East Lothian IBC men enter the Christmas break in high spirits with the Premier League champions holding a two-point lead over chief rivals West Lothian after six of ten matches completed in Section B.
Having lost their undefeated record to a surprise setback away to Elgin, the stars of the ‘garden county’ bounced back in sparkling fashion to score a 10-shot victory (78-68) over Paisley at the Alex Marshall Stadium.
It did take a strong finish and wins on the rinks skipped by Billy Mellors and Alex Marshall to tip the scales in a hard fought battle in which Joe Mower and Graham Robertson suffered narrow defeats. East Lothian did enter the match as firm favourites against their foot-of-the-table visitors but were challenged at the outset by the absence of strongly influential stars Derek Oliver, Scott Kennedy and Jamie Higgins.
West Lothian’s re-establishment as a club of Premier League status had been going well with four wins out of five. However, faced with a major challenge away to to Scottish Cup holders Falkirk, they failed the test, losing 85-72.
• Midlothian know they have one almighty battle to capture the ‘Play-off Final’ honours in the A Section with a visit to fortress Blantyre lying ahead, however, they remain in such good heart that they end 2017 as leaders, albeit joint.
Blantyre share the leadership after their latest home win, 84-72 over Lanarkshire; but Midlothian show ahead on shot margin (+7) having visited Cumbernauld and massacred the relegation-zoned strugglers by 31 shots (92-61).
Three winning rinks skipped by Danny McDougall (+12), Graeme Archer (+10), and Colin Walker (+ 9), were supported by a peel from Ronnie Duncan. Icon figure David Peacock was a continued absentee.
• Depressingtimes continue to engulf the men’s team at Balbardie IBC with prospects of a straight line drop from Premier League to Division 2 status a real danger after six matches with a point on the board.
The silver lining in the dark clouds overhanging the Bathgate club is that Inverclyde are only two points better off so they are a potential target to leapfrog in the battle for survival in Division 1 South.
• The playdown action of the women and men’s Scottish Triples Championships dominate the national calendar this weekend with the representation of the five Lothian clubs parading their skills at either Bainfield or Glasgow IBC.
East Lothian head for Bainfield and look particularly strong in both events with prominent figures Andrew Jeffrey, Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors always a match for the best while Emma Logan, Mags Thomson and Yvonne Leitch are a certainly force to be reckoned with.
Bainfield is also the venue for West Lothian while Bainfield, Midlothian, and Balbardie all head for Glasgow.
• JacK Macnab of Midlothian is one of three Scotland Singles representatives competing in the World Indoor Bowls Council Junior championships at Newport in Wales. He won his opening section match 2-0 against D Atkinson of Ireland and then beat Ben Harvey (Guernsey) 2-0. He lost on tie-break to Jordan Davies of Wales. He plays Glenn Williams of England today.
• Hero figure Willie Wood carded four shots at his final end to capture a 56-54 win for East Lothian Seniors in yesterday’s East B match at played at Balbardie.