Bainfield have a good recent record of title success in the gents Scottish indoor bowls Triples Championship so hopes are high that their 2015 campaign that starts with the playdown action this weekend will bring further celebrations.
The challenge from the only indoor bowls club left to represent the proud Edinburgh Banner is in the hands of seasoned campaigners Graeme McIntosh, Alan Brown, and Barry Hill who won their domestic title at the expense of Craig Paterson, Craig Moss, and Paul O’Donnell. And that is an encouraging form-line as the O’Donnell skipped trio earned themselves Legend Status at the Hutchison Crossway Stadium by capturing the National title in successive years, namely 2009 and 2010. Brown – currently serving Bainfield as team manager in their premier league campaign- is the senior figure of the trio and the most experienced with 18 caps won in an unbroken run from 1990 to 1995 and back in 1989 skipped Bainfield to the national Fours title. “It would be good to relive the excitement of these former glories but much water as flowed under the bridge and my take on our prospects this weekend is to meet each challenge as it arises and hope it leads us to a place in the semi finals at Lanarkshire IBC on the weekend of March 28”, said Brown. Hill and his front-two compete in the section of the draw being played at West of Scotland IBC and the trio launch their campaign tomorrow in the prelim round at 9-30am against Fintry.
Balbardie IBC are yet to make a title-winning impression in the event and their latest hopes are invested in a stalwart trio in the shape of Colin Fraser, Andy Forrest, and Jim Speirs who open in the prelim round against Irvine. The shape of the draw suggest that if Bainfield and Balbardie progress they will meet in the first round proper while also in close proximity is the Midlothian triple of Jamie Hanlon, John Stevenson, and Kevin McDougall.
Midlothian have welcome the title and its silverware back to Dalkeith on two occasions thanks to the efforts of Willie Paul, John Slight, and Willie Wood in 1984, then Stephen Currie, Willie Rankin, and David Peacock in 2005.
Perth IBC is another of the venues and heading for The Fair City are East Lothian trio Mark Johnston, Billy Mellors, and Derek Oliver also Bryan Copper, Stuart Johnston, and Mark Allison representing West Lothian IBC. EL have captured the title on four occasions including 2007 when skipped by Mellors and the 39 times capped star is bidding for a hat trick as he skipped Andy Barclay, and Andy Jeffrey to Edinburgh IBC’s triumph in 2003. Mellors plays as middleman on this occasion as he is subbing for bowls legend Willie Wood MBE and combined with the cap experience of Johnston (3) and Oliver (18) the trio are well equipped to be considered serious challengers.
The West Lothian trio is a solid and well -balanced one certainly capable of adding to the club’s solitary title triumph achieved in 2006 by Joey Strickland, Des Hagart, and George Sneddon.