Calum Logan captains Scotland for the third year in a row in the British Isles Junior International series being played in Belfast this weekend and the 25-year old is optimistic about the prospects of a triumphant campaign. The occasion is Logan’s swan song in the Junior grade of the sport and to sign off with a first win under his captaincy would ice the cake of the landmark achievement of him chalking up a record 30 caps.
Scotland finished bottom of the pile in fourth place last season and were runners up in 2012 having triumphed in 2011, and the resulting reaction to the poor 2013 performance is a much changed opening team that includes eight new caps. One of the debut players is talented Craigentinny star Daniel Gormley who has already established an enhanced profile of himself as a regular member of the Hamilton Trophy team of Edinburgh & Leith. Gormley will parade his skills under the wings of his captain as he plays second in the rink skipped by Logan with another new cap in the shape of Darren Gualtieri of Anniesland at lead and Martin McCalley of Adrian (Falkirk) at third. Daniel McDougall of Loanhead is another of the six skips and the Midlothian star opens his second series in the company of Craig Burns (n/c of Hurlford), Jack Montgomerie (n/c of West Kilbride) and fellow county colleague Scott Runciman of Buccleuch. Grant Thomson of East Linton gives the East Lothian banner a presence and playing in his fourth series lines up at third to Richard O’Malley (Renton), Jamie Mitchell (n/c Chirnside), and Ryan Burnett of Carnoustie West End. Parkside star Neil Watson moves his cap tally from six to nine and the prominent Edinburgh & Leith figure lines up at lead to Lee McCulloch (Newton Park), Andrew McClurg (Port William) and Kevin Anderson of Dumbarton. Scotland’s other two rinks comprise, Jason Banks (Inverurie), Connor Milne (n/c Tarves), Chris Stein (Markinch) and David Kiltie of Port William, also Jonathan Craigens (n/c Lesmahagow), Conor Mitchell (Woodlands) Mark Scobbie (n/c Dalserf) and Calum Taggart of Hyndland. Josh Spalding of Craigentinny and Calum Williamson of Irvine Park are two other new caps but start off observing from the reserve bench. “There is an abundance of talent in this refreshed line up but the first challenge for us is to gel as a team and it should help that we recently had an encouraging prep in a serious practise session at Kelvingrove Park Bowls Centre”, related Logan. “And our first test is the most major one as we launch our campaign against England who are the defending champions we then go on to tackle Wales followed by Ireland”, the captain added. The highlight of Logan’s 2014 season to date came in the recent playing of the Jack High Insurance sponsored WLBA Junior Open for The Fred Meikle Trophy with The Cheesetown Boy’ turning up trumps against Andrew Semple of Oakbank in the final. Logan was adding to a previous title success in 2010 when following up his 21-9 semi final win over Colin Cruickshanks of Pumpherston with a repeat of that score against 2013 runner up Semple – who was losing in the final for a third time ( Stewart Meikle 12/9/14)