EAST Lothian bowling stars Alex Marshall and Derek Oliver will head to Australia later this summer after being named in the Scotland squad for the 2023 World Bowls Championships.

Marshall, 56, and Oliver, 39, will join forces with former East Lothian team-mate Paul Foster in both the men’s triples and the men’s fours – joined in the latter by Jason Banks – at the prestigious tournament on the Gold Coast.

The trio will return to the city where they each won two medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games – two golds for Oliver and a gold and silver apiece for both Marshall and Foster.

This year’s tournament, the first World Bowls Championships since 2016, gets under way on August 29 and runs to September 10.

Oliver, of Cockenzie and Port Seton Bowling Club, is one of 13 debutants across the 18-player squad, while Gifford BC’s Marshall is at the other end of the experience scale, having won seven World Bowls Championships gold medals.

A total of 47 nations are expected to compete at the championships, with more than 1,300 individual matches expected to be played throughout the event, including men’s, women’s and para contests.



Frazer Muirhead, men’s head coach, said: “We have selected an excellent blend of top-class players with a vast experience of representing Scotland at the highest level.

“The selection process proved difficult given the huge talent pool that we have within the high performance squad and it was not an easy decision to leave players out.

“I am happy with the team selection and feel the team is strong in all disciplines. I am confident that we will bring back medals to make Scotland proud.”

Meanwhile, the East Lothian under-25 bowlers headed to Fife knowing their progression from the league section was out of their hands.

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Major road incidents throughout the day meant a delayed start at Gallatown Bowling Club in Kirkcaldy and a player failing to make the start.

When play started, East Lothian fielded a triple, meaning that they would lose a quarter of their overall rink score at the end of the match, an equation that could scarcely be written as the teams finished on a 109-109.5 shot difference in favour of the travelling East Lothian youngsters.

There was a glimmer of hope during the contest as news filtered through that Midlothian held a narrow lead over Edinburgh, a result that would have been enough to see East Lothian progress to the knockout stages.

Unfortunately for East Lothian, Edinburgh finished the contest the stronger and claimed top spot in the section with a win.

Meanwhile, the East Lothian senior squad welcomed West Lothian to Castlepark in a bid to restore some team belief following a heavy defeat against Midlothian.

In a stark contrast to the previous week, East Lothian started the game well and found themselves in front over the first few ends of play.

End four saw the largest swing in the game as the visitors found 18 shots across the green without reply, including a full house of eight in the process.

The gap proved just too large to close against a quality side over the afternoon.

Two wins and a draw proved to be in vain for the home side as the visitors left 129-102 winners.

The squad now head to last year’s Hamilton Trophy finalists Borders at Newton Bowling Club, where a win is a must if the side hold any hope of escaping the ‘group of death’.

The home side will be looking to get their own qualification back on track as they crashed to a surprising defeat away to Fife last weekend.

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In the local leagues, Port Seton remain unbeaten in their 2023 league campaign, beating Tranent 6-2 to lead the Division 1 table. Haddington remain the closest challengers following a 6-2 win over Elphinstone.

EL Co-op bounced back with a 6-2 win over East Linton, while West Barns took maximum points at home to Aberlady (8-0). Prestongrange maintained their position with a strong 7-1 win over Winton.

Port Seton will have their title credentials tested this week as they head to EL Co-op, while Haddington head to Winton as they look to keep pace with the leaders.

In Division 2, Ormiston continue their bid to return to the top flight, winning their first five fixtures, an impressive 6-2 win at North Berwick leaving the side seven points clear at the top. Macmerry remain second after a 5-3 win against Port Seton A.

Prestongrange A left Tranent A with their fair share of the spoils (6-2), Dunbar handed Cockburnspath their fifth consecutive defeat in a 5-3 win, and EL Co-op A got their league campaign off and running with their first win, 6-2 over Castlepark

Port Seton B lead the way in Division 3, amassing 34 points over their first six league games, a 6-2 win over third-placed Gifford last week propelling them to the top of the table.

Athelstaneford maintained their excellent start to the season, a 6-2 win against Haddington A putting them second in the table, while Dunbar A claimed the points 6-2 against Stenton to leave themselves in touching distance and with a game in hand. Longniddry won 6-2 against Castlepark A.

Pathhead, West Barns A and Ormiston A have set the early pace in Division 4, the trio all winning last week (6-2, 7-1 and 8-0 respectively).

Aberlady A have taken strides in the table following back-to-back 8-0 wins, Gullane A the latest to leave empty-handed. Castlepark B were the other winners with a 6-2 home success over Tranent B.