THE East Lothian IBC banner will be prominent in the final stages of the gents’ national singles, with club champion Billy Mellors booking his place in the semi-final line-up after producing three winning performances in the playdown action at the Dewars Centre in Perth at the weekend.

Mellors, 43, will make the trip to Blantyre IBC for the showcase stage of the championships on the weekend of January 6-7.

Mellors’ immediate rival comes in the shape of West Lothian champion Richard Mark, while the other semi-finalists are world-stage stars Paul Foster – himself a former Garden County player – and Stewart Anderson.

Mellors’ form at Perth is a confidence boost for the stiff challenges that lies ahead of him.

He started with a battling 21-19 first-round win over Dundee champion Kevin Brunton Snr.

His second-round challenge proved to another testing challenge in terms of nerve and mental strength; he emerged from a mammoth 28-end battle as the 21-20 victor over Stephen Davidson of Buchan.

Fellow Scotland cap Callum Taggart of Paisley then stood between Mellors and a place in the semi-finals and an epic battle was expected. However, buoyed by sterling support, Mellors clinched a 21-12 victory in 20 ends.

Afterwards, he said: “I had to produce some big bowls to win my opening two matches but I was delighted with the way I performed against Callum [Taggart] and hope that I can take that kind of form into the finals in January.”