The play-down action of the Gents Scottish Singles Championship being played at Ardrossan IBC over this weekend is a strong signal of the swift transition from the outdoor to indoor bowling season that players of both codes have to take in their stride.
Billy Mellors captured the most coveted of individual crowns for East Lothian in the 2014/15 season and the former star of the now sadly defunct Edinburgh IBC was also prominent as a losing finalist to world stage star Paul Foster in the 2017/18 event.
Mellors is back for another bite of the national cherry and the highly decorated 48-cap star carries the ‘garden county’ banner into first-round action on today’s 11.30am session.
The pathway to national title glory is never an easy one and from a field that is 45 strong the draw has landed the East Lothian champion a mighty tough test in the shape of host club kingpin Steven Burns.
The prelim round draw pitches young Midlothian standard bearer Jamie Macnab into early morning (9.30am) action against John McCabe Jnr of Galleon with the winner returning at 1.30 pm to face the well kent Stuart Pagan of Abbeyview (Dunfermline) or Alistair Elliot of East Kilbride.
West Lothian’s international experienced champion Bryan Cooper opens in round one (1.30pm) against his Ayr counterpart while Gary Orr (Balbardie) and the Bainfield nominee feature against Coatbridge and Turriff respectively on the 3.30pm session.
n East Lothian Seniors have made a strong start to their campaign in the East B section of the national leagues having followed up an opening home win (69-42) over Teviotdale with this week’s triumph over West Lothian IBC at Livingston.
Wins on the rinks skipped by Dougie Berwick and Alistair Russell covered the losses sustained by Tommy Young and Willie Wood in a hard fought 66-57 victory over the home side.
Berwick was the hero figure as he skipped Lessel Middler, Davie Pryde, and Gordon Grey to a significant 23-5 win having produced an inspirational start lead 20-1 against George Clark, Davie Anderson, Stuart Smith, and George Sneddon.
Russell produced a 2, 1 finish to skip Jim Neilson, Ronnie Douglas, and Andy Burt to a 19-17 win over George Marshall. Young lost 17-13 to John Lynas and Wood suffered an 18-11 setback at the hands of David Wilson.
n The ladies’ national league teams are down from four rinks to three and today’s top-of-the-bill confrontation between East Lothian and Midlothian at Dalkeith sees the victors naming Dee Hoggan, Janet Fairnie, and Lauren Baillie as their three-line skips.
The Scottish Under-18 team, managed by prominent East Lothian figure Scott Kennedy, and including garden county starlets Megan Kivlin and Craig Mackintosh, won the Team of the Year Award following their success in last season’s British Isles Under-18 International Series.
n East Calder BC finished the stronger to beat Winchburgh in the climax to the prototype testing of The Generations Game, an innovative team and multi-discipline format that embraces male and female players and is a coalition of five sectors across the grassroots spectrum of the sport. Namely Under-18 Youth, Under-25 Juniors, Over-60 Seniors, Ladies’ Mainstream, and Gents Mainstream, playing 2B Singles, 2B Pairs, 4B Singles, 3B Pairs, 2B Triples, 2B Fours, and three-player 2B Singles Relay.