A major attraction of finals week at East Lothian IBC was the clash in the 4-bowl Pairs between two top-notch partnerships featuring Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors against Mark Johnston and Willie Wood.
All four players have won national titles and international caps. Wood leads the way with a record 84 caps, followed by Kennedy on 39, Mellors on 36 and Johnston on 3.
Kennedy and Mellors – Wood also – are former stars of the now sadly defunct Edinburgh IBC that have combined their skills to become a formidable partnership at the Meadowmill Stadium and they have been rewarded by winning the Pairs title. The measure of their challenge in the final is that Johnston and Wood are the reigning National 2-bowl Pairs champions, so to beat them by 20-14 represents a strong performance that takes Kennedy and Mellors into next season’s Scottish.
“Scott has been the National Singles champion and has celebrated similar triumphs in the Triples and Fours, while I have captured the Triples crown twice and the Fours once so it is exciting for us both to earn a crack at the Pairs,” said Mellors.
The queens of the finals extravaganza were talented sisters Kim and Dee Hoggan, who captured the Ladies’ 4-bowl Pairs title with an extra-end victory over Mary McGowan and Morag Wood. It was also a memorable occasion for Christopher Robertson and Robbie Buchanan, who celebrated title victory in the Youth Pairs at the 22-13 expense of Blair and Calum Darling, while Dean Riva beat Kieran Dodds for the Under-13 Singles title.
More extra-end drama came in the final of the Gents Fours with defending champions Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson, Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver retaining the title at the expense of Brian Bissett, Billy Higgins, John Robertson and Graham Robertson.
Scotland cap Emma Brown and her front-two of Yvonne Veitch and Margaret Thompson will represent East Lothian in next season’s National Triples, having qualified with a 17-11 win over Agnes McLeod, Jean Russell and Janet Fairnie.
The gents representation in the 2014 National Triples didn’t require a final to decide as the trio of Kieran Simants, Tommy Young and Dougie Berwick had stamped their authority on both of the qualifying events in the stadium.
The Division 1 honours were wrapped up in style by Matt Osborne, Jock Henderson, Lessel Middler, Stevie Clark, Derek Oliver and Billy Mellors.
Other news from the ELIBC includes Perth etching their name on the Jock Brodie Senior Challenge Cup with a surprise 8-2 win over defending champions East Lothian A, while Dunbar BC won the Top Club Tournament sponsored by East Coast Carpets.