Billy Mellors and Gary Smith among favourites to walk on Ayr

Billy Mellors
Billy Mellors
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High-profile Lothian stars Billy Mellors of Haddington and Gary Smith of Linlithgow are among the frontline contenders challenging to capture the Holy Grail men’s Singles Crown in next week’s National Championships showcase at Ayr Northfield.

Mellors brought the title back to Edinburgh in 2006 under the banner of Goldenacre and came close to sparking similar celebrations last year for East Lothian when the beaten favourite in the final.

Smith’s day job is CEO of World Bowls Ltd and it would certainly enhance his bragging rights around the bowling globe were the former England cap to reign as Champion of Scotland.

The Singles form of the 59-year District champion of West Lothian includes the 2017 Champion of Champions title and the 2010 WL Masters.

District champions nationwide have aleady proved their worth in reaching Ayr and quite capable of emerging from under the radar – so David Brown (Craigentinny), Halley Cockburn (Colinton), Stuart Fleming (Inveresk), give it your best shot.

Megan Kivlin of East Lothian captured the Junior Singles title in 2016 and now bids to add to that success however she is double fisted at Ayr and aiming to succeed her Garden County colleague Dee Hoggan as Singles champion proper.

Betty Eaton and Chloe Thomson represent the Edinburgh banner while it is Annie Rutherford for Midlothian and teenager Chloe Hutchison for West Lothian.

Angie Uttley of West Lothian defends the Ladies’ Seniors Singles while David McGill of Edinburgh, the 1976 Singles champion proper, is an interesting challenger in the men’s Seniors singles.

• Today’s final of the Cities & Counties Championship for the coveted ‘Andrew Hamilton Trophy’ at Ayr Northfield features West Lothian against a Bon Accord team that dealt a stunning semi-final blow to the challenge of Edinburgh & Leith.

The traditional order of things would have flagged up a passage into the final for the numerically superior resources of E&L, however, Bon Accord did line up as very dangerous Cock’s of the North with seven out of seven wins in their section followed by a 36 shot quarter-final win over Glasgow South.

In the event E&L suffered a high scoring 142-125 defeat and will reflect that wins on two rinks and peels on two showed they were competitive, however, not enough to protect them from the Bon Accord counter punch landed on the remaining two rinks.

It will be a nightmare memory for the rink of Kevin Tennant, Gordon Bold, David Fisher, and John Ramsay that their collapse from 13-14 to 13-35 leading to a 38-16 defeat was a costly affair at the hands of Andrew Thomson.

Other scores: Andrew amsay 19 Allan McKay 24; Paul Veitch 17 Ross Stevens 17; James Hogg 19 Kevin Pirie 19; Robert Marshall 23 Ron Henry 21; John McDermott 31 Kevin Harper 23.

West Lothian’s battling 114-107 win over Highland prevented a first ever All North final and the scale-tipping wins were achieved by Steven Fleming (28-10); Thomas Mann (24-11); and Ray Logan (17-13).

Highland made their mark with wins over Grant Logan (32-13); Neil Speirs (19-13); and Andy Dunnett (22-19).

Thomas Mann misses the final and team manager Gordon Logan brings back Bryan Cooper at third with Gary Smith stepping up to skip.

• Craigentinny have captured the Division 1 Crown of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League for a record extending 10th time with the defending champions 6-3 win at Parkside putting them out of sight with two games still to play.

In an epic encounter across the green Willie McDonald finished 1, 1 to beat Paul Veitch, 17-15; Andy Caldwell finished on a single to clinch a 19-17 win over Robert Donaldson; Andy Jeffrey finished on a double to snatch a 13-13 peel with Kevin Boyd; while Danny Gormley lost 18-16 from 15- 12 up against Neil Watson.

The rain didn’t fall at Queensberry but rumour has it that the water sprinklers had been on full tilt – what else would explain the second-placed home team suffering a killer shock 7-2 defeat from Northern.

The Edinburgh and Lothian District challenge in the Scottish Championships being played at Ayr Northfield from Monday to Saturday next week.

Key to Districts: 13 – West Lothian; 14 – Edinburgh; 15 – Edinburgh; 16 – Midlothian; 17 – East Lothian.

Men, Singles: 13 Gary Smith – Linlithgow; 14 David Brown – Craigentinny; 15 Halley Cockburn – Colinton; 16 Stuart Fleming – Inveresk; 17 Billy Mellors – Haddington.

Junior Singles: 13 Darren Pearce – Kirkliston; 14 Liam McKay – Tanfield; 15 Stephen Pringle – Carrick Knowe; 16 Paul Innes – Polton.

Pairs:

13 Kirkliston – Robbie Cuthill, John Aitken; 14 Craigentinny – Gordon Bold, Willie McDonald; 15 Colinton – John Fisher, David Fisher; 16 Polton – Les Porter, Robin Macnab; 17 Dunbar – Steven Anderson, Kern Gallagher.

