THE rink of Peter Fallen, David Pryde, Alan Morgan and Brian J Smith brought great honour to the East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club banner at the weekend, with the leading lights parading their skills in splendid fashion to capture the Scottish Senior Fours title in the national finals showcase at Paisley IBC.
Wins over Coatbridge and Ardrossan were achieved in admirable fashion, with the domestic champions of the Garden County in tip-top form to snuff out the challenge of tough opposition.
“We are all over the moon and it will probably take a while to sink in, but it feels absolutely brilliant to be national champions,” reflected a jubilant Peter Fallen.
The East Lothian four had to dig deep in their Saturday afternoon semi-final clash with a strong Coatbridge before emerging with a 15-12 triumph.
Ardrossan provided the opposition in Sunday’s final and the EL rink looked well up for the challenge and demonstrated this with an explosive start to lead 17-3 after nine ends.
The Ardrossan team did battle back to an extent, but the writing was always on the wall and Smith and Co were well worthy of their 23-12 win.
It is only the third time that East Lothian have landed the title, with the last successes coming way back in 1991 and 1993.
For Smith, it was his second national senior title success, having won the triples with Portobello back in 2011, while Fallen claimed a national title on the Paisley carpet only 14 months after his son Ewan won the national under-25 singles title at the same venue.
Meanwhile, hopes of title glory in the national finals climax were threefold, but the dreams were dashed by disappointing semi-final exits in the pairs and triples.
In terms of expectations, the Garden County spotlight focused on the strong partnership of Lessel Middler and Willie Wood and the outcome of their semi-final against Ardrossan looked promising with an 11-8 lead after 14 of the 17 ends played. But the Ardrossan partnership rallied in the remaining ends with a run of 2, 1, 1 and propelled them to a 15-14 victory.
Play in the triples saw Jim Neilson, Brian Bissett and Tommy Young fail to shine in their semi-final clash with Ardrossan and succumb to a 15-7 defeat.
World-stage icon Alex Marshall progressed through to the second round of the WBT Co-operative Funeralcare International Open following an impressive straight sets win over England’s Billy Jackson in Monday’s first-round action at Blackpool Newton Hall IBC.
The opening set was a close run affair before ‘Tattie’ took it 7-6, but the second set was all Marshall as he turned on the style with an awesome display of bowling and went on to take the set 9-1 with two ends to spare.
Number 3 seed Marshall was due back in action on Wednesday afternoon when he clashed with another well-known Englishman in the shape of Mark Dawes.
All the action from Blackpool will be streamed live on the World Bowls Tour YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/worldbowlstour
The talented trio of Emma Logan, Dee Hoggan and Yvonne Veitch represent the East Lothian banner in the Scotland senior side at this weekend’s Ladies' British Isles Home International series at Belfast IBC. Logan will participate in her seventh consecutive series since her debut in 2011, while Hoggan and Veitch both look forward to their second series, after making title-winning debuts last year.
The qualifying play in the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup, sponsored by Norman T Craig and Co-operative Funeralcare, continued at the Alex Marshall Arena last Wednesday and the host club needed a wonder last-bowl delivery from Tommy Young to eventually secure a 6-2 points win over Berwickshire, while in the other fixture played Midlothian edged a 5-3 win over Teviotdale.
The qualifying play continued on Wednesday when Berwickshire and Teviotdale went head to head in an all-Borders derby clash, while the other fixture featured Tweedbank against Abbeyview.
It was a memorable couple of days for the youth section at East Lothian IBC at the weekend after they registered terrific wins in both the league and Top Ten.
On Saturday morning, they played host to East of Scotland Junior League title rivals Abbeyview and all 12 Garden County players produced a fine performance and celebrated a magnificent 7-0 points win over talented opposition.
The following day, 10 players headed north to Arbroath IBC to tackle Turriff in the quarter-final of the SYIBA Top Ten. A tough game was expected but it never materialised, as East Lothian held all the aces in the singles, pairs, triple and fours to record a very satisfying 9-0 points win.
“Well done to all the youngsters, it was brilliant performances on both days from every single player participating,” said a delighted team convenor Gordon Pryde.
On Sunday, opportunity knocks for the East Lothian IBC talented trio of David Young, Megan Kivlin and Craig Mackintosh as they carry local hopes in the showcase semi-finals and finals climax to the SYIBA National Triples Championships at Aberdeen IBC.
Before that, all three players will be involved in two re-arranged East of Scotland Junior League fixtures this coming weekend, starting tomorrow (Friday) evening with a trip to Alloa, then on Saturday morning (8am) they welcome Falkirk to the Alex Marshall Arena in the climax to their league campaign. An away win against Alloa could secure the league title, as both teams are currently tied on points but East Lothian have a game in hand over their title rivals.
On Monday, East Lothian IBC welcomed a visiting club from Durham to the Alex Marshall Arena for an annual friendly match which involved six full rinks from each club, with the host club securing wins on three rinks and that was good enough to secure a 96-79 overall shots win. The club have another friendly match taking place on Sunday, April 9, when they welcome York-based club New Earswick IBC.
Turning attention to the fast-approaching outdoor season and members of Gifford Bowling & Sports Club are reminded that their AGM will take place next Sunday (March 19) from 2pm.
Meanwhile, bowling members of Cockenzie & Port Seton Bowling Club should note that their AGM will take place next Tuesday (March 21) at 7pm.
All outdoor club secretaries are reminded that the AGM of East Lothian Bowling Association takes places at Haddington BC next Wednesday (March 22) from 7pm. Two representatives from each affiliated club are formally requested to attend the meeting.