East Lothian scrape into last eight of Scottish Cup

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East Lothian were taken down to the wire ion their indoor bowls Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against Cumbernauld at Falkirk.

The outcome was an 81-79 victory for a hugely relieved East Lothian team that had trailed by 20 shots at one stage.

East Lothian, six-times winners, are one of the giants of the Premier League while Cumbernauld finished fourth out of six in Division 2.

However, the west team had already knocked out Division 1 club Balbardie and Bainfield of the Premier League.

“We expected to be given a tough time by Cumbernauld but suffering the fright of our lives probably wasn’t on our agenda,” said captain Mark Johnston.

East Lothian’s Scott Kennedy was a late withdrawal due to car troubles en route leading to Stewart Thomson being promoted to skip and the call up of reserve Brian Galloway.

Wins for the rinks skipped by Billy Mellors and Stewart Thomson were sufficient to drag East Lothian over the line with Derek Oliver salvaging a peel and Jamie Higgins suffering a serious defeat.

Mellors is in fine form and the recently crowned national singles champion skipped Dougie Berwick, Andy Burt and Andrew Jeffrey to a 13-shot victory over Gary Wilson that proved to worth its weight in gold.

Support for Mellors and Co came from Thomson who answered the pressure of his last-minute promotion by skipping Lessel Middler, Brian Galloway and Gary Darling to a battling three-shot victory over Frank Hills. Oliver and his rink of Ewan Fallen, John Robertson and Graham Robertson were four shots down with three ends to play but fought back to grab an important peel.

Higgins and his front-three of Johnston, Calum Darling and Willie Wood found opposition icon figure Jim Byron a handful and they were defeated by 14 shots.

But Higgins carded two vital shots on his final end to square the match overall that allowed Oliver follow on and bask in the glory of carding the match-winning two shots.

West Lothian beat Stirling 79-68 in their quarter-final clash at Fintry and were joined in the semi finals by Blantyre who beat Lanarkshire 87-70 at Coatbridge.