STUART Thomson has retained his Scottish Deaf Bowling Association title after a hard-fought win in Perth, writes Matt Osborne.

The East Lothian bowler headed for Auchterarder Bowling Club in Perthshire looking to defend his singles title from last year.

His opponent Charlie Keith (Aberdeen) had impressive wins on his way to final but proved to be a step too far for the northern bowler.

Thomson raced to a 10-0 lead and settled any nerves that may have been present.

Keith responded with glimpses of the form shown to reach the final, registering a full count of four followed by a converted three shots to take the score to a respectable 18-12.

However, a two and one finish saw Thomson return to East Lothian with the trophy and title for the second consecutive year.

East Lothian Courier: Ian Preston, Paul Conway and Robert Walker enjoyed success on their visit to AuchterarderIan Preston, Paul Conway and Robert Walker enjoyed success on their visit to Auchterarder

He would be joined in title celebrations by the trio of Robert Walker, Ian Preston and Paul Conway as they secured the triples title with a 17-12 win over Aberdeen in the final.

A purple patch in the middle of the game saw East Lothian hold a six-shot lead entering the closing stages.

However, they had to survive a late scare as skip Conway secured the second shot with a minimum of five shots against with just three ends to play.

It was a case of so near yet so far for the pairing of Deborah and Olivia Preston in the women’s pairs final.

The mother-and-daughter pairing held a 15-8 lead against Val Keith and June Coull (Aberdeen) but several excellent last bowls from Coull saw her score big count after big count before scoring the ends 13, 14, 15 and16 to hold a 17-15 lead playing the last.

East Lothian Courier: Deborah and Olivia Preston came agonisingly close to winning the pairs titleDeborah and Olivia Preston came agonisingly close to winning the pairs title

A nervy last end would see East Lothian lie the two shots they required for an extra end but also provide Preston an opportunity to add a third match winning shot.

Several short bowls blocked roads to the jack and saw her agonisingly fall tight of the head as she looked to add.

An extra end would decide the winner and, again, a nervy opening saw leads fail to capitalise, before Keith trailed the jack with her final delivery.

Preston could not manufacture the winning bowl and narrowly missed out, 18-17 (extra end).

Ali Carswell was looking to secure her first title as she took on the experienced Kim Bruce (Tayside) in the ladies’ final.

Carswell seemed to be the more consistent on the draw throughout the tie but had little reply for the head-altering attacking style of play her opponent.

A full count of four shots had Carswell back within touching distance at 18-14 before a typically attacking finish saw her opponent claim the title 21-14.

East Lothian Courier: Ali CarswellAli Carswell (Image: Contributed)

As a relatively newcomer to the sport Carswell acquitted herself admirably against a very experienced opponent and has vowed to go one better next season

Elsewhere, Port Seton were celebrating their second major trophy of the season last weekend.

They claimed the McKellar Top 5 trophy two weeks ago and the club secured wins over Prestongrange and West Barns to be crowned Jubilee Cup Top 10 winners.

In the first of the semi-finals, Port Seton registered the first two points against Prestongrange as Graham Archer claimed the singles with a 21-13 win over Sam Gray.

A run of five consecutive scoring ends saw Derek Oliver skip Michael Greenan to a 17-8 win in the pairs.

A close affair in the triples saw Port Seton claim the third win and their place in the afternoon showpiece final at Dunbar.

West Barns saw their semi-final against Aberlady play out in remarkably similar fashion.

Gary Landells handed West Barns the advantage with a 21-16 win over Billy Dunleavy while a run of ends in the pairs saw Callum Gordon skip John Carpenter Jnr to a 23-12.

Spirited wins in the triples and fours for Aberlady proved to be in vain as they missed out on a final spot, the game finishing 4-4 on points and West Barns advancing on shots.

East Lothian Courier: Port Seton were celebrating their second success of the seasonPort Seton were celebrating their second success of the season

A rain-soaked Dunbar would host both teams for arguably the biggest fixture on the East Lothian schedule.

West Barns would strike the early blow, Gary Landells racing to a 6-0 lead over Graham Archer and on to a 12-7 lead.

Archer showed all his experience to reduce the deficit to 16-14.

Landells responded in kind with some excellent lead bowls over the closing ends to see out the victory 21-14 and hand his team the first two points of the final.

A close battle in the pairs saw Derek Oliver and Michael Greenan edge the West Barns duo 14-13.

The Port Seton four scored 10 shots in five ends to effectively hand them the title, and a 16-9 win in the triples for Port Seton saw West Barns sportingly concede the match before completing the fours.

Port Seton will now move forward to represent East Lothian in the national competition next season.

In domestic action, Division One will head to the last round of fixtures with it all still to play for.

EL Co-op can claim their first Division One title in modern times as they head to relegation candidates Elphinstone.

Port Seton welcome a West Barns team in a precarious position but do still harbour their own ambitions of overtaking EL Co-op with any dropped points in their title rival’s fixture.

Haddington head to Prestongrange with an outside chance of the league title.

Tranent numerically remain in danger of the drop but host East Linton knowing two points would guarantee their safety regardless of results elsewhere.

Ormiston were officially crowned Division Two champions following their midweek win and Friday night 4-4 draw away at Port Seton.

They will be joined in Division One next season by one of three teams in the hunt for promotion.

Dunbar host Tranent in the final round of fixtures knowing an 8-0 would see them return to the topflight, Macmerry head to relegated Cockburnspath hoping to secure promotion at the expense of Dunbar.

Port Seton also head to Castlepark with a chance of securing second place and giving Port Seton two teams in Division One.

Division Three was always destined to go to the final fixtures, with Castlepark, Athelstaneford and Haddington locked in a three-way tussle for a spot in Division Two next year.

Castlepark head to Dunbar tomorrow (Friday) as they look to maintain their slender lead at the top of the table.

Elsewhere, Athelstaneford will look to keep pace but face the trickier prospect of a visit to East Linton while Haddington head to Port Seton.

Ormiston remain best placed for a league ‘double’ officially capturing the Division Two title, the club remain front runners to claim the Division Four title as well.

Aberlady and Pathhead are locked in a battle for promotion.

Aberlady face West Barns in their last opportunity to add to their points tally, they miss out the final week of the season due to the ‘free week’ fixture.

On the reverse result a win for West Barns could propel them into contention in the final week.

Pathhead head to Haddington as they look to keep up their promotion ambitions alive.