EAST Lothian’s gents bowlers’ national fours squad have a semi-final to look forward to after winning three matches over the weekend.

Both the county’s ladies’ and gents’ national fours headed across the Forth to Dunfermline’s Abbeyview Bowling Club in search of a place in the semi-finals.

Both were drawn against the sides from Fintry in the first round on Saturday afternoon and both made it through to the Sunday morning for very different reasons.

The gents made easy work of things, running out 28-3 winners well inside the scheduled 21 ends of play, while the ladies were granted a bye after Fintry were unable to field a four.

Bizarrely, both teams faced the exact same opposition again in the next round.

Midlothian stood in the way for both teams and the gents once again reiterated their intent with another convincing display, winning 27-13 with ends to spare.

The ladies held a 7-4 lead before a drastic change saw them slip 12-7 behind at the halfway point.

Momentum was with the Midlothian ladies as they controlled the game and ran away 26-11 winners.

In the quarter-finals, the gents faced the home side.

With home carpet knowledge a huge advantage in the opening stages, Abbeyview opened up a 9-2 lead and then on to a 13-7 lead.

A change in tactics from East Lothian saw Jamie Higgins and Scott Kennedy swap hands, finding more joy on the opposite side of the rink and bringing about the biggest change in the game.

East Lothian won three successive ends and levelled the tie, 15-15, at end 18.

They then scored a crucial double on end 19 to take the lead for the first time.

End 20 saw drama unfold that none of the spectators could have predicted.

East Lothian third Billy Mellors rather unfortunately saw his running bowl caught on an Abbeyview bowl and then subsequently rolled onto the jack to bring a host of opposition bowls into play.

Derek Oliver quickly recovered the situation, drawing a second shot and leaving the home side with a dilemma for their last bowl of the end.

Opposition skip Paul Brown opted to swap hands and try to remove Oliver’s bowl for a count of five or six.

In the ultimate game of risk versus reward, Brown saw his effort reach the jack with pace greater than he intended, only to see the jack move perfectly sideways across the rink and into a pocket of five East Lothian bowls.

That effectively handed the tie to East Lothian as the visitors headed up the last end with a cushion of seven shots.

The gents now head to the semi-finals on March 25, where they face Premier League opposition Falkirk at East Kilbride.

Iain Mclean’s Blantyre squad and Darren Burnett’s Arbroath side make up the other half of the strongest-looking national fours line-up in some time.