West End BC iced the cake of last years 150th celebrations with a first ever landmark capture of The Edinburgh Top Ten title and the bonus reward for that is the right to carry the capital city banner in the 2015 Inter County Tournament sponsored by The Co-operative Funeralcare.
Sunday’s first round proper marks the debut of West End in the national event and their opening test is a challenging one in the shape of an away visit to Borders champions Jedburgh. Donnie Gilbertson leads the attack as the spearhead figure in the Singles and the experienced campaigner is supported by Ray Dorans and Moray Tait in the Pairs while Mark Church skips Callum Gilbertson, Graham Hockaday, and Murray Baillie in the Fours.The selectors have made a positional change in the Triples with Grant Pagan stepping up to skip with Keith Gellaitry at lead and Peter Gibb in the middle. Jedburgh are also first time winners of the Borders title and make their debut in the national event inspired by the fact that Melrose went all the way as recently as 2013.
Bonnyrigg brought the national title back to Midlothian last year and having repeated their success at County level are back in the line up for the 2015 campaign and came out of the hat with a first round draw at home to far travelled Ellon of Buchan County. Ronnie Duncan is the spearhead figure in the Singles and is supported by Callum Redpath, John Stevenson (Pairs); Neil Linton, Jamie Hanlan, Kevin McDougall (Triples); Scott Lees, Drew Pearson, Lindsay Plenderleith, Tam Russell (Fours).
West Barns –national semi finalists last season – won away at Carnoustie West End in their prelim and the East Lothian king pins travel again this weekend with Aberdeen the destination for their match against Westhill – champions of Bon Accord. Bellsburn won their prelim away to Stranraer West End and now have home advantage at Linlithgow but the West Lothian champions face a tough test against Castle Douglas of The Stewartry.
Midlothian, with home green advantage at Polton today, will set the highly competitive East section of the Cities and Counties Championship on fire if able to inflict a damaging second campaign defeat on last seasons national finalists West Lothian. West Lothian suffered a bloody nose against Borders at Kirkliston last weekend and lost on three of their six rinks but the 2014 section winners have opted not to panic with team manager Jimmy Mallon naming an unchanged line up. Midlothian lost their opener away to Fife County but bounced back with an away win over Stirling County East however team manager Drew Pearson has made three changes in personnel, changed one of his skips, and made positional switches. Pearson gives seasonal debuts to David McGlynn (Wallyford), Andrew Kelly (Buccleuch), and Tam Russell (Bonnyrigg), to the exclusion of Darren North, Scott Ritchie, and Andrew Wilston. It’s a major move that Pearson switches his Bonnyrigg clubmate Kevin McDougall away from skip to second in a different rink and in a direct switch replaces him with Danny McDougall of Buccleuch. The line up reads, Rink 1. Neil Linton, Lindsay Plenderleith, Craig Hodge, and Colin Walker. Rink 2. Craig More, Keving Mcdougall, Scott Briggs, and David Peacock. Rink 3. Jamie MacNab, David Lawrence, David McGlynn, and Ronnie Duncan. Rink 4. Andrew Kelly, Tam Russell, John Stevenson, Danny McDougall. Rink 5. Robert Campbell, Stuart Roseburgh, Colin Bonnar, and Colin MacFarlane. Rink 6. Ryan Yuiil, Scott Reid, Billy Peacock, and Ramsay Blair.