There was to be no British Isles title success for current Scottish champions Derek Oliver and Gordon White after the garden county talented duo both suffered semi-final defeats at the recent championships staged at Belmont BC, Belfast, Northern Ireland.Read More
Cockenzie & Port Seton king pin Oliver enjoyed a tight 21-18 victory over host nation champion Barry Kane in the preliminary round of the Gents singles, but suffered an agonising 21-18 defeat to eventual champion Thomas Greechan of Jersey in the semi-final. In the Gents under 25 singles Aberlady star White was in sparkling form to win his preliminary round clash with Guernsey’s Ben Harvey, 21-6, but then came up against a master class showing from England champion Jamie Walker in the semi-final and lost 21-7.
Meanwhile the East Lothian pairing of Malcolm Higgenbotham (Haddington) and Scott Kennedy (Cockenzie & Port Seton) were last weekend part of a Scotland senior international that collected the wooden spoon for a second consecutive year after finishing bottom of the table in the British Isles Home International series also held at Belmont BC in Belfast.
The Scots opened the series with a narrow 112-91 setback against the hosts Ireland but then things deteriorated in the next game against Wales as they suffered a humiliating 136-91 defeat with only two of the Scottish six rinks emerging triumphant. A lot of soul searching was needed for the final match of the series against auld enemy England and to their credit the Scottish players rallied to the cause and looked on course for victory before England staged a brilliant fightback to triumph 122-116 and win the series for a third consecutive year. Finishing bottom of the pile for a second year in a row and with zero wins out of the six matches played must surely bring serious questions about the current selection policy in place by Bowls Scotland. There is a growing demand in the national bowling fraternity that it must change for Scotland to become a serious force again as the selection set-up currently in place is nothing short of shambolic.
East Lothian senior side prospects, and expectations, of putting up a decent show in the East section of the Inter-County Senior League Cup for the Matt Purdie Trophy has come under early pressure with an opening away defeat to Stirling East on Monday.
It was a tight affair at Burnhead BC in Larbert with the garden county auld brigade left nursing the wounds of an 11-shot defeat (67-56). Defeat on three of the five rinks is not a statistic that will go down well with East Lothian support with the most worrying blots the 10 shot defeats suffered on the rinks skipped by Alan Morgan and George Cowan while rink skipped by Davie Pryde were edged out by 3 shots. On the upside, Tommy Young skipped his rink to a 7-shot success while Alastair Russell celebrated a 5 shot triumph.
A dejected senior convenor John P Hamilton said; “We were a little unlucky at times but ultimately it is a very disappointing start. We may have lost this one but we will hopefully bounce back this coming Monday when we tackle West Fife at Gifford BC”. The following side has been announced: – M.Gordon, D.Hogg, G.Smith, G.Cowan skip A.McCue, J.Smith, D.Arnot, A.Morgan skip J.Hogg, B.Davidson, D.Kennedy, T.Young skip K.Morgan, J.P.Hamilton, G.Blyth, P.Fallen skip B.Brunton, J.Murray, R.Strang, A.Russell skip Reserves: – D.Temperley, K.Borthwick, B.Scott, G.Gray, A.Jamieson, D.Pryde Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor John P Hamilton immediately on 07974 648401. All players report at Gifford BC by no later than 11.10am.
The Under 25 brigade of East Lothian hopes of landing the Under 25 Scottish Cup failed at the second round stage of the new national tournament only in its second year. The garden county young guns were hopeful of a good cup run but despite making a bold effort of it failed to get on top of their Ayrshire counterparts and suffered a disappointing 78-52 defeat at Shettleston BC last Sunday. “We made a promising start to the game and led by 7 shots but at the five end mark Ayrshire took control of proceedings and we were left chasing our tails for the remainder of the game”, reflected team manager Michael Greenan.
A good win on the rink skipped by Joe Mower brought little compensation to an East Lothian camp that recoiled at the punishing setbacks suffered by Glenn Blair, Reece Cochrane and Calum Darling.
With Cockenzie & Port Seton and Haddington both out of action last Friday night, it was Tranent who were the main movers in the race for the coveted Division 1 title of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues. The 2015 champions continue to flash positive signals that are well equipped to mount a serious title challenge with their latest success a 7-1 away win at neighbours EL-Coop moving them to within 6 points of the leaders. Castlepark have climbed from the relegation zone to the lofty heights of fifth place after thumping Dunbar 8-0 at home while West Barns remain in the mid-table safety zone following their 6-2 win at home against foot of the table Gifford.
On Friday night, all the top three clubs in Division 1 enjoy home advantage with Cockenzie & Port Seton tacking West Barns, Haddington hosting Gifford and Tranent entertain Dunbar. Elsewhere, fourth placed EL-Coop make the short trip to Prestonpans to tackle a rejuvenated Castlepark team while East Linton hosts Aberlady.
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.
Tranent Bowling Club are kings of the ELBA Top 5 singles tournament for a second consecutive year after capturing the Andrew McKellar trophy with two regal performances in the finals day played last Sunday. Aberlady played the bridesmaid role with Tranent claiming a hard fought 3-2 points win in the final played at Cockenzie & Port Seton BC. Matt Osborne, Adam Martin and Davie Whitson played the hero roles for their club by inflicting the pain of defeat on Brian Galloway, Jackie Greenwood and Billy Dunleavey respectively. Colin Penman and Gary Swann grabbed consolation wins for Aberlady against John McCrorie and Kevin Jones. Tranent now go forward and represent East Lothian in the national event again next season.
Meanwhile the champagne corks were popping in the East Linton clubhouse last Saturday evening after claiming the ELBA County Cup with two polished performances in the finals day played at Castlepark BC. A good win over Division 2 high flyers Elphinstone in the semi-final was capped by a superb team performance to beat fellow Division 1 side EL-Coop in a closely contested final.
Cockenzie & Port Seton BC is staging a Senior Open Triples tournament on Wednesday 12th July and entries are now being accepted by contacting the club on 01875 810481 or 07508997664. Entry fee per triple is £30.00 but this includes a complimentary breakfast and lunch for all participants.
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