The talented East Lothian trio of Billy Mellors (Haddington), Scott Kennedy (Cockenzie & Port Seton) and Brian Young (Tranent) were last weekend part of a Scotland senior international side that collected the wooden spoon after finishing bottom of the table in the British Isles Home International series held at Llandrindod Wells Bowling Club in Wales.Read More
Although finishing bottom the pile all of their three matches were closely contested, and it looked as if they would win their opener against auld enemy England until thwarted by a spirited comeback. They then lost out narrowly by two shots to host nation Wales and a miserable weekend was completed when they went down by 20 shots against Ireland. All three East Lothian players played in the same rink and emerged the top Scottish rink with two good wins and a narrow defeat. England was the eventual winners of the series.
Meanwhile Tranent Bowling Club’s Jim Bonner and Brian Young hopes of success in the British Isles Pairs championship were brought to end at the first hurdle as they lost to the English pairing of Peter Shaw and James Amery in the opening round last Thursday afternoon.
East Lothian is in Scottish Counties Championship quarterfinal action on Saturday at Haddington Bowling Club when they tackle West section runners-up Lanarkshire South (2pm). “We are entering a lion’s den situation but I’m very confident our boys are capable of taming a fiercely competitive Lanarkshire South outfit especially as were playing at a local venue and hopefully a big local support will come along to cheer the team on”, commented team manager Stewart Johnston.
Johnston has been forced into four changes ahead of the eagerly awaited last eight showdown as holiday commitments rule out team captain Scott Kennedy, Craig Valentine, Alex Marshall MBE and Reece Cochrane. Johnston has addressed the situation by recalling the Haddington duo of Billy Mellors and Alister Kennedy while he introduces the well-known Cockenzie & Port Seton pairing of Derek Oliver and Steven Morgan for seasonal debuts. The team reads:- R.Thomson (ELCO), D.Whitson (Tra), T.Young (Dun), G.Blair (Hadd) skip C.Johnston (Orm), M.McCormack (Win), S Morgan (C&PS), D Oliver (C&PS) skip
A.Martin (Tra), J.Gordon (C&PS), W W Wood M.B.E. (Giff), J.McCrorie (Tra) skip M.Osborne (Tra), B.Cormack (Mac), B.Dunleavey (Aber), B.Young (Tra) skip
S.Thomson (Hadd), C.McLeod (Win), S Cochrane (ELCO), A Kennedy (Hadd) skip G White (Abe), G Pryde (ELCO), J Mower (Hadd), B Mellors (Hadd) skip/capt Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team manager Stewart Johnston immediately on 07939 700720. All players are to report at Haddington BC by no later than 1.15pm.
East Lothians senior side played their first game of this season Matt Purdie campaign at a wet and heavy green at Polmont BC on Monday against a very talented Stirling East side. The game was nip and tuck as most struggled hard to find lines and weight and after 10 ends East Lothian were five up across the green. Things began to go downhill and John Smith skipping Alistair Russell, Sandy Delaney and Bobby Brunton, lost eight shots in three ends but rallied well to win by a shot but not two due to an umpiring measure. George Cowan skipping newcomer Jim Murray, Gordon Blyth and debutant Davie Arnot went three up but lost a six on the second last end, then recorded a great three on the last for a peel. George Smith skipping Duncan Hogg, JP Hamilton and Bobby Scott fought hard but the aggressive shots of opposing skip George Newby ensured the home rink a 16-7 victory. Alan Morgan skipped Dougie Kennedy, Jackie Greenwood and debutant Derek Temperley to a fantastic 14-8 shot victory over Norman Bruce. Team captain Tommy Young almost won the game with the last bowl with one down playing the last and three down on the big board. Turning the jack through on his first attempt left him laying three but opposition skip Freddie Keay drew third shot leaving Tommy to draw to tie the game but he was unlucky glancing off a bowl to go wide leaving Stirling East triumphant by 68-67.
A dejected convenor ELBA Vice President Andy Burt said; “We were a little unlucky at times but I was impressed by the three newcomers who played well in difficult conditions. We may have lost this one but we will hopefully bounce back on Monday when we tackle West Fife at Headwell BC in Dunfermline”. Burt has announced the following side:- T.Thomson (C&PS), P.Fallen (Elph), R.Strang (Elph), T.Young (Dun) skip/capt J.P.Hamilton (W/B), W.Fotheringham (Aber), G.Smith (ELCO), A.Russell (Tra) skip D.Arnott (ELCO), G.Gray (ELLC), J.Murray (Dun), G.Cowan (E/L) skip B.Brunton (Dun), D.Hogg (ELCO), A.Jamieson (C&PS), J.Smith (ELLC) skip D.Temperley (Orm), E.Denholm (Giff), D.Kennedy (W/B), A.Morgan (C&PS) skip Reserves:- A.Stewart (Muss), G.Blyth (ELLC), B.Scott (Mac), K.Morgan (C&PS), J.Greenwood (Aber), A.Delaney (Hadd) Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor Andy Burt immediately on 07783 323079. Any player unsure of travel arrangements is asked to contact him immediately.
The Cockenzie & Port Seton dander is up and after a dawdling start, the former record five-in-row Divison 1 champions of the East Coast Carpets sponsored East Lothian Leagues have flashed a positive signal that they are mounting another serious challenge for the title. Last Friday night’s top of the bill clash saw Cockenzie & Port Seton host leaders Haddington but the expected fireworks between two top sides ended up being a damp squib as the home side powered to an 8-0 victory. Whilst Cockenzie & Port Seton rejoiced at going top of the table, they have yet to shake off the challenge to their authority coming from an EL-Coop team that achieved a tremendous 8-0 home win over Elphinstone. EL-Coop sit just one point adrift of the leaders and six points ahead of third placed Haddington while defending champions Tranent are a further three in arrears in fourth place but have played a game less than the others. Castlepark saw their title hopes suffer an unexpected blow in a 6-2 defeat at middle of the table East Linton while West Barns will need to fight like demons to win the battle for survival and they showed all the attributes required for the task in a much needed 6-2 home win over Gifford. The Tranent versus Prestongrange match was the subject of a postponement by league officials and has been rescheduled for tonight (Thursday).
Cockenzie & Port Seton’s lead in Division faces a stern examination on Friday night with the leaders playing host to defending champions Tranent. Second placed EL-Coop will hope to use home advantage to good effect when they entertain West Barns while a cracking encounter looks in prospect at Haddington where Castlepark are the visitors. Relegation zoned Elphinstone make the trip to Gifford while foot of the table Prestongrange are at home to East Linton.
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.
Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club is staging an Open Pairs tournament on Saturday 13th August with a high-class field expected to challenge for the lucrative £400+ prize fund on offer in the Belhaven Brewery sponsored event. The tournament is a round robin event and entries are now being accepted and can be obtained by contacting club match secretary Steven Morgan on 01875 810481.
Gifford Bowling & Sports Club is staging a Senior Open Triples tournament on Wednesday 20th July and entries are now being accepted by contacting Brian Bissett on 07903 541373.
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