THERE was disappointment for the East Lothian County team as they lost their second home tie of the 2024 campaign.

Defeat against Stirling County on Saturday all but guarantees their journey will end in the group stages this season.

West Barns BC welcomed both sides in glorious sunshine, the delayed start due to traffic barely even noticed among the players, officials and spectators.

The visitors settled the quicker across the green and opened a 39-22 lead. East Lothian did reduce the deficit to nine a few ends later (40-49) but the gap remained consistent for most of the afternoon as Stirling led 78-59 in the race to the magical 100.

They expectedly brought up that number two ends later to lead 100-89. A late rally by the home side did also see them hit 100 shots for the second successive game but crucially they ran out of ends in a 114-102 defeat.

Domestic action

Domestically, Port Seton remain on their march for the title and have opened a 10-point gap on Ormiston at the top of the First Division table.

Haddington were this week’s big movers as they ended Tranent’s unbeaten start to the season with an 8-0 win at home. East Linton heaped more misery on Dunbar as they claimed maximum points in an 8-0 win.

Aberlady took the win 6-2 against Prestongrange but remain in the bottom two. EL Co-op will look to kickstart their season as they took a 25-shot 8-0 win at home to West Barns.

Elphinstone and Castlepark have already turned the Division Two title into a two-horse race as they sit 13 and 10 points clear of the chasing pack. Elphinstone saw off third placed EL Co-op with an 8-0 home win while Castlepark kept the pace with the leaders as they also claimed an 8-0 win against Tranent. Castlepark A ensured Haddington remained winless in Division Two as they registered a 6-2 home win.

Macmerry are also rooted at the foot of the table following their winless start to the campaign.

Longniddry, East Linton A and Cockburnspath remain the early pacesetters in the third tier of East Lothian bowls.

Gifford and Pathhead remain in close contact with less than six points separating them from a promotion hunting slot. Longniddry and Pathhead clash tomorrow (Friday) in the pick of the ties while East Linton A welcome Port Seton B. Bottom sides Athelstaneford and Prestongrange B meet as both sides look to escape the bottom two.

A similar pattern is appearing in Division Four as West Barns A, Gullane and Aberlady A spearhead the top of the table, with just two points separating the three sides. Dirleton, Macmerry A and Prestongrange C remain adrift at the bottom of the table.

West Barns head to Haddington this week knowing a win would all but guarantee them top spot heading into the short break. Gullane and Castlepark B also meet in what could further the gap in the promotion-chasing group.