East Lothian world stage star Alex Marshall MBE will team up with ex garden county teammate Paul Foster MBE as they bid to win the World Indoor Pairs title for a remarkable fourth time.
The Pairs is the opening event of a two-week festival of world-class bowls at Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton-on-Sea, from January 7-24, which also includes the World Indoor Singles, Ladies World Matchplay Singles and the World Mixed Pairs Championship.
The multi-talented Scottish pairing play their opening match on the famous portable rink at Potters tomorrow (Saturday) at approximately 3.30pm and will probably face the experienced pairing of Jonathan Ross and Les Gillett assuming they overcome an inexperienced overseas pairing in their opening match. Marshall is also involved in this year’s Mixed Pairs event and for the second successive year he teams up with fellow Scot Julie Forrest. The strongly fancied pairing have an opening round clash next Friday (January 15) afternoon against the England/Ireland pairing of Andy Thomson and Cliodhna Eadie.
The men’s side from East Lothian IBC is back in Scottish Premier League action tomorrow (Saturday) when they welcome Aberdeen to the Alex Marshall Arena. The task is quite simple for the home side – win their remaining three games then hope current B section table toppers Falkirk slip-up on at least a couple of occasions in their remaining games all of which are on away terrority. “We have an outside chance of still winning the section and I will be making sure that we try and do our bit then hope for good news from wherever Falkirk are playing”, commented team captain Scott Kennedy. Kennedy would like to have been at full strength but stalwart figures Mark Johnston and Andrew Jeffrey are unavailable while icon figure Alex Marshall also misses out due to his involvement at the World Indoor Championships. However there is exciting compensation with the return to action of former club champion Dougie Berwick while Lessel Middler is also recalled to a heavily tweaked line-up which reads:- M.Higgenbotham, J.Gordon, J.Higgins, D.Oliver skip E.Fallen, A.Burt, G.Robertson, W.W.Wood skip J.Mower, D.Berwick, S.W.Thomson, B.Mellors skip L.Middler, G.Blair, G.Darling, S.Kennedy skip/capt
The ladies side also return to national league action tomorrow and the current Division 1C leaders face a tough test at Livingston against West Lothian in their penultimate fixture of the campaign. Team manager Sheena Currie has announced the following side:- D.Rowan, P.Turner, N.McNeil, Y.Veitch skip M.Murray, J.Russell, A.Irvine, E.Logan skip M.Kivlin, M.Hamilton, M.Thomson, J.Fairnie skip M.Devine, I.Combe, G.Mackintosh, L.Baillie skip
The ultra-talented senior side will round off their successful qualifying campaign in the East B section of the Scottish Senior League this coming Wednesday (January 13) with a trip to Hawick to tackle Teviotdale. It has been confirmed that East Lothian will face East A section winners Alloa in the national knockout quarter-final stage at West Lothian IBC in Livingston on Wednesday January 20.
Meanwhile a side from East Lothian IBC are in preliminary round Scottish Mixed Team Championship action on Sunday against East Fife at the neutral venue of West Lothian IBC in Livingston (2pm). The final line-up representing the garden county in the prestigious event was due to be finalised earlier on in the week.
On the national stage the playdown action in the Scottish Under 18 & 21 singles takes centre stage at Abbeyview IBC in Dunfermline on Sunday and representing East Lothian in the Under 18’s action will be Lewis Betts while former national Under 18 champion Calum Darling goes for further national title glory in the 21s.
Finally, East Lothian Indoor Bowling Club is now offering Half Season memberships at a cost of £35 for full members and £20 for junior members. Club officials have also announced that the post xmas Evening Leagues will alternate between the 6.30pm and 8.30pm sessions and there will be no games on Friday evenings as Top Club games will be staged then.