Bowls: East Lothian fall at final hurdle in Top Six

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East Lothian’s bid to capture the indoor bowls Central District Top Six title was ended by a 4-2 final defeat by Dunfermline outfit Abbeyview at Fintry.

The EL team of Les Middler (Singles), Brian (BJ) Smith and George Gray (Pairs), Mike Trenholme, John P Hamilton and Ronnie Douglas (Triples) pushed the defending champions all the way.

Middler looked set to deliver the first brace of points, blazing a 13-4 trail against Fifer Duncan Lawson but the one-time West Lothian IBC star refused to capitulate and closed menacingly to 18-14. Opportunity knocked for Middler when holding two shots on the next end but, despite 18 inches of space to work in, he failed to add a match-winning third and paid the price with Lawson producing a grandstand finish of 3, 2, 2, to steal a 21-20 victory.

The Pairs was all square at 14-14 entering the final end with Smith and Gray edging a winning single to 15-14.

The spotlight was now on the Triples where the completion of the penultimate end had Abbeyview 14-13 ahead. East Lothian faced intense pressure with two shots against them after the leads had played but that picture was transformed when a brilliant strike from JP Hamilton ditched the jack for EL to hold a single. But the jubilation in the EL camp was short-lived as Hamilton’s opposite number drew two great shots to the edge of the ditch and survived the best efforts of Douglas to clinch a 16-13 victory and the match.