East Lothians defence of the indoor bowls Premier League title got off to a winning start with the stars from The Garden County turning in a sparkling performance to score an impressive 25 shot away victory (90-65) over Paisley.Read More
Wins on the rinks skipped by Derek Oliver, Graham Robertson, and Alex Marshall MBE combined to give EL a handsome winning margin despite a double figure setback for Joe Mower and the fact that the visitors were being hard pressed on the middle phase.
Our win was hard earned but well deserved given the mental toughness and sharpness of focus the team displayed to survive and move forward from a strong second phase performance by the home side, reflected team captain Dougie Berwick.
Paisley champions themselves as recently as 2015 are no pushovers at home and with East Lothian handicapped by the enforced absence of internationalist duo Scott Kennedy and Jamie Higgins the away fixture represented a challenge fraught with danger.
And East Lothian concerns were further heightened by a late call-off from one of their iconic figures in the shape of frontline skip Billy Mellors. A reshuffled line up included Graham Robertson moving up to skip and Jamie Gordon plucked off the reserve bench to play second. Oliver emerged the EL high-flyer with the 2018 Commonwealth Games bound star turning in an ace performance to skip Calum Darling, Jamie Gordon, and Willie Wood MBE into an 11-3 lead then onto a n inspired 28-8 win over fellow cap Callum Taggart. Stand in skip Graham Robertson delivered the main support with the veteran of 87 caps piloting Mark Johnston, David Sked, and Dean Riva to a handsome 28-14 win over David Perrit.
Marshall and his rink of Ross Thomson, Ewan Fallen, and Stewart Thomson endured tougher times but battled to a 19-14 win over Graeme Sloan while Mower and his front-three of Andrew Jeffrey, Dougie Berwick, and Glenn Blair were always against the collar in a 29-15 defeat from David Fisher.
Meanwhile, Bainfield fired up the spirits of the Edinburgh camp with an encouraging 16 shot away win, defeating Coatbridge 80-64.
But there was no first match joy for Bathgate based club Balbardie whose drop down from the premier league to Division 1 South was marked by an alarming 87-67 shot defeat at home to West of Scotland.
The ladies action in the East Premier Division saw East Lothian in good form to beat East Fife, 84-67, at Meadowmill, while Midlothian romped to a 99-64 victory away to Abbeyview (Dunfermline).