EAST Lothian Indoor Bowling Club’s youth side continued their defence of the East of Scotland Junior League title with a 5-2 win at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline at the weekend.

Eight-shot wins on the rinks skipped by Danny Stevenson and Lewis Betts combined to give the Garden County young brigade a handsome win on the overall shot aggregate and the single-shot defeat suffered by the rink skipped by Robbie Shield paled into insignificance.

Peter Fallen, youth team convenor, said: “Twelve points out of a possible 14 from two tough opening away fixtures is a great return and something we must build on in our upcoming home matches early in the New Year.”

The senior side also continue to soar upwards and onwards in their campaign to capture the playoff honours in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League, with their latest success, a crucial 62-42 win against local rivals Midlothian, keeping them just ahead of Bainfield on shots aggregate, albeit the Garden County have a game in hand over their main challengers.

The Alex Marshall Arena was the venue for last Wednesday’s local derby clash between the two strongly-formed neighbour clubs, but from the outset East Lothian had the measure of their opponents and ran out convincing winners.

John P Hamilton, team convenor, said: “The win keeps us on target to win the section honours and, barring any formbook disasters in our final two games, we should achieve our goal and move forward to the knockout stages.”

Wins on the rinks skipped by Willie Wood (+10), Tommy Young (+9) and Alastair Russell (+8) covered the concerning 17-shot setback sustained by Dougie Berwick.

The side were due to be back in action on Wednesday as they visited Galashiels to tackle Tweedbank.

Elsewhere, there is Garden County interest as the final stages of the joint Scottish Indoor Bowls Championships take place at Blantyre IBC early in the New Year.

Three-times East Lothian champion Billy Mellors will bid to emulate his 2015 national title triumph.

His semi-final opponent on Saturday, January 6, at 12.30pm is West Lothian champion Richard Mark.

The other last-four clash is an absolute corker and features two world-stage stars in the shape of Prestwick’s Paul Foster – a former East Lothian player – and Stewart Anderson of host club Blantyre.

The final will be staged on Sunday, January 7, at 1pm.

Meanwhile, the climax to both the ladies’ and gents’ Scottish 4-Bowl Pairs Championships will be an East Lothian-free zone this year. For no county qualifiers emerged from the weekend’s playdown action at Midlothian IBC in Dalkeith.

The challenge in the ladies’ event came from the sister pairing of outdoor legends Leanne and Lauren Baillie. Much was expected of the four-times outdoor national pairs champions so their demise was equivalent to a real coupon buster when they failed to sparkle in a preliminary-round 31-14 defeat to Perth.

Mark Johnston and Willie Wood carried the Garden County hopes in the gents’ playdown action and they shaped up strongly in their two opening games to beat Teviotdale and Lanarkshire.

They lined up in the second round against Stewart Pagan and Paul Brown of Abbeyview on Sunday morning but were edged out 20-19 in a thrilling contest.

Finally, East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club is now offering half-season memberships at £35 for full membership, effective from January 1. Anyone wishing to join should call into the club or apply online at elibc.co.uk