VETERAN Willie Wood emerged as the last-bowl match-winner for East Lothian in their dramatic top-of-the-table clash with Bainfield in the East B section of the indoor bowls Seniors League Cup.
East Lothian won 62-61 at the Hutchison Crossway Stadium to move four points clear of their opponents, who looked like they had victory in their grasp. Bainfield entered the final end across the four rinks defending a 59-56 lead but East Lothian carded six shots to 62 with the rinks skipped by Tom Young, Frank Gray and Jock Brodie each carding a double.
There was still a glimmer of hope for the home side with their rink skipped by Jim Cowan holding three shots for a match peel but wily Wood played into the head and successfully saved the match for EL by cutting the home count down to a double.
Good wins for the home rinks skipped by Cowan, against Wood, and Neil Butters against Brodie gave Bainfield every chance of victory but they just failed to cover the defeat of Adam Brock by Gray, and Mike Marshall by Young.
Cowan skipped Les Nicholson, Irvine Kemp and Alex Fisher to a 20-10 win over Kenny Boyd, Brian Patterson, Peter Laidlaw and Wood. Butters looked set to be the match-winner when skipping Malcolm Cook, Tom Seggie and Stuart Wilson into a 20-5 lead after 12 ends but was cut back to 20-13 by Jim Neilson, George McLean, Brian Bissett and Brodie.
Marshall and his rink of Rab Henderson, Dick Wilson and Alan Craig also suffered a late collapse to lose 16-9 to Willie Higgins, Alistair Russell, John Holmes and Young. Brock and his front three of Dougie Henderson, Jim Henderson and Tony Abernethy lost 23-12 to Arthur Duncan, John Hamilton, Jimmy Smith and Gray.
East Lothian top the table with 16 points from nine games while Bainfield are joined on the 12 mark by Midlothian, who beat Portobello 77-44 at Dalkeith. West Lothian IBC’s surprise 65-62 derby win away to Balbardie at Bathgate moves them on to 10 points.