East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club youngsters Craig Mackintosh and Lewis Betts were last weekend a major part of a successful and very impressive Scotland Under 17 side that put on an excellent display of bowling to record an overall 48-8 test series victory against Ireland at the Jim Baker Stadium in County Antrim.
The garden county duo was earning their first caps at international level and both put in some outstanding displays over the duration of the series. This coming weekend will see Dean Riva and Megan Kivlin part of another Scotland Under 17 side that will tackle the Channel Islands in a test series at Falkirk IBC.
East Lothian’s three-pronged attack on three national titles in the final stages of the Scottish Indoor Bowling Championships played at Falkirk IBC over last weekend ended in disappointment with defeat in the Gents Pairs, Under 21 Singles and the Ladies Fours.
The semi-final play on Saturday afternoon did produce an encouraging highlight win for 2013 champions Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver in the Pairs with the 2013 champions producing an outstanding 24-16 win over Jim Meikle and Ian McLean of Blantyre. The final pitched the garden county champions into a title duel against Colin Smith and Andy Furye of Aberdeen who had booked their place with an eye-catching 18-17 win over Craig Lindsay and Paul Foster MBE of Prestwick. Higgins and Oliver dominated the early stages of the final to lead 9-3 after seven ends and their prospects of capturing the title for a second time looked very bright. However, the talented Aberdeen pairing had other ideas and by ten ends had cut the deficit to just 3 shots and the scoreboard read 10-7 in favour of East Lothian but the temperature was raised by a sizzling run of 1, 4, 2 that saw Aberdeen cross 14-10 then exchange a couple of singles to show 14-12 ahead after 15 ends. Higgins and Oliver stayed trapped on 12 shots for three ends during which Aberdeen carded counts of 1, 4, 2 that powered them into a 21-12 lead. With just ends left to play it was a daunting uphill challenge that faced East Lothian and it proved beyond them in a 21-16 defeat.
Meanwhile the semi-final stage of the Ladies Fours saw the high expectations for the East Lothian rink of Dee Hoggan, Mags Thomson, Yvonne Veitch and Janet Fairnie dashed by an 18-14 defeat from Turriff. Calum Darling always looked to have a battle on his hands in the semi-final action of the Gents Under 21 singles when he lined up against reigning national singles champion John Fleming Jnr of Inverclyde. Former national Under 18 singles champion Darling gave an excellent account of himself but was always up against it in a 21-11 defeat. Fleming went on to the win the title recording an impressive 21-8 win over Jason Banks of Garioch in the final.
East Lothian IBC gent’s side are in midst of cup final fever as they prepare for the Scottish Cup Final high noon showdown with this season’s cup giant killers Galleon at the Dewars Centre in Perth tomorrow (Saturday). The great news is team captain Scott Kennedy has recovered from the back injury and returns to join fellow caps Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver and Alex Marshall MBE as the four ultra-talented skips heading up the garden county challenge. Kennedy replaces the unavailable Joe Mower while teenager Calum Darling retains his place in the line-up following an impressive showing in the recent semi-final win. The side reads: – M.Higgenbotham, C.Darling, E.Fallen, D.Oliver skip L.Middler, W.W.Wood MBE, S.W.Thomson, B.Mellors skip M.Johnston, A.Burt, J.Higgins, A.Marshall MBE skip A.Jeffrey, G.Blair, G.Robertson, S.Kennedy capt/skip Reserves: J.Gordon & D.Berwick
“We will be viewed as overwhelming favourites to win the title for record extending seventh time but we know it’s going to be no picnic as Galleon have already taken the scalps of two premier league sides on route to the final so we must be totally focused to make sure we don’t become the third”, said team captain Scott Kennedy. The club is running a coach to the final and there are a limited number of seats remaining for any supporters wishing to travel and support the team. The coach is scheduled to depart Meadowmill stadium at 9.45am and anyone interested is requested to contact club secretary Scott Kennedy on 01875 614166 for further information.
The section’s for next season’s Scottish Leagues were drawn at last weekend’s national finals and East Lothian IBC men’s side have been drawn in a competitive but very winnable looking B section of the Premier League which features Ardrossan, Balbardie, Aberdeen, Lanarkshire and Paisley. The ladies side will compete in a very tough looking Premier East section, which includes East Fife, Abbeyview, Balbardie and Midlothian. The senior side have once again been drawn in the East B section and. will tackle Bainfield, Midlothian, Teviotdale, Tweedbank, Balbardie and West Lothian.
Last Wednesday’s final round of qualifying action in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, saw East Lothian grab a place in the semi-final knockout stage following a commanding 8-0 point’s win over Bainfield. The other final B section match was a Fife derby clash between Dunfermline based sides Abbeyview and Headwell and it was the latter who came out on top with a hard fought 6-2 win and that was enough to join East Lothian in the last four. The semi-final draw paired East Lothian and West Lothian while the other tie featured Perth against Headwell. Both semi-finals were scheduled to be staged on Wednesday with the final taking place this coming Wednesday (April 13) at 11am.
On the domestic front at East Lothian IBC the first major final of the end of season week long finals extravaganza took place on Monday evening and Janet Fairnie was crowned queen of her county for a fifth time as she produced an accomplished performance in the final to beat good friend Magaret Thomson, 21-14. The final action will continue tonight (Friday) when defending champions Tranent tackle Gifford in the final of the East Coast Carpets sponsored Top Club tournament. Finals week will come to a conclusion next Friday (April 15) evening with a huge night of action as the finals of the gent’s singles, gents & ladies senior singles, gent’s junior singles, ladies junior singles and youth singles are all down for decision. All finals during the course of finals week will commence at 6.30pm.