Billy Mellors takes Wood’s crown in a thriller

Billy Mellors. Photo by East Lothian Camera Shop
Billy Mellors. Photo by East Lothian Camera Shop
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Billy Mellors is the kingpin of the gents singles at East Lothian IBC, having etched his name on the club championship board for the first time with a nail-biting 21-20 victory over holder Willie Wood at the Meadowmill stadium.

Wood was bidding to win the domestic title for a record fifth time and the 76-year-old legend played a blinder, going 20-16 up.

But Mellors – a former four times singles champion of the sadly defunct Edinburgh IBC – is a class act and perhaps stamina favoured the younger challenger as the tie moved towards the three-hour mark.

Mellors gradually wore Wood down with an awesome display of accurate and consistent drawing skills that had to be inch-perfect to deny the defending champion.

“I am thrilled to bits at winning this prestigious title for the first time and it has increased kudos for me that the man against me in the final is a giant of the sport who is extremely difficult to beat,” said Mellors.

“It is also a major bonus that I now get the opportunity to represent the East Lothian banner in next season’s national singles and, having won the equivalent title under the outdoor code, I am fired up by an ambition to do the outdoor/indoor double,” he added.

Another highlight of finals week was the clash between defending ladies singles champion Janet Fairnie and Dee Hoggan, who was attempting to capture the title for the second time in three years.

Hoggan, who has seven junior caps, is no stranger to the big occasions and served up a dazzling performance to outshine Fairnie 21-7 on the night.

Hoggan’s sister Kim was bidding to make it a double family celebration in the ladies junior singles but despite putting up a bold effort, the Under-25 cap was unable to cope with the talents of full cap Emma Brown who captured the title with an excellent 21-12 victory.

Meanwhile, the male version of the junior singles produced a sizzling confrontation between Under-17 cap Calvert Allison and Under-25 cap Ewan Fallen, with the outcome in the melting pot at 16-16. Then Allison found a higher gear and claimed a 21-18 victory for the title and a place in next season’s national line-up.