East Lothian pick up first win of C&C campaign

Derek Oliver was on winning form for East Lothian
Derek Oliver was on winning form for East Lothian
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East LOTHIAN’S opening defeat at Borders was a setback in the Cities and Counties Championship but last season’s semi-finalists got back to winning ways with a seven-shot victory over West Fife at Prestongrange.

West Fife finished with the upper hand over the EL rinks skipped by John McCrorie and team captain Craig Valentine, but the win points (126-119) were secured by triumphs for Scott Kennedy, Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver and Ian Bell.

“Given our opening defeat this was suddenly a must-win fixture for us and I am pleased that the team answered with a determination and focus that delivered the right result,” said team manager Ian Bell.

Kennedy was a returnee and the Scotland cap emphasised his value with the best result of the match, skipping Chris Johnston, Matt Osborne and Tom Young to a 22-14 win over Rab McFarlane.

Mellors and his rink of Ross Thomson, Jamie Gordon and Stephen Cochrane set the EL challenge alight by blazing into a 13-2 lead then they traded on the margin to score a comfortable 25-19 win over Paul Brown.

Oliver benefited greatly from a mighty five at end seven to lead 11-4 then skipped Adam Martin, Gordon Baillie and Glenn Blair to 18-7 before settling for a 24-18 win over Andrew Kennedy.

Bell closed to 18-19 with a four at end 17 then skipped Stewart Johnston, Billy Cormack and Craig McLeod to a battling 22-21 win over Craig Watson.

McCrorie suffered a 25-14 defeat by Kenny Bald while Valentine lost 22-19 to Jim McGuire.