The strong representation from Edinburgh and The Lothian’s’ failed to shine in the play down action of the gents Scottish Indoor Bowls Singles Championship over the weekend with none of the six challengers making it beyond the second round at Cumbernauld IBC.
Billy Mellors put up the best show with the 41- year old reigning champion carrying the East Lothian banner into the second round having launched his defence of the title with an impressive 21-4 victory in 13-ends against host club champion John Cowie. Mellors then fired up his support with an explosive start to his match against the talented Paul Brown of Abbeyview and seemed to have the Dunfermline challenger well in his grip at 12-3 up after eight ends. But the killer instinct that has made Mellors a major name on the national scene seemed to desert him as Brown became the assertive figure with a steady fight back that closed the gap to a single figure at 16-15 after 17-ends. Mellors arrested his slide with a single to 17 but was unable to impose himself further as Brown toppled the champion with a storming 2, 2, 2 finish to win 21-17 in 21-ends.
East Lothian had two bites at the cherry with junior cap Ewan Fallen a strong second string and he showed nerves of steel to survive a 21-20 nail-biter in a 22-end prelim round battle against Jamie Mitchell of Berwickshire. Fallen’s campaign soon ended in disappointment however with a 1, 4, 3, 2, 1 collapse from 10-6 down sentencing him to a 21-6 exit in just 12 ends at the hands of Galleon challenger Cameron Wilson. Wilson had come into that first round confrontation on a tremendous high having captured the prelim round limelight with the 21-18 scalp of West Lothian IBC’s gold medal hero Neil Speirs. Speirs entered the scene as a frontline contender to reach the latter stages and at 15-12 up on Wilson looked set to deliver on his first test however a six end barren spell saw him crossed 20-15 and he was out on his ear two ends later.
David Peacock captured the national title in 1996 and the multi gold medal hero from Midlothian was a strong fancy to bring further success to the Dalkeith Stadium, and he encouraged that expectation with a runaway 21-5 win over Lawrence Torrie of Forfar in the prelim round. Peacock’s prospects in the first round looked grim at 14-8 down to Stuart Wyllie of Ayr but the pulse rates of his support were racing when he crossed 18-17 however it was his opponent that delivered the goods with a 1, 3 finish to win in 22-ends.
Kevin Tennant carried the hopes of the Bainfield banner and his first tip of the toe into the cauldron of national singles competition proved too hot to handle but had showed up well at 11-13 before losing his prelim 21-13 to Alex Kennedy of Cowal.
Mark Bonar made his debut in the event for Balbardie and faced a testing challenge against international experienced Mark Thurston of Turriff in the prelim round and although showing up well at 14-18 made a 21-14 exit in 24-ends.
The quarterfinal results were, Brian Russell (Headwell) 21 Stuart Wyllie (Ayr) 12; John Fleming Jnr (Inverclyde) 21 Paul Brown (Abbeyview) 16; David McDonald (East Kilbride) 21 Eric Gallen (Aberdeen) 8; Martin Williamson (Ardrossan) 21 Robert Grant (Lanarkshire) 9.
The semi finals and final to be played at Paisley IBC over the weekend of 23/24 January.