Bowls: East Lothian get the drop on Prestwick

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East LOTHIAN’S impact on the just completed campaign in the A section of the indoor bowls Premier League doesn’t compare well with their superb run of four national titles from 2006 to 2009 but they have still wreaked major damage on a current giant of the sport, Prestwick.

East Lothian finished in third place behind West Lothian and Blantyre with a 78-62 win over Prestwick at Tranent that inflicted relegation blues on the visitors who might have escaped the automatic drop but for a dramatic last-bowl peel achieved by Alloa.

Alloa were fellow strugglers on the same points mark as Prestwick coming into the final round of matches but kept the escape hatch open by snatching an 82-82 peel away to Paisley. That single point moved Alloa up to the relegation play-off position and they will now go head to head with Turriff of the B section to decide who goes down with Prestwick and Auchinleck.

East Lothian’s win was a welcome confidence boost ahead of their Scottish Cup campaign and it was a strong performance from a team that led from start to finish. Teenager Kieron Simmants made his debut for the Garden County with an excellent display.

Elsewhere Midlothian completed the B section campaign with a 93-68 win over Aberdeen at Dalkeith to finish in second place to Falkirk whose 87-54 home win over Turriff maintained their three-point advantage.

“We were the defending premier league champions but only managed one point from six on our opening three games and although picking up strongly after that we were unable to close the gap on a Falkirk team that had stolen a march on us,” said Frank Gray for Midlothian.

Falkirk’s effort to reach the play-off final against West Lothian is all the more commendable considering they had just come up from Division 1.

Portobello’s misery of spending another season in the lowly echelons of Division 2B were compounded by an 83-72 defeat away to Headwell.

Meanwhile, Midlothian’s ladies team showed their class with a 40-shot win over East Lothian in the prelim round of the Scottish Cup.

Midlothian ruled the roost on all four rinks with wins for Sandra McLeish (29-12), Dot Low (28-13), Agnes Melrose (21-15) and Shona Johnstone (21-19).