East Lothian's Billy Mellors retains captain's role for Home International Series

Billy Mellors has retained the captaincy of Scotland's team for the gents Home International Series being staged at Falcon IBC in Chelmsford, Essex, from March 14-16.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 5:30 am
Billy Mellors

The 43-year old East Lothian bowler, pictured below, is set to reach the landmark figure of 50 caps as he starts what will be his 17th series.

Former Edinburgh IBC man Mellors – a winner of several national titles including the Singles in 2015 – will play third to Paul Foster in Scotland’s adventures in Essex while clubmate Scott Kennedy is second and adds to his tally of 51 caps – the first 15 of which were earned under the Edinburgh IBC banner. Darren Weir of Prestwick is lead. The East Lothian contingent is four in number with the celebrated 51-year-old Alex Marshall MBE adding to his 78 caps – the first 30 under the Bainfield banner – while Derek Oliver moves on from his 27 caps in what will be his tenth series on the trot. Marshall has his double Commonwealth Games gold-meal colleague Oliver as his third while his front two are Midlothian double gold medal ace Ronnie Duncan at lead and Graeme Donaldson of Elgin at second.

Colin Walker of Midlothian – the recently crowned Scottish Master – chalks up his 13th campaign at skip to Andrew Thomson (Aberdeen), Callum Taggart (Paisley), and Robert Grant (Lanarkshire).

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Three West Lothian IBC stars have been named in the 26-strong squad with Neil Speirs and Mark Allison featuring in the opening six-rink selection while Bryan Cooper has a presence on the reserve bench.

Speirs adds to his 42 caps and plays third to Iain McLean of Blantyre while Allison moves on from 21 and plays second to McLean, Martin McCalley of Falkirk is lead. Cooper adds to his tally of 12 caps.

Stewart Anderson of Blantyre and Darren Burnett of Arbroath join the aforementioned skips Marshall, Colin Walker, Iain McLean and Foster.

• EAST LOTHIAN are ending 2018 on an exceptional high with the gents Premier League team producing an awesome performance to beat defending champions Blantrye 78-72 on their home patch.

Blantyre have been virtually invincible at home for numerous years so their EL conquerors deserve great credit. Double figure wins for the rinks skipped by Alex Marshall MBE and Derek Oliver more than covered the narrow loss sustained by Billy Mellors and the double figure defeat of Stuart Thomson.

It was a major bonus for the jubilant EL camp when the news broke that B section leaders Midlothian had crashed to a shock 93-75 defeat away to bottom side Abbeyview – a result that saw EL end the year only one point adrift of their Dalkeith neighbours.

The rink scores were: J Duff 13, Davy Peacock 22; S Pagan 23, Colin Walker 20; D Robertson 28, B Peacock 19; P Brown 29, Ronnie Duncan 14.

Bainfield’s long trek north to Turriff resulted in a disappointing 88-68 defeat that has locked the Edinburgh elite into a relegation-zone battle going into the new year as both clubs share the six-point mark and sit just two ahead of Abbeyview.

West Lothian’s not unexpected 80-68 defeat away to unbeaten A section leaders Falkirk leaves the Livingston=based club flirting with the relegation zone as they have six points to the four of Aberdeen and zero of Elgin.