THE East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club senior squad tackled unbeaten Auchinleck in the quarter-finals of the senior league last Wednesday.

The Ayrshire side entered the contest on an impressive 14-game winning streak and were sure to prove the toughest test of the season so far for East Lothian.

A tight affair was the order of the day and, after five ends, the sides were separated by just a single shot.

East Lothian took the first significant stride in the game, leading 40-33 after 12 ends for the biggest margin of the day.

Auchinleck hit back almost immediately and had the game level moments later.

Fifteen ends of play saw the Ayrshire team hit the front for the first time in the afternoon, 46-47.

The sides continued to trade the lead over the closing ends, 48-49, 51-49, 52-51, 52-54 in a nail-biting finish.

With just one end left to play and three rinks completed, East Lothian would need a double to tie the game or a treble to win it outright.

It was, however, the Auchinleck side that, in a cruel twist of events, secured the match with a treble of their own to take the tie 52-57 and extend their unbeaten run.

Meanwhile, the sister pairing of Dee and Kim Hoggan went in search of a place in the semi-final of the ladies’ pairs at Abbeyview Bowling Club.

The pair edged out Capital side Bainfield 19-14 in a close morning encounter.

They would face the home favourites Kara Lees and Sophie McGrouther for a place in the quarter-finals.

Things were looking good for the East Lothian visitors, at one point holding a 16-7 lead.

But a slack end and a huge count for the Abbeyview pairing swung the momentum in the match and brought the match outcome into the balance.

Lees and McGrouther finished the match strongly, using their home advantage fully to win 23-19 and edge out the East Lothian duo.

An injury to Stuart Thomson meant a replacement in the gents’ pairs, John McCrorie deputising on the day to skip Kevin Cunningham.

The pair would have arguably the hardest path to the semi-finals.

Firstly, the pair met Berwickshire and the familiar name of Stuart Bebbington.

The pair did progress to the afternoon session, 21-19, and would face reigning national two-bowl champions Gary Hutchison and Martin McAulley.

A tough start saw Falkirk lead 7-2 over the opening ends before East Lothian responded with a string of successful ends to pass their opponents and lead 11-7.

With neither pair likely to put down an unassailable lead, Falkirk levelled the tie at 13-13 and then went on to a 19-13 lead with one end to play.

Requiring a six to force an extra end, the Cunningham/McCrorie pairing could only score a single and missed out 19-14.

Finally, the gents’ squad welcome Midlothian to Meadowmill on Saturday in their biggest game of the season so far.

A slip to second in the table following a narrow defeat at Aberdeen has left the gents in a precarious position but still in control of their progression hopes.

They will be looking for a league double over the Dalkeith side in the 2pm game.