The gents national league team of East Lothian IBC has long earned the reputation for giving good value for money performances and the stars from The Alex Marshall Stadium have made an encouraging start to their 2016/17 campaign in Section B of the Premier League.Read More
Their opening match resulted in a shockwave 87-65 defeat at home to Ardrossan; but that result was taken as a wake up call that was positively answered by a resounding 40 shot victory (96-56) on home territory against a far travelled Aberdeen side. East Lothians latest test was a visit to Paisley where another tip-top performance produced an admirable 22 shot triumph (86-64) that earned the garden county joint top position with Ardrossan and Aberdeen.
Paisley, premier league champions in 2015, were expected to make the stronger team with their home carpet knowledge and they did so to the tune of setting a 27-18 lead however East Lothian soon got to grips and turned the master scoreboard, 54-51, in their favour. The knife-edged situation entering the final straight should have favoured the home side but it was East Lothian that engaged a higher gear enabling the visitors to accelerate to a 32-13 dominance that delivered a morale boosting away victory. Any away win in this highly competitive division is a huge bonus and this one brought us extra pleasure as it was an exceptional experience for three of our new face young players in the shape of Lewis Betts, Craig Mackintosh, and Dean Riva, said team captain Graham Robertson.
The result reflects a strong team performance with winning contributions made by the rinks skipped by Robertson, Derek Oliver, and Jamie Higgins while the only setback, suffered by Scott Kennedy, was a narrow one. Oliver inspired the EL charge to victory, skipping Lessel Midler, Matt Osborne, and Andrew Jeffrey to a 25-14 win over Callum Taggart, having responded brilliantly to a menacing challenge at 15-14. Higgins and his rink of Mark Johnston, Lewis Betts, and Glenn Blair were boosted by a couple of counts of four that made a vital contribution to their 26-16 win over David Stobo. Robertson came under tremendous early pressure when in company with Craig Mackintosh, Andy Burt, and Willie wood MBE they trailed 12-0; but a strong fight back was rewarded by a thrilling 21-19 triumph over John Gilmartin. Kennedy and his front-three of Ross Thomson, Dean Riva, and Dougie Berwick were piped, 15-14, in a hammer and tongs battle with Dave Moffat.
Balbardie travelled North to Aberdeen as underdogs and the formbook was justified with the Bathgate based PL new-boys suffering an 81-66 defeat that leaves them sharing the bottom rung, on two points, with Lanarkshire, and Paisley.
Meanwhile, Midlothian gents have struggled in the A Division to supplement their opening win (84-61) at home to Ayr, losing at Falkirk (84-73) then by 18 shots (89-71) away to Alloa.
West Lothian IBC are expected to take Division 1 North by storm and the star-spangled team from the Inveralmond Stadium in Livingston have made a whirlwind start with a hat trick of win, beating visitors Arbroath (98-61) and Abbeyview (95-59) then winning 97-75 at Headwell.