East Lothian gents have their sights sharply focused on making progress this weekend into the semi final stage of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup and the giants of the premier league will have the formbook odds in their favour when tackling Balbardie of Division 1 at Dunfermline venue Abbeyview.Read More
The Garden County’s recent record of five Cup winning celebrations over the past ten years certainly dwarfs the zero record of Balbardie and the stars from The Alex Marshall Arena will be further fired up by a strong desire to compensate for this seasons disappointing –but not disastrous- premier league campaign.
“Finishing second to Falkirk in our league section and failing to make it to the playoff final when favourites to do so did cause us great pain so etching our name on the cup silverware would be a redeeming climax to our season”, said spokesman Scott Kennedy.
East Lothian’s form in last weekend’s 73-64 second round win was encouraging against 2014/15 premier league champions Paisley with the rink honours shared 2-2 but the defeats sustained were by narrow hard fought single figure margins. Derek Oliver made the major contribution to East Lothian’s victory, skipping Mal Higgenbotham, Jamie Gordon, and Stewart W Thomson to a 12 shot triumph that was supported by a five shot win for Les Middler, Dougie Berwick, Joe Mower, and Billy Mellors.
Kennedy and his front-three of Andrew Jeffrey, Glenn Blair, and Graham Robertson went down by three shots while Mark Johnston, Andy Burt, Ewan Fallen, and Jamie Higgins lost by five. Icon figures Alex Marshall MBE and Willie Wood MBE remain absentees against Balbardie with East Lothian fielding an unchanged line up.
Balbardie’s adventures in a promising cup run has been achieved by a team going into battles with several of their star names missing the action; but it is better news that top skips Brian Craig and Sandy McDougall may return to face East Lothian. The Bathgate based team have just won promotion to next season’s premier league so will hope to put up a strong show against EL but will need to step up on the quality of last weekend’s narrow 74-69 win at Abbeyview over third from bottom Dundee of Division 2North. It is an unusual circumstance that the Division 1 North champions make an immediate return to Abbeyview for their quarterfinal; but that advantage is not expected to tip the scales in their favour.
Meanwhile Midlothian’s reward for defeating East Kilbride of Division 1South, 81-74, at Falkirk is a quarterfinal match for the premier league giants against Turriff of Division 1 North at Dundee.
West Lothian continued their defence of the cup title with a not overly impressive 83-75 win over Fraserburgh of Division 2North at Arbroath and their reward is another kind draw in the shape of more Division 2 North opposition in Elgin at Aberdeen.