East Lothian stay on course for a magnificent seven

Scott Kennedy was in winning form for East Lothian

Scott Kennedy was in winning form for East Lothian

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East Lothian remain on course for a seventh Scottish Cities and Counties Championship after a battling 122-109 victory over Lanarkshire West in their semi-final clash at Broughty BC in Dundee.

Winning performances on the rinks skipped by Scott Kennedy, Brian Young and John McCrorie kept East Lothian in the driving seat although Glenn Blair was held to a peel and Alister Kennedy and Billy Mellors suffered setbacks.

There were two significant influences on the master scoreboard. Both were clean sweeps and East Lothian were the beneficiaries in the shape of a 9-0 registered on end 7 and 10-0 on end 11. East Lothian entered the match boosted by their inspired win over defending champions Lanarkshire South in the quarter-finals and, although no shrinking violets, Lanarkshire West represented a bit less of a challenge on paper at least.

Team captain Kennedy made a dream start in skipping his rink into a 19-4 lead that was instrumental in East Lothian capturing the first seven-end honours 48-36 after which the team exchanges were hotly contested with the ‘garden county’ edging the second phase 36-32 then narrowly losing the third 41-38. Kennedy celebrated twin highs of carding a mighty 5 at end three and a super 6 at end six to lead 16-4 before skipping Chris Johnston, Mark McCormac, and Jamie Higgins to a 29-15 win over Robert Brown of Blantyre.

Young still had it to do at 13-11 down to Alex Kelly but stormed to a 22-7 victory by skipping Matt Osbourne, Billy Cormack and Billy Dunleavey to a whirlwind finish of 1, 2, 2, 1, (4), 5.

McCrorie was also involved in a high-pressure climax at 13-13 with two to play against G Prentice but clinched an 18-13 win by skipping Adam Martin, Jamie Gordon and Willie Wood MBE to a 3, 2 finish.

Blair carded a magnificent 7 at end 12 to skip Ross Thomson, Dave Whitson and Tommy Young into a 16-7 lead but the form wasn’t sustained in a 21-21 peel with Gary Prunty.

Alister Kennedy lost an early 6 to sit 9-3 down and went on to suffer a 21-12 defeat from Steven McLaren while Mellors slipped from 19-14 up to a 22-20 defeat from Robert Brown.

Dumfriesshire beat Renfrewshire West 114-102 in the other semi-final.