REIGNING Scottish champions Derek Oliver and Gordon White are at Belfast’s Belmont Bowling Club this week as they bid to secure British Isles crowns.

Cockenzie & Port Seton kingpin Oliver challenges for the gents’ singles crown and his claim for British title glory got under way today (Thursday) at 9am when he faced well-known Ireland national champion Barry Kane in a preliminary-round encounter.

The winner will tackle Thomas Greechan of Jersey in the semi-final tomorrow (Friday) morning, with the final staged later in the day – expected to begin at about 2.30pm.

Due to the surprise withdrawal of the England representative from the event, David Kingdon of Wales has received a bye straight into the final.

Aberlady star White challenges for the gents’ under-25 singles crown and will take to the green simultaneously with Oliver as he also faces a preliminary-round engagement, with Ben Harvey (Guernsey) providing the opposition. English champion Jamie Walker awaits the winner in the semi-final.

Live real-time scoring from the championships can be viewed at

Meanwhile, the East Lothian presence will be surprisingly low in numbers this weekend when Scotland bid to reclaim the British Isles Home International crown, also at Belmont BC.

Scotland face Ireland in the opening match on Saturday but only the name of Malcolm Higgenbotham (Haddington) features in the opening 24-man line-up. Port Seton star Scott Kennedy is one of the travelling Scotland reserves and he will hope to feature at some point during the series.

East Lothian’s hopes of qualifying through to the knockout stages of the Scottish Counties Championships were ended on Saturday when the defending champions lost out to runaway East section winners Midlothian by 25 shots in a high-octane encounter that was very high in entertainment for the large crowd gathered at Rosslyn BC.

The Garden County played with heart and soul and gave their all in a 130-105 defeat but, in the end, came up short against an exciting Midlothian side making it seven wins out of seven; it was them and West Lothian who claimed the two spaces up for grabs in the very competitive East section qualifying race.

Defeat on five rinks saw Alister Kennedy the only skip to deliver an East Lothian win, with John McCrorie (-1), Steven Morgan (-3), Billy Mellors (-3), Brian Young (-12) and Scott Kennedy (-13) all suffering setbacks.

Stewart Johnston, team manager, said the team were “disappointed we did not make it, especially after making such a great start to the qualifying campaign”.

He added: “Unfortunately, the earthquake loss we sustained last week gave West Lothian a lifeline to snatch the second qualifying place and they grabbed it by winning their final game.”

The East Lothian under-25 brigade return to competitive action on Sunday and, following a disappointing league campaign, now turn their attentions to the Scottish Cup, where a first-round encounter with Borders at Shettleston BC awaits.

The set-up for the Scottish Cup sees teams just field four rinks instead of the usual six and games are played over 17 ends rather than the standard 21.

At the time of this report going to press, no team news was available from team manager Michael Greenan but it is set to be announced later this week via social media channels.

East Lothian senior side get their Inter-County Senior League Cup campaign for the Matt Purdie Trophy under way this coming Monday when they make the journey to Burnhead BC in Larbert to tackle Stirling East.

The team is: B. Scott, G. Gray, G. Smith, G. Cowan skip; A. McCue, J. Smith, D. Arnot, A. Morgan skip; J. Hogg, B. Davidson, D. Kennedy, T. Young skip; K. Morgan, J. P. Hamilton, G. Blyth, D. Pryde skip; B. Brunton, J. Murray, R. Strang, A. Russell skip; reserves: M. Gordon, K. Borthwick, D. Temperley, A. Jamieson, J. Rolland, P. Fallen.

Any player selected who is unable to play is requested to contact team convenor John P Hamilton immediately on 07974 648401.

All players except those travelling from Dunbar and East Linton are requested to report at East Lothian Coop BC in Tranent for 9.45am. Meanwhile, it has been announced local companies Plumbing & Electrical Services Dunbar and Had-Fab Ltd will sponsor the team for the forthcoming campaign.