Billy Mellors has retained the captaincy of Scotlands team for the gents Home International Series being staged at Falcon IBC in Chelmsford, Essex, from Thursday March 14 to Saturday the 16th.Read More
Mellors is a product of the sadly now defunct and much missed Edinburgh IBC and made his Scotland debut under that banner in 1997 at the age of 22 and went on to earn an unbroken run of 24 caps up until 2004. He continued his run of international series in 2005 under the banner of East Lothian IBC and remained a fixture until 2008 then following a six-year absence returned to the major stage of British Isles bowling in 2014.
Mellors was an emerging talent on the Edinburgh scene from a young age and first hit the high spots in 1997 when playing lead in the Edinburgh rink that won the Scottish Fours title. He then skipped the winning national triple in 2003. East Lothian was his banner when capturing a second national triples title in 2007 then the W Mellors name was inscribed blue ribbon national singles trophy in 2015 followed by defeat in the 2018 final by world stage super star Paul Foster.
Mellors will play third to Foster in Scotlands adventures in Essex while club mate Scott Kennedy is second and adds to his tally of 51 caps the first 15 of which were earned under the Edinburgh IBC banner. Darren Weir of Prestwick is lead. The East Lothian contingent is four in number with the celebrated 51 year old Alex (Tattie) Marshall MBE adding to his 78 caps the first 30 under the Bainfield banner while Derek Oliver moves on from his 27 caps in what will be his 10th series on the trot.
Marshall confirmed recently as the most successful Team Scotland athlete of all time with 5 commonwealth games golds and one silver has his double gold colleague Oliver as his third while his front two are Midlothian double gold medal ace Ronnie Duncan at lead and Graeme Donaldson of Elgin at second.
Colin Walker of Midlothian the recently crowned Scottish Master – chalks up his 13th campaign at skip to Andrew Thomson (Aberdeen), Callum Taggart (Paisley), and Robert Grant (Lanarkshire).
Three West Lothian IBC stars have been named in the 26 strong squad with Neil Speirs and Mark Allison featuring in the opening six-rink selection while Bryan Cooper has a presence on the reserve bench. Speirs adds to his 42 caps and plays third to Iain McLean of Blantyre while Allison moves on from 21 and plays second to McLean, Martin McCalley of Falkirk is lead. Cooper adds to his tally of 12 caps.
Stewart Anderson of Blantyre and Darren Burnett of Arbroath join the aforementioned skips, Alex Marshall, Colin Walker, Iain McLean, and Paul Foster.
It is a further feather in the cap of East Lothian IBC that the SIBA announced later this week that garden county star Mark Johnston has been appointed to serve the role as Gents International Team Manager Johnston is no stranger to the limelight having captured the national singles title in 2002, the Triples in 2017 followed by the British Isles Crown; and won 3 caps.
East Lothian are certainly ending 2018 on an exceptional high with the gents premier league team producing an awesome performance to enter the fierce- some lions den at Blantyre and defeating the defending champions 78-72. Blantyre has been admirably invincible at home for numerous years so their EL conquerors deserve to be revered and find a place in the colourful tapestry of garden county history.
The late withdrawal of ace player Scott Kennedy added to the absence of Joe Mower, Andy Jeffrey, and Calum Darling leading to the introduction of Robbie Shields and team captain Stuart Thomson being promoted to skip. Double figure wins for the rinks skipped by Alex Marshall MBE and Derek Oliver more than covered the narrow loss sustained by Billy Mellors and the double figure defeat of Thomson.
It was a major bonus for the jubilant EL camp when the news broke that B section leaders Midlothian had crashed to a shock 93-75 defeat away to foot of the table Abbeyview a result that saw EL end the year only one point adrift of their Dalkeith neighbours. Midlothian team manager Ronnie Allen was hugely disappointed at missing what looked like a penalty kick to cement their position ahead of EL and Blantyre but accepts that home team had been more upbeat and deserved their win. The rink scores were; J Duff 13 Davy Peacock 22; S Pagan 23 Colin Walker 20; D Robertson 28 B Peacock 19; P Brown 29 Ronnie Duncan 14.
Bainfields long trek North to Turriff resulted in a disappointing 88-68 defeat that has locked the Edinburgh Elite into a relegation zone battle going into the new year as both clubs share the 6 point mark and just two ahead of Abbeyview. It could be tough times ahead for the Hutchison Crossway outfit as they next entertain Midlothian, then East Lothian before closing away to Abbeyview.
West Lothians not unexpected 80-68 defeat away to unbeaten A section leaders Falkirk leaves the Livingston based club flirting with the relation zone as they have 6 points to the 4 of Aberdeen and zero of Elgin.
Meanwhile the failure of Balbardie in Division 1 North to overcome near table rivals Coatbridge losing 81-74 at home leaves the Bathgate based club sitting on 5 points to the 4 of Headwell and 3 of Dundee.
This weeks results in the Seniors East B League : West Lothian 66 Midlothian 72; East Lothian 85 Bainfield 42
Stewart Meikle would like to wish all Lothain Bowlers a Happy Christmas and a Great New Year.