Bainfield’s only title success to date in the gents indoor bowls Scottish Fours Championship came back in 1989 but that long gap could be bridged by the strongly formed rink carrying the club banner in this weekends play-down action of the 2016 renewal.
The rink formation of Chris Downie, John McDermott, Colin Hutchison, and Gavin Smith is rich in experience that includes international cap status for three of them while all four are star performers at premier league level. “You need the breaks and if we get them then we stand a chance of qualifying and of course our ambition is to go on and emulate the title triumph of Graeme Archer, Mel Muirhead, Frazer Muirhead, and Alan Brown”, said Smith. The Bainfield rink will parade their skills in the section hosted by the Methil based East Fife IBC and that is former home territory for Smith so could prove an immediate advantage going into their prelim round clash against Berwickshire.
The far travelled Berwickshire rink comprises Brian Paterson, Leslie Mitchell, Jamie Mitchell, and Robert Paterson.
East Lothian have housed the national trophy in their silverware cabinet on three occasions and almost made it four last season but beaten finalists Andy Jeffrey, Willie Wood MBE, Scott Kennedy, and Billy Mellors could still to it as they are back representing the ‘garden county, banner. Mellors and Co benefit from a bye into the first round proper where they await the winner between Coatbridge and Allander skipped by Robert Murphy and Scott Livingston, respectively.
West Lothian was the club that beat EL in the 2015 final and their Champion rink in the shape of Bryan Cooper, James Speirs, Thomas Mann, and Neil Speirs is back in action this weekend and their presence makes East Fife an exceptionally hot section. Speirs and Co were also national champions in 2011 so are hunting a hat trick, a campaign that starts against Andy McGeorge, Nigel Walker, Ali McIntyre, and Andrew Kennedy of Abbeyview in the prelim round.
Midlothian also competes for the national crown with a star studded rink in the shape of Ian Forbes, Ronnie Duncan, Billy Peacock, and Colin Walker. Peacock was a member of the rink that brought the title back to Dalkeith in2002. Duncan has just returned from representing Scotland (outdoors) in the Hong Kong Classic so will be challenged by the chance of environment. Walker and Co open in the prelim round against Teviotdale.
Bathgate based Balbardie IBC have been drawn to compete in the section hosted by Glasgow IBC where their rink of Graham Turnbull, Ally Wilson, Andy Jenkins, and Ewan Shearer open against Inverclyde (Sandy Wotherspoon) in the prelim round.
Headwell, Dunfermline is the section venue this weekend for Bainfield ladies launching their play-down action campaign for a Scottish Fours title brought to The Hutchison Crossway Stadium for the only time to date in 1979. “Gosh we are certainly looking at the distant past and it will be great if we can bring modern times celebrations to The Hutchison Crossway Stadium” said present-day star Mandy O’Donnell who has 27 junior and three full caps to her credit. O’Donnell skips her mother Heather Stoddart, Kate McVey, and Anna Anderson in a spirited and competitive rink that opens with a mighty challenge against Midlothian in the prelim round.
Midlothian as a club have a great record in the national fours having polished the silverware for display in the trophy cabinet at their Dalkeith Stadium on six occasions the first time being in 1993 and the most recent in 2014. And it is the star studded 2014 champions that are back seeking the limelight in the shape of Kelly McDougall, Alison Plenderleith, Gaynor Duncan, and Stacey McDougall.
The East Lothian name is yet to inscribed on the coveted Fours silver and the rink bidding to put that to rights is the formation of Dee Hoggan, Mags Thomson, Yvonne Veitch, and Janet Fairnie. Fairnie and Co have a bye into the first round proper where they face a local challenge in the shape of an Abbeyview opposition skipped by Agnes Hutchison.
West Lothian IBC celebrated national success in 2009 under Wendy Purdie and this weekends challenge lies in the talented hands of Creena Docherty, Irene Wright, Carole Clarkson, and former cap Margaret Russell who open against Perth in the prelim round.
Balbardie have been drawn in the section hosted by Glasgow IBC where the strongly formed rink of Kim Ross, Delia Flannigan, Margo Duff , and Sharon Leitch line up in the first round proper against a Lanarkshire opposition skipped by Kimberley Harrison.