AN EAST Lothian bowls trio are celebrating title success after winning the triples crown in the British Isles Championships.

The trio – bowls legend Willie Wood, Mark Johnston and Commonwealth Games-bound Derek Oliver – lined up against the Channel Islands in the final at Paisley Indoor Bowling Club.

They led 9-7 after 11 of the 18 ends played, then raised the roof with counts of 6 and 3 to stand 11 shots up with five to play.

The abrupt loss of 1, 1, 2, 3 to 18-14 brought the Scotland champions under last-end pressure that they answered with a single to trigger the victory salute (19-14).

Oliver skipped his front two to a 16-12 win over Ireland in the preliminary round, having made significant impact with a purple patch of 4, 1, 3 that thrust them from 8-7 down to 15-8 up, then it was game management tactics over the remaining five ends.

A quick return to the finals arena pitched East Lothian’s national champions against England and an energy dip may have been read into a 4-0 deficit after two ends; however, Oliver and Co roared into action with a run of 3, 3, 2, 2 to lead 10-4.

Coming under a touch of pressure at 12-10, the threat was answered by a strong finish of 2, 4, (1), 1, (1), 4 to win 23-12.

Oliver said afterwards that he was “absolutely delighted”, adding: “It was an extra-special occasion for Willie as remarkably it was his first British indoor title success and in his last competitive game at this level; not a bad way for the auld yin to bow out.”

It was also Johnston’s first British success, after two failed previous attempts.

Elsewhere at Paisley, there was disappointment for the East Lothian IBC senior four of Peter Fallen, Davie Pryde, Alan Morgan and BJ Smith as they failed to capture the British Isles crown.

They were beaten finalists, going down 28-14 to Wales after a 27-16 semi-final win over the Channel Islands. Against the Welsh they started poorly and with 10 ends played they trailed 17-4 before mounting a comeback.