A new broom sweeps clean and that is the case with the first choice selection of debut Edinburgh and Leith team manager Graham Pringle so hopes in the capital city will spring eternal that the latest driving force figure will deliver an away win over Midlothian at Newbattle in todays opening match of the Hamilton Trophy.Read More
Pringle has certainly raised eyebrows with his bold selection of eight players from his own club Carrick Knowe in the shape of James Hogg, Stephen Pringle, Kevin Tennant, John Priestley, Richard Tough, John Ramsay, Darren Hush, and Paul ODonnell.
All are players of proven pedigree but the fact that Carrick Knowe have made a poor start to their campaign in Division 3 of the Edinburgh Bowling League will be measured against Number One Division 1 club Craigentinny only managing to get three of their elite in Pringles squad of 27. Pringles first taste of the unexpected has already confronted him with the news that iconic E&L figure Robert Marshall of Slateford is a late withdrawal and is replaced at skip by the promotion of Sighthill ace John McDermott.
The full E&L line up reads; Rink 1. Lewis Betts (Craigentinny), Gordon Wilson Jnr (Northern), Neil Watson (Parkside), and James Hogg. Rink 2. Daniel Gormley (Craigentinny), John Priestley, Jamie Gracie (Slateford), and Richard Tough. Rink 3. Stephen Pringle, Gordon Bold (Craigentinny), Alan brown (Maitland0, and Paul Veitch (Parkside). Rink 4. Liam McKay (Tanfield), Tam Ebbs (Queensberry), John Ramsay, and Darren Hush. Rink 5. Kevin Tennant, David Fisher (Colinton), Robert Donaldson (Parkside), and John McDermott. Rink 6. Graham Eddington (Sighthill), Stephen Pilley (Bainfield), Craig Paterson (Bainfield), and Paul ODonnell. Reserves: Andy McNab (Tanfield), Euan Craig (Pilrig), Darren McKenny (Pilrig).
Midlothian as a first fixture is a tough test for an adventurous E&L that has to gel in the first instance and the home team has a strong backbone of top arena players supported by a host of experienced campaigners at County Championship level. Rink 1, Andrew Wilton, Steven Robertson, Colin Macfarlane, and Scott Briggs. Rink 2. Neil Linton, Lindsay Plenderleith, John Stevenson, and Colin Walker. Rink 3. Tom Moffat, Neil Gibson, Craig Hodge, and David Peacock. Rink 4. Mark Thorburn, Arron Clinkscales, Ramsay Blair, and Daniel McDougall. Rink 5. Jack Macnab, Ryan Yuill, David McGlynn, and Colin Bonnar. Rink 6. Neil Murray, Kevin McDougall, Willie Rankin, and Ronnie Duncan.
East Lothian versus West Lothian at the ELCO green in Tranent and with home advantage the 2016 national champions will be looking for a flying start to their campaign although many of these encounters are fought out on a knife-edge. Team Manager Stuart Johnston has introduced five new faces in the shape of Dean Riva (Gifford), John Carpenter Jnr (Athelstaneford), Calum Darling (Haddington) Steven Mackie (ELCO), and the return of former native Mal Higgenbotham (Haddington). Graham Dodds and Steven White of Elco are recalls while players from last season now unavailable are Craig Valentine, Jamie Higgins, Jamie Gordon, Joe Mower , and retired legend Willie Wood MBE. The skips are Alex Marshall MBE, John McCrorie, Billy Mellors, Glenn Blair, Scott Kennedy, and Brian Young. The skips for West Lothian are, Grant Logan, Raymond Logan, Andy Dunnett, Neil Speirs, Thomas Mann, and Sandy McDougall