East Lothian25/1

Bowling legend Alex Marshall MBE has made the best start possible to his World Indoor Championships at the Potters Resort by once again clinching the World Indoor Pairs title with Paul Foster following a final victory over the English pairing of Greg Harlow and Nicky Brett.  This is their fourth title together and Alex’s sixth pairs title in total having also won the title with Richard Corsie and David Gourlay previously.  Paul and Alex started well and were soon in command in the opening set with some fine bowling displayed by all four. They opened up a three shot lead with two ends to play before the English pairing put some pressure on the last end by scoring two.  An excellent trail of the jack by Paul with this third bowl and a matching bowl on the other side of the jack by Alex looked like clinching the set until Nicky ditched the jack with his last bowl only for the jack to go to Paul’s chalker which Nicky had driven into the ditch with his second bowl and leave Paul and Alex winning the set 8-6.  The second set started with some high scores as Paul and Alex opened up with two fours which were split by a three for the English to leave the score at 8-3.  However, from this point the English pairing hit top form to score ten shots without reply over the next four ends and went on to open up a 13-8 lead with only two ends remaining.  However, Paul and Alex were not done in the set yet and three drawn bowls from the pair seen them enter the last end two down and requiring a two to secure the title.  With Alex to play his last bowl they were one shot down which was jack high around three inches from the jack.  Alex then, as he has done under pressure at the highest level on numerous occasions now, played a perfectly weighted world class shot to swap places with the shot and leave the Scots lying the match.  When Nicky missed with his strike the title was theirs for a fourth time following their wins in 2011, 12 and 13.

The record breaking six time World Indoor Singles champion began his campaign this year with a closer than expected tie-break win over Ray Martin from New Zealand in the first round and is due to do battle with Nicky Brett once more this afternoon (Thursday) in the last sixteen.  

The gents’ team have set up a League Decider with Midlothian in the last game of the section after travelling to Bainfield on Saturday and recording an emphatic 90-50 victory.  The Garden County men were quick out of the block once more on all four rinks and dominated the game throughout.   Top scorers were the rink of Mark Yuill, David Sked, Chris Brock and Scott Kennedy who defeated John McDermott 28-12.  The rink of Mark Johnston, Dougie Berwick, Dean Riva and Billy Mellors were always in control of their game and won 22-8 over ex-East Lothian star James Hogg.  Joe Mower and his rink of Andy Jeffrey, Ewan Fallen and Stuart Thomson scored a seven late in their game to record a 22-14, while Derek Oliver’s rink of Lewis Betts, Steven Morgan and Jamie Higgins recorded an 18-16 win.  This Saturday the following team has been selected for the Scottish Cup trip to East Fife to face Forfar:Alex Cormack, Kevin Cunningham, Steven Morgan & Jamie Higgins (Skip)aron Betts, Danny Stevenson, Dougie Berwick & Dean Riva Mark Yuill, Robbie Shields, Chris Brock & Scott Kennedy Andy Jeffrey, Calum Darling, Lewis Betts & Joe Mower

Our ladies finished their league campaign off in style at home to West Lothian last Saturday when they recorded a massive 84-38 victory.  The rink of J McFarlane, G Mackintosh, E Logan & L Baillie-Whyte were top scorers with a 31-11 victory.  M Kivlin, K Hoggan, D Hoggan & Y Veitch also won well by 30-12 while M Penman, B Riva, M Thomson & J Fairnie were 23-15 victors.  The ladies finish the section in third place on ten points, three points behind both Midlothian and East Fife, teams they lost to by one shot and two shots respectively in games which could have went either way.

Winners of the final pre-Christmas knockout to be played in the triples were G Gray, A McKenna and A Burt who defeated A Jeffrey, S Kennedy and B Mellors by one shot.

The seniors made a quarter final exit in their League knockout stages to Alloa last Wednesday.  It was apparent from the outset that Alloa were up for the challenge and they took an early lead of 23-15 after five ends which they went on to increase to nineteen shots at the halfway stage as the rink of Andy Burt lost fifteen shots without reply.  From this point on the Alloa team never looked like letting East Lothian back into the game and the final result was a 60-78 defeat for the Garden County Auld Yins.  Dougie Berwick was the only rink to record a win by 16-14, as losses were suffered by Tommy Young 13-18, Willie Wood 16-21 and Andy Burt 15-25.

The Seniors are next in action on Wednesday 30th January as they begin their Scottish Cup campaign with a game against Tweedbank at Midlothian. 

Last Saturday the East Lothian youths were away to Abbeyview and lost their unbeaten record when they lost 5-2 in a tight game.  Danny Stevenson defeated Sophie McGrouther 17-12 after being 11-3 down early on.  Lewis Betts lost out 12-8 to Kara Lees and Kieran Dodds went down 10-8 in a tight game against Aaron Miller.  Overall the aggregate score was 34-33 on favour of the Dunfermline based side.  This result leaves the Garden County still top of the section by one point from Alloa who they travel to play next, followed by three home games leaving their destiny in their own hands.  The following team has been selected to travel to Alloa:C Henderson, L Rafferty, M Penman & D Stevenson (Skip) Gillies, C Pryde, B Riva & L Betts Cowan, D Grieve, K Dodds & A Betts