Billy Mellors has a busy schedule this weekend with the recently crowned indoor bowls national singles champion in action at the Scottish Championship Finals being staged at Lanarkshire IBC where he is double-handed with the Triples and Fours titles in his sights.
Mellors represents the East Lothian banner these days following the sad demise of the Edinburgh IBC where he learned his trade and honed his skills to such a high level that he won two national titles – the Fours in 1997 and the Triples in 2003 – under the banner of the capital city club. The now 40 year old Scotland Cap remains at the height of his career and takes centre stage at 9-30am tomorrow as the middleman to Mark Johnston and Derek Oliver in a very high profile East Lothian trio that faces Cumbernauld in the semi final of the triples. It so happens that the Cumbernauld trio is skipped by their icon figure Jim Byron who was the major thorn in the flesh of the East Lothian team that just scraped a 2 shot victory in last weekend’s Scottish Cup quarterfinal.
The other contenders for the Triples title are Andrew Barker, Graeme Donaldson, and Mike Stepney of Elgin and the Ardrossan trio of Jack Montgomery, Kevin Donachie, and Calum Williamson Mellors returns to the carpet on the 2pm session to skip Andrew Jeffrey, Scott Kennedy, and Derek Oliver in the Fours with the opposition coming from the above-mentioned Barker, Donaldson, and Stepney of Elgin with the addition of Norman Barker at lead. Jeffrey won the national triples title in 2003 with Mellors and Kennedy joined them to win the 2007 title under the East Lothian banner. Kennedy is also a past winner of the national singles title while Oliver captured the Pairs title in 2013.
West Lothian IBC also contest the gents Fours and represent a massive danger to all with their strongly formed rink of Bryan Cooper, James Speirs, Thomas Mann, and Neil Speirs bidding to repeat their national title triumph of 2011. Speirs and Co are on the 2pm session and face the added challenge of coping with host club stars Mark McGowan, Steven Hume, Robert Gordon, and Robert Grant in their semi final.
West Lothian are also double-handed in these championships with Richard Mark and Mark Allison representing the banner in the 4Bowl Pairs and faced with a semi final corker in the shape of Prestwick stars Craig Lindsay and four times world singles champion Paul Foster MBE. The other semi final features super-star brothers Ryan and Darren Burnett of Arbroath against Sam Watson and former singles champion Steven Rankin of Auchinleck.
There is a Lothian presence in the Ladies Championships but it is a sole interest in the shape of Commonweath Games internationalist Lorraine Malloy who skips Kim Ross and Sharon Leitch for Balbardie in the Triples. Malloy and Leitch have impressive national title form in the 4Bowl Pairs (2006 and 2011) and the 2Bowl Pairs (2013). Their semi final opposition (2pm) is the Blantyre trio of Clair Walker, Margaret Letham, and Caroline Brown. Falkirk skipped by Vicki Leishman and Stonehaven skipped by Kim Watt contest the other semi final while the line up in the Ladies Pairs is, East Fife v Turriff, and Paisley v Auchinleck. And its Teviotdale v Galleon and Auchinleck v Elgin in the Ladies Fours. All finals will be played on Sunday with session times scheduled as 9-30am and 2pm.