Bowls: East Lothian rise again to shock West

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East LOTHIAN signalled their revival by beating table-toppers and defending champions West Lothian in the A section of the indoor bowls Premier League with an 89-74 victory at home.

It was West Lothian’s first defeat in seven games and only East Lothian’s third victory but their second on the bounce and they are now six points ahead of Coatbridge who are still without a win and two ahead of Midlothian. West Lothian now share joint leadership with Falkirk who scored an 87-66 home win over Coatbridge.

Both East Lothian and West Lothian were missing major players with Alex Marshall for the home side and Thomas Mann and George Sneddon for the visitors playing for Scotland in the World Championships in Australia.

Although viewed as a strong team performance it was two rinks that made the difference for East Lothian with the success achieved by Derek Oliver and Scott Kennedy covering the narrow defeat of Willie Wood and Billy Mellors.

Oliver and his rink of Ewan Fallen, Dougie Berwick and team captain Graham Robertson made a great start to lead 10-4 then pushed on to score a 23-14 win over Richard Mark, Dougie Mitchell, Des Hagart and Neil Speirs.

Kennedy found an extra gear from 9-8 to skip Lessel Middler, Gary Darling and Jamie Higgins to a 25-16 win over Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Jamie Gracie and Mark Allison.

Mellors and his front-three of Colin Cook, Jamie Gordon and Andrew Jeffrey looked set for victory at 16-7 up but lost nine of the remaining ten ends to collapse to a 21-19 defeat from Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, Bryan Cooper and James Speirs.

Wood and his rink of Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson and Alan Young faced a stiff task at 14-4 down but recovered strongly to only suffer a 23-22 defeat at the hands of David Wilson Snr, Blair Mackie, Stuart Johnston and Calum Logan.

Meanwhile, Bathgate club Balbardie bounced back from an away defeat at Whiteinch with an extremely encouraging performance to score a commanding 99-51 victory over promotion rivals Cumbernauld in Division 1D at Bathgate. There were wins on all four rinks skipped by Sandy McDougall, Walter McDougall, Ewan Shearer and Jim Speirs.

The rink results were: Sandy McDougall 34, I brooks 13; Walter McDougall 22, A Barrie 12; Ewan Shearer 20, J Byron 12; Jim Speirs 23, G Wilson 14.

Stirling top the table with ten points from six games while Balbardie and Whiteinch are two points adrift in joint second followed by Cumbernauld on six and Allander and Fintry on two. The other match results were: Stirling 131, Fintry 46; Whiteinch 103, Allander 44.