EXPECTATIONS were high as East Lothian bowling aces Aaron Betts and Dean Riva headed for the Scotland gents’ trial match at the weekend, writes Matt Osborne.

Both had a successful day, with Betts selected to lead a rink for world top-16 star Michael Stepney and Riva selected amongst the reserves for the series at Falcon Indoor Bowling Club from March 14 to 16 next year.

In a similar situation, Beth Riva and Emma Blyth headed for the ladies’ trial after both being selected for the junior team, alongside Dee Hoggan hoping for a recall to the full international squad.

Riva and Hoggan both made the highly competitive final squad, Hoggan teaming up with familiar team-mates Stacey McDougall and Caroline Brown while Riva teams up with multiple-world-champion Julie Forrest.

They travel to Falcon the week before the gents, March 8-10.

The East Lothian ladies squad bounced straight back following their defeat at Midlothian, a clean sweep of wins against Bainfield at home on Saturday (76-42) propelling them back to the top of the league, ensuring they will remain top into the new year.

The gents fall to second following a narrow defeat away to Lanarkshire (82-77).

There was a sizeable win for Derek Oliver but it was not enough to carry defeats across the other three rinks. They welcome table-topping Ardrossan to Meadowmill in the new year, with their sights set on revenge for an early-season defeat.