EAST Lothian Co-operative Bowling Club provided the backdrop for the Matt Purdie opener on Monday afternoon.

Current holders Edinburgh were the visitors to provide the toughest of tests.

With a host of EL Co-op players in the team, the hosts started brightly.

Davie Arnot skipped Ali Russel, John McKellar and Colin Yorkston to a 17-3 lead.

This was to prove pivotal on the overall scoring as Edinburgh raced to a 11-2 lead on rink one.

The middle of the green encountered much closer affairs. Fewer than three shots separated the three rinks at the halfway point.

With counts at a premium, Andy Burt, aided by Davie Whitson, Jim Murray and Peter Fallen, scored back-to-back fours before claiming a 16-8 win.

Arnot continued a fine afternoon’s work, burning an end facing a count of six and drawing another killer with four against, eventually seeing off the Edinburgh challenge with a fine 24-9 win.

Billy Cormack skipped Keith Fender, Dick Veitch and Davy Pryde to a last-end win (13-10).

Team captain Tommy Young capped a fine afternoon for the senior brigade, skipping Lessel Middler, Alan Valentine and Duncan Hogg to a 12-7 win.

The overall board read 72-55 and saw East Lothian stamp their claim to the Purdie throne on the opening day.

They return to action at the same venue (EL Co-op) this coming Monday afternoon, welcoming West Fife to the county following an opening-day win over Midlothian.

Unfortunately, there was not such good news for the East Lothian U27s, who headed to Loanhead on Sunday with a chance of redemption against Midlothian Bowling Association following the league defeat last month at Newbattle.

East Lothian started the stronger and led by 10 across the four rinks in their bid to make the afternoon quarter-final.

A change in the middle period of the game saw Midlothian draw level before the East Lothian youngsters responded again to lead by 10 and set up a close final.

It would be the hosts that would finish the game the strongest, though, and claim a 62-58 victory.

This year’s East Lothian Top 5 singles concludes this weekend.

East Linton take on East Lothian Co-operative in the first of the semi-finals at Prestongrange on Sunday at 12.30pm, while Haddington take on Prestongrange at Castlepark at the same time. The winners will play at Castlepark at 2.30pm.

Meanwhile, in Division One of the county’s bowling leagues, Port Seton sit in top spot after winning a rearranged fixture 8-0 against East Linton and then a 7-1 victory on Friday against Ormiston.

The victories were enough to see them leapfrog Haddington, who find themselves three points adrift, despite an impressive 6-2 win away at Prestongrange.

Tranent remain third with a narrow 6-2 win at home to Elphinstone.

Castlepark and East Linton remain at the foot of the table.

Port Seton head to early-season high-flyers West Barns in the pick of the Friday fixtures this week.

Elsewhere, Haddington host EL Co-op, while Tranent entertain Prestongrange in a third versus fourth battle.

It is status quo in Division Two this week as pacesetters Winton and Aberlady continued their impressive start to the season.

The duo look to be too far in front to be caught in their quest for a swift return to the top flight.

Winton have amassed a whopping 77 points from 88 available so far.

Aberlady dropped a surprise two points at home to bottom side Longniddry but remain 16 points clear of the chasing Port Seton A in third.

East Linton A find themselves at the wrong end of the division; however, they will be looking to take advantage as third-bottom EL Co-op A welcome the high-flying Aberlady this week.

Winton head to third-place Port Seton A as they have their title credentials tested, while Tranent A welcome Prestongrange A as they look to claim third spot.

North Berwick and Gifford continue to lead the way in the third tier of East Lothian Bowls, despite neither registering a win last week.

Gifford suffered a shock 6-2 defeat away at Castlepark A, while third-place Cockburnspath drew 4-4 with the league leaders.

Gifford look to put their title push back on track this week as they host Haddington A.

North Berwick host Castlepark A as they look to remain top of the pile and push for a return to Division Two.

Athelstaneford look to be the champions elect for Division Four, stretching out a 12-point advantage over Gullane and Port Seton B, a hard-fought 5-3 win over Pathhead the latest in a string of wins.

Gullane claimed second spot from Port Seton B following an 8-0 win against Castlepark B.

Gullane host Haddington B this coming Friday as they look to close the gap on Athelstaneford. The league leaders head to Aberlady A in a bid to return to the third tier next season.