Friendly rivals East Lothian and Midlothian transform into ‘no prisoners taken mode’ when involved in head to head clashes such as this weekend’s semi final of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup being played at Stirling on Saturday (2pm).Read more
Such is the intensity of the rivalry between the neighbour club that the formbook goes out the window on such occasions but their isn’t much to split the two teams anyway with both having operated well to finish in the runners up spot of the respective premier league sections. East Lothian have the stronger history having etched their name a record six times on the Cup silverware to the three times of Midlothian while the premier league record also favour ‘the garden county’ with seven titles triumphs to the two of their neighbours. “Semi finals are tough enough as both teams are desperate to make it to the glamour stage of the final but it adds an extra dimension of competition when the battle is a local derby and bragging rights are also at stake”, said Midlothian spokesman Frank Gray.
Midlothian have blooded two talented 15-year olds this cup campaign in the shape of Jack Macnab and Paul Innes and team manager Gray retains faith in the duo by pitching them into Saturdays ‘white heat’ situation ahead of the experienced AJ Knight, Andy Kelly, and Jamie Macnab. Recently crowned British Isles Pairs champions Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker and 2014 gold medal hero David Peacock are joined by Billy Peacock as the four skips in a team line up that reads, Rink 1. Colin cook, Ian Fleming, Colin MacFarlane, and Billy Peacock. Rink 2. Ian Forbes, Paul Innes, David Munro, and Colin Walker. Rink 3. Jamie Aitken, Jack Macnab, Kevan McDougall, and Ronnie Duncan.Rink 4. Neil Watson, Lindsey Plenderleith, Andy Caldwell, and David Peacock ©.
East Lothian failed to impress in their last gasp quarterfinal win over Division 2 opposition Cumbernuald but that was an unusual looking blip and a team driven by ambitions of achieving a magnificent seventh title success welcome back Scott Kennnedy. Kennedy is joined in the skips position by Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver, and Jamie Higgins while the presence of Scotland’s most capped players in Willie Wood MBE (90) and Graham Robertson (87) is always a boost to their morale.Gary Darling misses the semi final encounter allowing last weekends late substitute Brian Galloway to continue in a team that reads, Rink 1. Lessel Middler, Brian Galloway, Willie Wood MBE, and Scott Kennedy. Rink 2. Andrew Jeffrey, Andy Burt, Dougie Berwick, and Billy Mellors. Rink 3. Ewan Fallen. John Robertson, Graham Robertson, and Derek Oliver. Rink 4. Mark Johnston ©, Calum Darling, Stewart Thomson, and Jamie Higgins.
The second semi final is also another corker featuring two more giants of the premier league in the shape of West Lothian IBC and Blantyre who face up to each other at Lanarkshire IBC. Blantyre beat WL both home and away in the recent league campaign so the deposed then three-in-a-row defending league champions will be thirsting to take revenge in the cup. The WL line up reads,Rink 1. Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, Paul O’Donnell, and Neil Speirs. Rink 2. James Greenock, Stuart Johnston, Jamie Gracie, and Mark Allison. Rink 3. Cameron Greer, Blair Mackie, Craig Moss, and Calum Logan.Rink 4.Paul Lynas, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann ©.