Triples:

13 Newbridge – Ian Robertson, Blair Mackie, Jamie Aitken; 14 Wardie – Scott McDonald, Alan ward, John Maginnis; 15 Currie – Allan Buchan, John Anderson, Neil Fisher; 16 Gorebridge – Colin Barrett, Dougie Waldie, Kenny Ferguson; 17 Macmerry – Pal Mair, Kenny Donaldson, Billy Cormack.

Fours: 13 East Calder – Ian Thorburn, Allan Walker, Iain Grant, Calum Black; 14 Northern – Andy Reid, Gordon Wilson Sr, Jamie Reid, Gordon Wilson Jr.; 15 Carrick Knowe – Graham Pringle, John Priestley, Stephen Pringle, James Hogg; 16 Gilmerton – Steven Mitchell, Garry Mitchell, Gary Mitchell, Gary Robertson; 17 East Linton – Keith Hamilton, Calum Blair. Keith Fender, Grant Fender.

Seniors Singles: 13 Richard Mark – Uphall Station; 14 Maitland – Brian Higgins; 15 Braid – David McGill; 16 West Linton – Dougie Taylor; 17 Aberlady – Bill Dunleavey.

Seniors Fours: 13 Newbridge – John Sweeney, Bobbo Forrest, Ian Roberton, Alec Allan; 14 Postal – Christian Berra, Colin Turnbull, Derek McLean, Colin Bain; 15 Bainfield – Graham Angus, John Douglas, Graham Fergus, Jim Ross; 16 Newcraighall – Ricky Mathieson, Jimmy Syme, Ricky Delaney, Davy Scott; 17 East Lothian Co-op – Derek Stein, Jim Bonner, Dougie Berwick, Willie Auld.

Mixed Pairs: 13 Bellsburn – Marguerite Harris, Jack Murphy; 14 Hillside – Violet Winton, Colin Bell; 15 Sighthill – Mary Price, John McDermott; 16 Gilmerton – Emma McNaughton, Gary Robertson; 17 Castlepark – Mags Thomson, Jamie Frame.

Ladies, Singles: 13 Chloe Hutchison – Linlithgow; 14 Chloe Thomson – Tanfield; 15 Betty Eaton – Beechwood; 16 Annie Rutherford - Buccleuch; 17 Megan Kivlin – East Lothian Co-op;

Junior Singles: 13 Taylor Nicol – Deans; 14 Colette Thomson – Tanfield; 15 Nicole Clifford – Carrick Knowe; 16 Amy Baxter – Gilmerton; 17 Megan Kivlin – East Lothian Co-op.

Pairs: 13 Glenmavis – Delia Flannigan, Angie Uttley; 14 Tanfield – Tracey Campbell, Erin Gornall; 15 Sighthill – Kathleen Barr, Hilda Melrose; 16 Gilmerton – Lorraine Grant, Moira Bisset;

17 Cockenzie & Port Seton – Leanne Baillie, Lauren Baillie.

Triples: 13 Kinneil – Nan Murray, Elize Miller, Ellen Carr; 14 Goldenacre – Angela Mitchell, Margaret Elder, Lorna Mackay; 15 Bainfield – Heather Stoddart, Susan Alan, Anna Anderson; 16 Eskmills – Christine Churchmichael, Elaine Noon, Pauline Turnbull; 17 Gifford – Eleanor Bisset, Beth Riva, Morag Wood.

Fours: 13 Linlithgow – Emma Fleming, Annette Howlett, Morven Shearer, Lorna Smith; 14 Tanfield – Michelle Gourlay, Eileen Davis, Denise McGregor, Margot Wood; 15 Parkside – Mae Smith, Mary Hogg, Margaret Docherty, Mary Salvona; 16 Eskmills – Linda Craig, Claire McHugh, Margaret Aitchison, Roma Blair; 17 Cockenzie & Port Seton – Ella Gorman, Riva Campbell, Essa Scott, Beth McDonald.

Seniors Singles: 13 Angie Uttley – Glenmavis; 14 Helen Spence – Brunstane; 15 Betty Eaton – Beechwood; 16 Margaret Gowrie – Dalkeith; 17 Janet Fairnie – Castlepark.

Seniors Fours: 13 Kinneil – Nan Murray, Pat Henderson, Elize Miller, Ellen Carr; 14 London Road Foundry – Christine McIntosh, Alvis Dickson, Eileen Mitchell, Ann McCaskell; 15 Balerno – Anne Blake, Mabel Jackson, Margaret Turner, Helen Girdler; 16 Polton – Evelyn Fleming. Charlene Williamson, Lynda Christison, Christine Curran; 17 Dunbar – Caroline Duncan, Eileen Young, Cathy Murray, Ann McDonald.