Bowls: East Lothian put E&L to the sword

Alex Marshall was a key figure in victory

Alex Marshall was a key figure in victory

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Edinburgh & Leith began their 2016 Cities and Counties bowls campaign with a 124-114 home defeat at the hands of East Lothian.

E&L had closed an 18-shot deficit after seven ends down to zero with just three ends of the 21 to play but found their opponents too hot to handle in the run-in at Currie.

East Lothian’s Alex Marshall did massive damage to his former city colleagues by brilliantly skipping Stewart Thomson, Colin McLeod and Alister Kennedy to an inspiring 18-shot triumph.

Marshall carded a mighty five at end ten to lead 18-3 then traded on the comfortable cushion to go on and inflict 28-10 pain of Kevin Tennant, Scott Rogers, Craig Paterson and Paul O’Donnell.

E&L suffered further setbacks on the rinks skipped by James Hogg, John McDermott and Mal Higgenbotham; but the dark cloud had two silver linings with wins for Paul Veitch and Robert Marshall.

Veitch skipped Daniel Gormley, Gordon Wilson Jnr and Alan Brown to a 28-16 win over John McCrorie having led 16-8 then generated excitement with a five at the 15th and a four at the 18th.

Robert Marshall built on a 12-9 lead with a run of 3, 3, 1, (1) 3, to 22-10 then skipped Craig McCall, Darren McKenny and Jamie Gracie to a 22-14 win over Billy Mellors.

Hogg produced a strong 1, 2, 1, 1, 3 finish in a 21-15 defeat from Craig Valentine; McDermott slipped from 20-20 to a 24-20 defeat from Scott Kennedy, and Higgenbotham was pipped 21-19 by Brian Young.

West Lothian were lost to an equally competitive Midlothian at Buchan Park, Broxburn, and while the hard fought 116-106 defeat is no disgrace it represents a disappointing start for new manager Gordon Logan.

The home team had recovered from a 13-0 loss on the first end to hold a promising 47-32 lead after seven ends. But Midlothian responded to a brilliant performance from world stage star Ronnie Duncan to deliver a great win for manager Drew Pearson.

Rink scores: Grant Logan 11 Ronnie Duncan 24; Thomas Mann 18 Colin Walker 21; Ray Logan 18 Danny McDougall 19; Steve Fleming 18 Colin MacFarlane 19; Sandy McDougall 20 David Peacock 16; Neil Speirs 21 Scott Briggs 17.

This weekend’s second round of fixtures are: East Lothian v Stirling East at Haddington; West Lothian v Fife at East Calder; West Fife v Midlothian at Townhill; Borders v E&L at Earlston.