STUART Thomson has been crowned champion at the Scottish Deaf Bowling Association Finals.

The East Lothian bowler took centre stage at Willowbrae in the singles as he took on Fife’s Darren Cooper.

Thomson settled the quicker and raced to a 13-1 lead, but an error in judgement when throwing the jack proved costly as the Fife bowler found a length he liked, claiming 10 unanswered shots to reduce the deficit to just two shots (13-11).

Cooper would return the favour moments later as he looked to be drawing to level the match at 13-13.

A heavy bowl altered the head and gifted Thomson the shot and much-needed reprieve from the comeback.

Thomson then returned the jack to his preferred short length and saw out the remainder of the match comfortably to claim the title 21-13.

East Lothian Courier: Stuart Thomson survived a fight back to clinch the singles titleStuart Thomson survived a fight back to clinch the singles title

Alison Carswell contested the ladies’ singles against the highly experienced Val Keith, of Aberdeen.

A very tricky opening period for Carswell saw her fall 11-0 behind before scoring.

Her opponent displayed every bit of her experience as Carswell tried to alter the game, eventually going down 21-4.

East Lothian Courier: Alison Carswell lost out in the singles final at WillowbraeAlison Carswell lost out in the singles final at Willowbrae

The hopes of a Gannets’ double rested with the rink of Nigel Turnbull, Stephen McCartney, Keith Hyland and Ian Preston.

The party very much looked to be on as the four led 12-3 through 10 ends against Lanarkshire.

However, a costly five on end 11 proved to be the turning point of the match as the Lanarkshire four looked to mount a comeback.

Hyland looked to have steadied the ship on end 13, running a bare jack to the ditch to lie an unbeatable one-shot and head into the last four ends with a four-shot lead. Unfortunately, Lanarkshire finished the match the stronger and scored the last four ends to claim the title 16-13.

Meanwhile, East Lothian’s seniors fell just short of reaching the final of the Matt Purdie.

The auld yins were faced with an away tie and headed south to tackle Borders Bowling Association at Newton BC in the semi-finals.

A close battle looked to have East Lothian as slight favourites for the win in the final stages.

But victories for Andy Burt (+10) Willie Auld (+5) proved not enough to cover losses by Davie Arnot (-12), Billy Cormack (-4) and Tommy Young (-1), which, agonisingly, saw the overall score end 66-64 to the Borders squad.

They will contest the Matt Purdie final against Midlothian seniors, who edged out West Lothian 72-70.

Andy Burt, team convener, said: “It is disappointing to fall short at this stage, the last three ends across the green have proved difficult for the team this year and has been our undoing once again today.

“My thanks go to those who made themselves available for selection, reserves and the clubs we have attended this campaign.”

East Lothian Courier: Haddington enjoyed last night delight as they won Division OneHaddington enjoyed last night delight as they won Division One

There was better news for Haddington, who once again claimed the East Coast Carpets Division One title.

They entered the final fixture level with Port Seton on points but a maximum 8-0 home victory over Elphinstone proved enough to leapfrog the long-term league leaders on the final night.

Port Seton fell two points short as they claimed a 6-2 win away East Linton.

At the other end, Castlepark and Ormiston both suffered relegation as they lost 5-3 and 6-2 at Tranent and EL Co-op respectively.

Meanwhile, in Division Two, the title battle went down to the wire as well.

Having secured promotion some weeks ago, Aberlady and Winton were left to decide the destination of the silverware.

Winton held the title of league leaders for most of the season, however, Aberlady knew that any slip up on the final night meant they could sneak over the line.

Winton won 6-2 against Dunbar on the final night but a +48 shot 8-0 victory against Macmerry on the final night proved enough for Aberlady to return to Division One as the league winners.

East Linton and Longniddry were confirmed as Division Three teams for next season. Heading in the opposite direction are North Berwick, who claimed the honours in Division Three last week.

They secured the title with a six-shot cushion over Cockburnspath, themselves winning a +35 shot 8-0 home tie over Prestongrange as they head to Division Two next season.

Castlepark suffered their second relegation of the season as their second-string side head to Division Four.

East Lothian Labour Club have yet to decide on how they move forward but would find themselves in Division Four if they return to the fold.

While in Division 4, Athelstaneford ensured champions status on the final night. An 8-0 victory away at Castlepark was enough to see them clinch the title. A difficult couple of weeks saw Athelstaneford stutter.

Their final night maximum points proved vital as Port Seton claimed an 8-0 home win over Aberlady, a result would have seen them draw level with the league leaders had they failed to win across all rinks at Castlepark.

Prestongrange finished bottom of the East Lothian leagues, proving to be a victim of their own success.

Their efforts to field four full teams across all the divisions are to be commended.