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.

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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.