Bowls: Joy of six for East Lothian Seniors

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East LOTHIAN IBC extended their record number of Seniors Scottish League Cup triumphs to six after scoring a commanding 21-shot (70-49) indoor bowls victory over Coatbridge in the final at West of Scotland IBC.

Wins on the rinks skipped by Peter Laidlaw, Willie Wood MBE and Tommy Young combined to give East Lothian a comfort zone over a battling Coatbridge side that made their presence felt by inflicting a single-figure defeat on Jock Brodie.

The pendulum of dominance swung heavily in the direction of East Lothian as they outscored the opposition on all of the first nine ends to establish a healthy 27-shot lead (47-20).

The 17-end final was just beyond the halfway mark at that stage so there was still a long way to go. However, EL knew they had the silverware firmly in their grip and put up a strong defence of their lead to go on and clinch an impressive victory.

Laidlaw and his rink of Lessel Middler, John P Hamilton and Alastair Russell turned in a five-star performance for EL, having cashed in on an explosive 3, 4, 3 start to rocket into a 19-2 lead after seven ends against John McLaren.

The EL pacesetters were being gradually reined in at 21-14 with three ends to play but Laidlaw and Co finished in a blaze of glory, carding 1, 1, 5 to register a 28-14 success.

Wood made his first major impression on the final with a purple patch run of 1, 1, 2, 3 to skip Brian Bisset, Ross MaGuire and Billy Higgins into an 11-5 lead over 
Willie Harkness and the rink remained solid performers to contribute a 20-9 victory.

Young passed a late fitness test to take his place as skip to Dave McLeod, Peter Fallen, and Brian (BJ) Smith and the rink made a brilliant start to win eight of the first 11 ends and set up a 13-4 lead en route to a 15-12 win over Jackie Grant.

Brodie and his rink of Jim Neilson, Jim McLeod and Ronnie Douglas landed the major task of holding Coatbridge’s Robert Provan and did a good job holding him to 6-6 after nine ends but, with the match pressures off, eventually slipped to a 14-7 defeat.