Midlothian gents are the early pacesetters in the race to win the B Division of the Premier League but the stars from the Dalkieth Stadium need to be at their sparkling best to have any chance of triggering a victory salute in todays visit to Blantyre. Blantyre are invincible at home and having dropped 3 out of 4 points on two away visits this season the defending champions will be thirsting to sent out a positive signal by putting the brakes on Midlothians open hat trick of wins.
It is a major plus for Midlothian that they have four big gun skips in the shape of Graeme Archer, Colin Walker, Ronnie Duncan, and Billy Peacock that can perform and inspire under the most fearsome of battle conditions. Daniel McDougall returns in place of Scott Briggs in a strongly talented line up that reads; Rink 1. Jamie Macnab, Liam McKay, Kevin McDougall, and Billy Peacock (skip). Rink 2. Jack Macnab, AJ Knight, Jim Cullen, and Ronnie Duncan (skip). Rink 3. Ian Forbes, John Stevenson, Dougie Russell, and Colin Walker (skip). Rink 4. Craig Hodge, Andy Caldwell, Daniel McDougall, and Graeme Archer.
Bainfield sit two points adrift of the leaders in second place and one ahead of Blantyre also todays opponent East Lothian and the Edinburgh Elite will be the underdogs in their visit to the garden county. Team manager Paul O’Donnell covers the absence of Craig Mackintosh with the recall of Graham Angus and has opted for a tinkered with line that reads; Rink 1. Mark McIntosh, John Kidd, Danny Gormley, and Robert Marshall (skip). Rink 2. Robert Sloan, Tam Ebbs, Craig Paterson, and Paul O’Donnell. Rink 3. Stephen Pringle, Graeme McIntosh, Alan brown, and John McDermott. Rink 4. Graham Angus, David McNair, Steven Pilley, and James Hogg.
East Lothian have yet to settle into a high tempo rhythm and bid to do so without the services of iconic figure Alex Marshall MBE while other absentees are Calum Darling and Ewan Fallen. A reconfigured line up that welcomes back Scott Kennedy, Mark Johnston, and Mark Yuill reads; Rink 1. Aaron Betts, Alex Cormack, Jamie Higgins, and Scott Kennedy (skip). Rink 2. Andy Jeffrey, Lewis Betts, Stuart Thomson, and Joe Mower (skip). Rink 3. Mark Johnston, David Sked, Dean Riva, and Billy Mellors (skip). Rink 4. Mark Yuill, Chris Brock, Steven Morgan, and Derek Oliver.
West Lothians return to PL action today is a visit to Lanarkshire in the A Division and having got off the mark at the third time of asking up at Aberdeen are suitably fired up and inspired to build a winning momentum.
Lanarkshire will certainly be no pushover at home but not invincible as they have already lost to West of Scotland so could be vulnerable if pressured by a strong West Lothian team performance. WL selectors Neil Speirs and Bryan Cooper make three changes in personnel with the recall of Mark Allison and seasonal debuts being made by Darren Pearce and Alan McCormick. The absentees are Des Hagart, George Sneddon, and Nathan McKendrick in a line up that reads, Rink 1. Bryan Cooper, Ian Drysdale (cpt) Mark Allison, and Neil Speirs (skip). Rink 2. Darren Pearce, Raymond Logan, Cameron Greer, and Calum Logan (skip). Rink 3. Connor McKendrick, Dougie Mitchell, Jamie Aitken, and Craig Moss (skip). Rink 4. Richard Mark, Alan McCormick, Gary Orr, and James Speirs.
Balbardie gents make the long journey North to tackle Division 1North table-toppers Fraserburgh and will have to perform up to their best levels to have any chance of making the return journey a happy one.
East Lothian star Dee Hoggan has done Scotland and the Garden County proud with the 2017 Womens National Singles Champion returning from the World Champion of Champions event at St Johns Park in Australia with a Bronze Medal. Dees impressive record of 9 wins from 12 games included a 2 0 section triumph over eventual Champion of Champions Jo Edwards of New Zealand.
The SIBA Ladies selections for the Under 25 trial at Headwell (10-30am) on Sunday 25th November include; Megan Kivlin and Melissa Penman of East Lothian; Ellie Borthwick and Megan Grantham of Midlothian; also Chloe Thomson of Bainfield.
The SIBA gents selections for the Under 25 trial at Headwell (2pm) on Sunday 25th November at Headwell includes; Liam McKay and Jack Macnab of Midlothian; Joe Mower, Danny Stevenson, Dean Riva, Lewis and Aaron Betts of East Lothian.
Last weekends play-down action in the Scottish Junior Singles was disappointingly Lothian clubs free by the time they reached the quarterfinals of both the gents and ladies.
World stage star and traveller Alex Marshall MBE is currently Australia bound and will represent Brisbane Pirates in the Australian Premier League. Tattie was widely acknowledged to be a very unfortunate loser after a spectacular tussle against fellow Scot, Stewart Anderson in the Last 16 round of the Scottish International Open at Perth this week.