Bainfield IBC is back on gents indoor bowls Scottish Cup duty this weekend with the Edinburgh Elite stepping up their title campaign with a second round match against Cumbernauld and making the short journey to the Inveralmond Stadium in Livingston.
The prospect of Bainfield making progress into the last eight of the event looks exceptionally good with the premier league team facing a Cumbernauld opposition that only managed four wins out of ten to finish 4th of six in their recent Division 2 East campaign. Cumbernauld’s record in the league also shows five out of five losses on away carpets suggesting they don’t travel too well however they belied that with a commanding 24 shot cup victory over Division 1 side Balbardie at Alloa in last weekend’s first round. “Bowls is a sport where you must respect your opposition even if there is evidence of a big difference in status so Bainfield won’t be taking Cumbernauld lightly and will be focused on delivering a winning performance”, said team manager Alan Brown. Brown still has team captain Craig Paterson as an absentee and talented regular Josh Spalding is also unable to travel resulting in personnel and position changes that include Graham Pringle, Colin Tennant, and Danny McCourt being stood down. Jamie Reid, Graeme McIntosh, and Stephen Pringle are missing regulars who are back in the big picture while Brown has sent out an SOS message to outdoor star Euan Craig asking him to stand in for Spalding. Bainfield’s only title success in the Cup came back in 2008 and it’s Brown’s hopes that the 2015 dream will be kept alive by a re-shaped line up that reads, Rink 1. Adam Brock, Steven Pilley, Kevin Tennant, and Colin Hutchison. Rink 2. Graeme Mcintosh, Stephen Pringle, Brian Stoddart, and Barry Hill. Rink 3. Jamie Reid, Alan brown, Daniel Gormley, and James Hogg. Rink 4. Euan Craig, Mark McIntosh, John McDermott, and Gavin Smith (cpt).
East Lothian’s six cup title wins is a record to be proud of and the ‘garden county stars’ are expected to keep their prospects of making it a magnificent seven alive and kicking with a strong favourites chance against Ayr of Division 1South. Ayr though arrive at the West of Scotland IBC venue with momentum on their side having just clinched promotion to the premier league with only one defeat in 10 games to finish champions of their Division 1 section. East Lothian continue the campaign without the services of Alex Marshall MBE and also tackle Ayr without Willie Wood MBE, Lessel Middler, and Kieran Simants. Andrew Jeffrey returns and John Robertson makes his debut in a team line up that reads, Rink 1. Matthew Osbourne, Gary Darling, S.W. Thomson, and Scott Kennedy. Rink 2. Gary Muir, Andy Burt, Graham Robertson, and Derek Oliver. Rink 3. Ewan Fallen, John Robertson, Dougie Berwick, and Billy Mellors. Rink 4. Mark Johnston (cpt), Calum Darling, Andy Jeffrey, and Jamie Higgins.
The Midlothian name is etched on the silverware four times but the last of these triumphs was back in 2004 making team manager Frank Gray hungry to make it five but aware that fellow premier league side Aberdeen endanger their progress at Dundee. “Both teams finished joint top of our respective premier league sections but inferior shot margin cost us both a place in the playoff final so the cup offers us a high value consolation that adds an extra dimension to our clash”, said Gray. Changes to the team that beat Auchinleck in the first round have been forced upon Gray but he is happy with the return of Lindsey Plenderleith, Neil Watson, and Davy Munro as call-ups. Rink 1. Jamie Aitken, Ian Fleming, Colin MacFarlane, and Billy Peacock. Rink 2. Ian Forbes, Paul Innes, AJ Knight, and Colin Walker. Rink 3. Colin Cook, Jack Macnab, Davy Munro, and Ronnie Duncan. Rink 4. Neil Watson, Lindsey Plenderleith, Andy Caldwell, and David Peacock (cpt).
West Lothian’s road towards a sixth cup title is blocked by Paisley the just recently crowned champions of the premier league. WL are unchanged from the team that beat lowly Forfar and the clash of the giants takes place at Glasgow IBC.