West Lothian will secure their indoor bowls Premier League status for sure if the star studded yet heavily under pressure team from Livingston bag the two wins points in today’s final fixture at Blantyre.
The recent three-in-a-row national champions would still survive in the top echelon league of the sport if fellow relegation zoned Lanarkshire fail to convert home advantage into a win over last seasons national champions team, Paisley. Neither team are candidates for the automatic drop as Arbroath is anchored at the foot of the table so what is at stake is avoiding the playoff position of second bottom although that still offers ‘a last chance saloon’ escape route.
Both clubs share the six-point mark but West Lothian has a significant 52 shot advantage over their Lanarkshire rivals. However the optimism levels will be higher in the Lanarkshire camp as their prospects of beating Paisley, although not the greatest on the formbook, are brighter than West Lothian beating a Blantyre team that can’t remember the last time they lost a league match at home.
However if any team can breech ‘Fortress Blantyre’ then it is surely a West Lothian line up that embraces five current and two former international players plus several others of high profile status. Blantyre have already been crowned the A Division champions and the question is will that factor ease their foot off the accelerator or will they go all out for a win that could save the skins of their Lanarkshire neighbours. WL Rink 1. Richard Mark, Blair Mackie, Stuart Johnston, and Mark Allison. Rink 2. Cameron Greer, Raymond Logan, Des Hagart, and Calum Logan. Rink 3. Bryan Cooper, Jamie Aitken, Paul O’Donnell, and Neil Speirs. Rink 4. Craig Moss, Grant Knox, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann (cpt).
Meanwhile, Midlothian will finish in the runners up spot whether they win or lose on their away visit to Arbroath. Ace skip Billy Peacock is an absentee but the Dalkeith travellers welcome the return of world stage figure Colin Walker. Team manager Frank Gray gives Danny McDougall the chance to shine with a promotion from third to skip while Drew Pearson and Colin Cook return in place of the unavailable Lindsay Plenderleith and Jack Macnab. Rink 1. Jamie Macnab, Ryan Yuill, Craig Hodge, and David Peacock. Rink 2. Dougie Russell, Neil Linton, Colin Macfarlane, and Danny McDougall. Rink 3. Colin Cook, Drew Pearson, Kevin McDougall, and Colin Walker. Rink 4. Ian Forbes (cpt), Ian Fleming, Andy Caldwell, and Sandy (AJ) Knight.
Balbardie visit Alloa in a top of the table winner takes all climax to Division 1North.