East Lothian tighten grip on Division B play-off spot

Derek Oliver skipped his rink to a hard-fought win

Derek Oliver skipped his rink to a hard-fought win

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East Lothian gents moved closer to capturing the play-off qualifying honours in Division B of the indoor bowls Premier League, having moved into a three-point lead after producing a 88-67 victory over Paisley on home territory.

With a record of six wins out of eight and a tally of 12 points, it is unlikely they’ll be caught by either of their two rivals, Ardrossan and Lanarkshire. With just two more fixtures to fulfil, their lead is strongly supported by a shot margin advantage of 86 and 122 respectively.

Wins on all four rinks – skipped by Scott Kennedy, Derek Oliver, Billy Mellors and team captain Graham Robertson – produced a comfortable triumph enhanced by news that the clash between Lanarkshire and Ardrossan had ended in a peel (72-72).

EL’s final fixtures see them at home to foot-of-the-table Balbardie then away to Lanarkshire.

Against Paisley, Kennedy inspired his front three of Andrew Jeffrey, Dean Riva and Dougie Berwick to a 20-11 win over David Moffat. Oliver faced fellow cap Callum Taggart and coped well enough to skip Ross Thomson, Stuart Thomson and Jamie Higgins to a hard-earned 21-15 win while the rink of Calum Darling, Lewis Betts, Glenn Blair and Mellors beat John Gilmartin in a 27-23 thriller.

Robertson contributed win No.4 after a tough battle to the line saw the EL captain skip Mark Johnston, Andy Burt and Willie Wood MBE to a 19-18 success over Graeme Sloan.

Elsewhere, Balbardie boosted their hopes of escaping relegation with an admirable 87-69 victory over Aberdeen at Bathgate.

The triumph followed a shock away win over then joint-leaders Ardrossan and, with two games to play, they share the bottom rung with Paisley and Aberdeen.