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Three-in-a-row woe for bowlers

Published: 31 May 2012 09:270 comments

EAST Lothian's miserable start to the Scottish Counties Championship continued on Saturday as they failed to press home an early advantage against Borders in their third match in the East Section and ended up losing by 18 shots in a cracking encounter at Polson Park, Tranent.

Willie Wood in action on Saturday

The defending champion's third successive defeat leaves them at the foot of the table in the section with zero points and hopes of qualifying to the knockout stages have all but disappeared.

The Garden County will also have to finish the campaign without a team manager after it was confirmed that Angus Blair had stepped down from the role with immediate effect due to unforeseen increased work commitments.

"Another disappointing result and our defence of the title has not been the best, but I'm hoping the players will knuckle down to try and win our remaining fixtures," said team captain Steven Morgan.

East Lothian managed to win on the rinks skipped by Jim Pringle, Willie Wood and Steven Morgan but were unable to contain Borders on the other three rinks as Derek Oliver (-13), Craig Valentine (-13) and Alex Marshall (-3) all suffered damaging defeats.

Pringle skipped Gordon White, David Oliver and Brian Hunter to an excellent 22-14 win over David Miller. Wood held off a late fightback from Alan Brady to record a 22-20 triumph while captain Morgan added another Garden County smile as he staged a late rally to skip Grant Thomson, Jamie Gordon and Jamie Higgins to a 19-18 victory over Graeme Forsyth.

East Lothian continue their campaign tomorrow (Saturday) against table-toppers West Fife at Lochgelly without the services of captain Morgan, Jim Pringle and Brian Hunter. The stand-in selectors have recalled junior international David Sked of Gifford and Winton's Craig McLeod. Dunbar pair Dougie Berwick and Kieran Simants are given debuts.

Team: B Bird (C/P), D Berwick (Dun), C Gordon (W/B), WW Wood (Giff) skip. M Taylor (ELCO), C McLeod (Win), J Blair (Hadd), Dek Oliver (C&PS) skip. K McCrorie (Tra), K Gallacher (W/B), AW Kennedy (W/B), A Marshall (Giff) skip. M Osbourne (Hadd), D Sked (Giff), C Glen (Elph), C Valentine (C&PS) skip. K Simants (Dun), J Gordon (C&PS), G Thomson (E/L), J Higgins (Tra) skip. G White (Aber), Dav Oliver (C&PS), R Branley (C&PS), B Young (C/P) skip. Reserves: C Johnston (Win), L Gallacher (W/B), G Blair (Hadd), C Bell (Hadd)

Players and officials are requested to report at EL-Coop for noon and those taking cars are asked to inform an ELBA official as soon as possible.

The early season woes for the East Lothian bowling community continued on Sunday when the under-25 side lost their opening match in the Scottish Under-25 League Cup campaign against Borders.

The Garden County young brigade battled back from a shaky start but ended up losing by four shots (118-114) in a cracking encounter at Berwick. East Lothian managed to win on the rinks skipped by Michael Greenan, David Sked and Grant Thomson but their efforts were in vain as Mark Riding, Jamie Blair and Chris Fallen all went down to defeats.

The side is back in action on Sunday at EL-Coop when they play host to rivals Edinburgh and Leith. At the time of going to press no team news had been received from ELBA HQ.

Port Seton and East Linton continue to be the early pacesetters in Division 1 of the East Coast Carpets-sponsored East Lothian Leagues after both secured highly acceptable 6-2 home wins against EL-Coop and West Barns respectively in last Friday night's action.

They moved five points clear of third-placed Castlepark, who suffered their first blip when they went down 6-2 at a rejuvenated Tranent. East Linton A consolidated their encouraging start as they moved into fourth place with a fine 6-2 home win over Haddington. Foot-of-the-table Aberlady doubled their points tally after securing an encouraging 4-4 draw at Macmerry.

In tonight's (Friday) action Division 1 joint leaders Port Seton and East Linton both have home fixtures against Tranent and Haddington respectively. Castlepark make the trip down the coast to tackle struggling Aberlady while EL-Coop will hope to make home advantage count when they clash with East Linton A. Macmerry entertain West Barns.

Long-serving ELBA secretary Arthur Bellany has announced that he is to step down at the end of his current term in office.

Draw for Sunday's Tranent Gala Pairs. A: B Hoggan, K McCrorie, J Carpenter Jr, S Gilbride. B: G McWilliams, C Purves, S Whitson, N Martin. C: D Robertson, B McKeown, P Mair, J Higgins. D: I Crichton, L Whitson, B Hazzard, A Martin. E: A Young, K Cunningham, C McLeod, N Buchanan. F: R French, D French, J Carpenter Snr, Late Entry.

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