Bowls: Magnificent seventh Scottish Cup win for East Lothian
East Lothian IBC won the Scottish Cup for a record seventh time with an 87-57 victory over Galleon in the final at the Dewars Stadium, Perth.
The team from the Alex Marshall Arena entered the match as strong favourites to beat their Division 2 opponents from Kilmarnock and, having led from start to finish, they duly delivered with wins on three of their four rinks to carve out a commanding 30-shot supremacy.
A significant 11-0 clean sweep on end four propelled East Lothian into a 17-shot lead (26-9), then a 5-0 contribution on end eight had the master scoreboard flashing a sizeable 32-shot advantage (47-15) that could be interpreted as a ‘game over’ signal in both camps.
East Lothian stayed focused in their determination to trade wisely on their hard-earned cushion and the ‘garden county’ remained in a comfort zone that expertly contained any threat of a fightback from Galleon.
The Ayrshire outfit did have their moments and fought bravely to inflict defeat on EL’s Scott Kennedy and they came close to holding their own against Billy Mellors but were unable to get the measure of Alex Marshall and Derek Oliver.
The phase analysis of the final highlights the immense value of East Lothian’s start as they captured the first seven ends 42-15 as their 27-shot lead was only meagrely boosted by 22-20 and 23-22 returns on phases two and three.
Alex Marshall MBE was the top performer with the six-time World Indoor Singles champion making a blitz start to power Mark Johnston, Andy Burt and Jamie Higgins into a 16-3 lead then, from 26-7, deliver a 28-11 win over Graeme Peacock.
Oliver finished 4,4,1 to skip Mal Higgenbotham, Calum Darling and Ewan Fallen to a 23-11 win over Drew Boyd while Lessel Middler, Willie Wood MBE, Stuart Thomson and Mellors added 3,1 to edge a 21-18 win over John McCabe Jnr.
Kennedy and his rink of Andy Jeffrey, Glenn Blair and Graham Robertson led 15-11 but lost 17-15 to Cameron Wilson.