Bowls: E&L shock East Lothian in Hamilton Cup

EDINBURGH & LEITH bowling club got their Hamilton Trophy campaign off to a flying start with a surprise 15-shot victory over East Lothian in their Scottish Cities and Counties championship match at the Co-op green in Tranent.

Wins on four of the six rinks confirmed the superiority of the visitors who were blooding five new faces, so the final 125-110 scoreline has fired up expectations of a successful campaign in the East section, and beyond.

Mal Higgenbotham, Robert Marshall, Colin Hutchison and team captain Andrew Ramsay were the successful skips for Edinburgh & Leith while James Hogg and Colin Mitchell lost to Alex Marshall and Derek Oliver.

Ramsay made good headway over the first eight ends to skip Alan Trotter, Darren McKenny and Paul O'Donnell into a 14-7 lead over Steven Morgan and then stretched to 22-8, finally triumphing 29-17.

Higgenbotham went from 3-3 to 16-3 then traded on the cushion to skip Andrew Caldwell, David Scott and Graham Munro to a 24-13 win over Alister Kennedy.

Marshall made an inspirational start to skip Dougie Martin, Jamie Gracie and Alan Brown into a 13-1 lead after eight ends then coped with a drop in pace to clinch a 22-16 victory over Struan Robertson.

Hutchison looked to be in trouble when trailing 12-5 after 11 ends but he closed to 15-12 then added 1, 1, 2 to skip John Ramsay, Kevin Hunter and Scott Rogers to a 16-15 win over Craig Valentine.

East Lothian were kept in the picture by Alex Marshall who set a scorching pace to skip his rink into a 20-3 lead over David Ross, Jason Ronaldson, Darren Hush and James Hogg after 11-ends, finally winning 26-15;

while David Brown, John Priestley, Paul Veitch and Colin Mitchell lost 23-19 to Derek Oliver's rink.