit in just 12 ends at the hands of Galleon IBC challenger Cameron Wilson.
Meanwhile Emma Logan (formerly Brown) lost out in her opening match in last Sunday’s SIBA Champion of Champions tournament also staged at Cumbernauld IBC. Brown suffered a straight sets defeat against the very experienced Margaret Letham.
The strong looking partnership of Andrew Jeffrey and Billy Mellors (subbing for the unavailable Scott Kennedy) will carry the East Lothian banner into Sunday’s gent’s national 2-bowl pair’s playdown action at Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith. An early 9.30am start on the first session pitches the garden county duo against the strong East Fife IBC pairing of Christopher Stein and ex-East Lothian star Wayne Hogg. In the ladies playdown action being staged at West of Scotland IBC in Glasgow, the extremely talented pairing of Emma Logan and Dee Hoggan fly the local flag and tackle Marjory Kyle and June Marshall of Glasgow IBC at 9.30am.
East Lothian IBC young rising star Megan Kivlin is on international duty this weekend as she will be part of a Scotland Under 18 side competing in a British Home International series at Ballybrakes IBC in Ballymoney. Also joining Kivlin on the flight to Northern Ireland will be East Lothian star Scott Kennedy as he has been appointed team manager of the young Scots team.
The East Lothian IBC men’s side Scottish Premier League programme springs into its winter action tomorrow (Saturday) and they open with a challenging away clash against newly promoted Ayr. The garden county side will compete in a competitive but very winnable looking B section with Ayr, Falkirk, Aberdeen, Abbeyview and Bainfield providing the opposition over a 10 match campaign that stretches from tomorrow until January 30.
East Lothian go into the opener missing the vital services of regular campaigners Scott Kennedy, Graham Robertson, Ewan Fallen and Dougie Berwick but they have received a huge boost with the news that world stage icon figure Alex Marshall MBE is available and will be for the majority of this season’s campaign. Further good news is the return of Malcolm Higgenbotham following a few years self-imposed exile from the indoor bowling scene while Jamie Gordon also makes a comeback. They have captured the services of Welsh Under 25 cap Joe Mower and he will make his garden county debut tomorrow along with Glenn Blair. The skipping roles for the opener will be occupied by the international contingent of Alex Marshall MBE, Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver and Jamie Higgins. The team announced is:-M.Higgenbotham, J.Gordon, G.Darling, A.Marshall MBE skipJ.Mower, A.Burt, A.Jeffrey, B.Mellors skip/capt M.Johnston, C.Darling, W.W.Wood MBE, D.Oliver skip L.Middler, G.Blair, S.W.Thomson, J.Higgins skip Scott Kennedy will wear the captain’s armband this season with Billy Mellors appointed vice-captain.
The ladies side Scottish League campaign got off to the worst possible start when they suffered a disappointing 84-67 defeat away to Edinburgh based rivals Bainfield in the opening round of fixtures in Division 1C last Saturday. Team manager Sheena Currie is hoping her side can bounce back to winning ways immediately when they welcome Borders side Teviotdale to the recently renamed Alex Marshall stadium. Commonwealth Games elite squad member Lauren Baillie is a welcomed addition to the side and she takes up a skipping role alongside Janet Farnie, Emma Logan and Yvonne Veitch in a team that reads: D.Rowan, C.Jones, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip M.Murray, J.Russell, A.Irvine, E.Logan skip M.Devine, P.Turner, N.McNeil, Y.Veitch skip A.Barclay, I.Combe, G.Mackintosh, L.Baillie skip
Meanwhile the ultra-talented senior side also made an indifferent start to their campaign in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League when the defending champions suffered a shock 17 shot defeat (67-50) at Balbardie last Wednesday. Wins for the rinks skipped by Alastair Russell (+10) and Tom Young (+4) paled into insignificance as their colleagues Willie Wood MBE (-4) and Peter Laidlaw (-23) tumbled to damaging defeats. “We always experience tough games when we visit Balbardie but on most occasions we have come out on top, however, this time we were well and truly beaten by the better team on the day”, said team co-ordinator John Hamilton. Their mission to achieve a quick return to winning ways started on Wednesday when they played host to Bainfield.
Craig Mackintosh will be the local representative in the upcoming SYIBA Masters playdown action at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline next Sunday (October 18) after winning the East Lothian IBC qualifying event. Mackintosh defeated Cameron Shaw in a very closely contested final that was played last Sunday evening.
East Lothian Labour Club is staging their AGM this coming Sunday at Polson Park Bowling Pavillion. Club president Ian Anderson will open proceedings at 12 noon and all members are requested to attend.