EAST LOTHIAN sit two points adrift of leaders Falkirk in Division B of the gents indoor bowls Premier League but, with four fixtures still to fulfil, they entertain high hopes of making the play-off final.
The latest round of matches saw Falkirk scrape a 72-71 victory at home to bottom side Abbeyview while EL made gains in the shot-margin department with a comfortable 81-62 win over Ayr.
“We were under pressure to deliver a winning performance on our home carpet and did so in a style that keeps the pressure on the leaders,” said team captain Scott Kennedy.
East Lothian were without star man Alex Marshall but a strong team performance was reflected by wins on the rinks skipped by Kennedy, Billy Mellors and Derek Oliver, cushioning the setback suffered by Jamie Higgins.
Kennedy inspired the charge to victory as he skipped Mark Johnston, Glenn Blair and Stuart Thomson to a 25-12 win over Colin Smith.
Mellors displayed his superb range of skills to skip Joe Mower, Andy Jeffrey and Willie Wood to a 24-11 victory over Stuart Wyllie.
Oliver found himself tested on several occasions but found the answers to keep a spirited Jim Cuthbertson at bay and skip Ewan Fallen, Andy Burt and Graham Robertson to a 20-15 win.
Ayr are new to the Premier League but proving no pushovers, which was illustrated by the impressive Tom Seaton inflicting a 24-12 defeat on Mal Higgenbotham, Jamie Gordon, Gary Darling and Higgins.
Meanwhile, former three-in-a-row champions West Lothian suffered more woe in Division A, leaving them with a record of just two wins from six.
The latest setback came in the shape of an 86-67 defeat at defending champions Paisley, who have now done the double over the pre-campaign favourites.
West Lothian are now a sizable six points adrift of joint leaders Blantyre and Midlothian and are flirting with relegation.
There is a safety net, however, with WL currently protected by a two-point gap between them and joint-bottom Lanarkshire and Arbroath.