Bainfield’s survival prospects in the indoor bowls premier league are poor entering the second half of the campaign but the Edinburgh Elite can spark a revival if registering a win over Blantyre at the Hutchison Crossway Stadium tomorrow
“With only one win in five we are in great danger of being isolated at the foot of the table and it is stating the obvious to say that it is vital that we start winning our home games”, said team manager Alan Brown. Even with home environment advantage the task of beating Blantyre is a huge one as the visitors are joint leaders of the A section and on a high having just taken the scalp of three-in-a-row defending champions West Lothian at Livingston. “The formbook doesn’t read well for us but we have run Blantyre close in past encounters and our team doesn’t lack promise so gaining a victory isn’t out of our reach but it will take maximum focus and a tip top performance”, added Brown. Brown is heartened by the return of international experienced Gavin Smith in a slightly recast line up that reads, Rink 1. Kevin Tennant, Alan Bown, Colin Hutchison, and James Hogg. Rink 2. Graeme McIntosh, Craig Aitken, Brian Stoddart, and Barry Hill. Rink 3. Chris Downie, Mark McIntosh, John McDermott, and Gavin Smith. Rink 4. Josh Spalding, Stephen Pringle, Daniel Gormley, and Craig Paterson (cpt).
There is also a massively important match at Dalkeith where Midlothian seek to do the double over a West Lothian team that still tops the table on shot margin but nursing the wounds of having lost at home to Blantyre. It is probably a must win game for WL if the visitors are to remain top dogs in the A section however there is also great incentive for Midlothian who can go two points clear if beating the defending champions for a second time and Blanytre lose at Bainfield. “With so much at stake for both teams it promises to be a cracking encounter that is too close to call but my hope is that it will be our big time players that rise to the occasion and tip the scales in our favour”, said Midlothian team manager Frank Gray. Rink 1. Neil Watson, Andy Kelly, Kevin McDougall, and Ronnie Duncan. Rink 2. Jamie Aitken, Ian Fleming, Colin MacFarlane, and Billy Peacock. Rink 3. Ian Forbes, AJ Knight, Davy Munro, and Colin Walker. Rink 4. Jamie Macnab, Lindsay Plenderleith, Craig Hodge, and David Peacock (cpt).
West Lothian have been stung by their most recent setback at home and have reacted by reshuffling their pack that results in Calum Logan being given a new front-three in Richard Mark, George Sneddon, and Craig Moss. Mark and Sneddon return to the team in place of Stuart Johnston and Des Hagart while former Bainfield star Paul O’Donnell is switched from third to Logan to play third for Neil Speirs for whom Bryan Cooper and Dougie Mitchell form the front-end. The other two rinks are, Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Jamie Gracie, and Mark Allison. Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann (cpt).
East Lothian have the momentum to make it three-wins-in –a-row when they visit Paisley in a match that sees the recall of Under 18 internationalist Calvert Allison in a line up that reads, Rink 1. Gary Muir, Andy burt, Graham Robertson, and Derek Oliver. Rink 2. Lessel Middler, Gary Darling Stewart Thomson, and Scott Kennedy. Rink 3. Calvert Allison, Scott Logan, Willie Wood MBE, and Billy Mellors. Rink 4. Mark Johnston (cpt), Dougie Berwick, Andy Jeffrey, and Jamie Higgins.