HADDINGTON Bowling Club were once again top of the pile as they won the Courier Cup in the outdoor season finale.

The East Lothian league champions for 2022 headed for Castlepark on Saturday looking to add more silverware.

Division One winners Haddington tackled Division Three winners North Berwick, while Division Two champions Aberlady took on Division Four champions Athelstaneford in the other semi-final.

As the first semi-final hit the halfway mark it was all to play for, Aberlady holding a single shot margin over Athelstaneford (5-4, 5-8, 8-5).

But a run of six ends without reply for Aberlady delivered the fatal blow to Athelstaneford’s claims for a spot in the final.

While the other rinks remained on a knife-edge to the very last ends, the +18 shot win for Aberlady in the middle rink was more than enough to claim a 54-26 win.

On the other side of the green, Division Three winners North Berwick were looking to topple Division One champions Haddington.

And an upset looked on the cards as they held a four-shot advantage at the halfway point.

By end 12, Haddington had their noses in front to lead by one going into the last three ends, a lead they would extend to +3 playing the last end.

North Berwick stalwart David Middleton was last on the green and expertly burnt end 14 before adding a third shot on end 15 with his first delivery to put the pressure on Haddington.

It was a head that would remain unchanged as Middleton delivered his last bowl and looked to add a fourth shot and claim the tie, narrowly failing past the head – the teams shook hands on a draw and the prospect of extra-end drama.

Haddington held their nerve to claim the extra ends 3-1.

The greenkeeper deemed the fairest way to decide the rinks for the final would be to swap the direction of play, ensuring that no team stepped back on a rink they had played earlier in the day.

The change of green suited Haddington better as they raced to a 17-shot lead by end seven (29-12).

A huge count of six for Haddington on end nine looked to have extinguished any hopes of an Aberlady comeback as they extended their lead to 38-17.

But Aberlady refused to accept the tie was done and rallied over the closing ends.

Colin Penman recovered from 11-1 down to lead his individual game 15-14 after 13, while Gordon White similarly recovered from 16-5 down to trail by just three entering the last two ends of play.

Declan French scored the last four ends but came up short 12-9 against the rink skipped by Chris Brock.

Martin Campbell scored a last-end single to leave Haddington five shots clear entering the last end with Penman’s rink left to play.

Penman scored back-to-back doubles on end 14 and 15, falling agonisingly short overall 43-42 as Haddington claimed the final trophy of the season.