Midlothian stars Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker will attempt to bring World Title glory to the Dalkeith Stadium when they line up in the final of the gents Pairs at Potters Leisure Resort on Monday but their absence down south denies manager Frank Gray a full strength line up for today’s crucial indoor bowls Premier League match
The membership at large is on tenterhooks ahead of Duncan and Walker’s bid to capture a world crown but Midlothian enter the penultimate fixture of the national league campaign needing a win over Lanarkshire to keep up the pressure on joint A Division leaders Blantyre.
Midlothian are in fine form with seven wins out of eight and are bidding to extend their undefeated record at home to five, and are favourites to do so against relegation zoned visitors that have lost all four of their previous away games. But Lanarkshire are at an unfamiliar end of the league table and incentivised their escape ambitions with a vastly improved performance at home last weekend to beat star studded West Lothian by 16 shots (87-71).
“We can’t afford to sleep walk into this fixture as it is certainly frought with danger so my message to the players is to stay one-hundred percent focused and continue to show the strong mental strength that has made us a force to be reckoned with”, said Gray. Rink 1. Dougie Russell, Neil Linton, Danny McDougall, and Billy Peacock. Rink 2. Jack Macnab, Kevin McDougall, Andy Caldwell, and Colin Macfarlane. Rink 3. Jamie Macnab, Ryan Yuill, Craig Hodge, and David Peacock. Rink 4. Ian Forbes (cpt), Ian Fleming, Lindsay Plenderleith, and Sandy (AJ) Knight.
Meanwhile recent three-in-a-row champions West Lothian have now lost six out of eight despite their team boasting five current internationalists plus many others of high profile and now find themselves sharing the second bottom wrung with Lanarkshire. Today’s fixture presents the perfect opportunity to ease their miseries as they have home environment advantage at Livingston over their Arbroath visitors who have only managed one win out of eight and, with two points, hold up the table.
Defeat would represent a real coupon buster and the players charged with delivering a much-needed win are, Rink 1. Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, Paul O’Donnell, and Neil Speirs. Rink 2. Richard Mark, Ian Drysdale, Stuart Johnston, and Mark Allison. Rink 3. Cameron Greer, Raymond Logan, Des Hagart, and Calum Logan. Rink 4. Craig Moss, Grant Knox, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann. Recent team members consigned to the reserve bench include, Paul Lynas, Blair Mackie, Jamie Gracie, and Nathan McKendrick.
Balbardie gents bounced back to winning form with a resounding 30 shot victory over Turriff at Bathgate and as joint leaders with Alloa it keeps them bang in the firing line for capturing the top honours in Division 1North.
Today’s penultimate fixture presents a golden opportunity for Balbardie to sustain their challenge as they enjoy home carpet advantage against a Stirling team deep in the relegation zone albeit four points ahead of bottom club Perth. Alloa are away to third placed Coatbridge who are undefeated at home.