The mainstream play in the National Championships swing into at The Ayr Northfield Bowls Complex today and the spearhead figure for The West Lothian Challenge is District Champion Andy Dunnett of Queensferry in the Gents Singles.
Dunnett is a two times WL Master of high reputation and the 41 year old is well equipped to make a strong impression at Ayr; He is in action at 5pm on Friday and opens against James Howell of Clarkston. There are many of note in the 32 strong field including past national champions in the shape of Billy Mellors, Ian McLean, Mark Kelsey,and Jonathan Ross also high profile names the likes of Scott Mackintosh, Steven Allan,Alex Hurry, Robert Grant, and Stuart Bebbington.
The banner in the Junior Singles is carried by 18 year old emerging star Jordan Pearce of Kirkliston and he has drawn a real hot potato in the shape of Fifer Chris Stein of Markinch – that clash taking place at 9am on Friday. The Edinburgh challenge is strong in the hands of Liam McKay (Tanfield) and Stephen Pringle (Carrick Knowe) while its Ross Thomson(ELC0) for East Lothian and Danny McDougall (Buccleuch) for Midlothian. Bryan Cooper skips Diz Drysdae for Bathgate in the Pairs while the Glenmavis trio Craig Sinclair, Davie Ross, and Walter McDougall should serve up an exciting challenge in the Triples. (Fri).
Linlithgow look to add further ice to the celebration cake of the club’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations and its in the hands of England/Scotland international star Gary Smith who skips Andrew Grimshaw Jnr, Mark Graham, and David Alexander in the Fours. (Fri).
Lorna Smith’s feat I winning the Ladies Singles Title three times in a row is phenomenal and it really should be mission impossible for the former World No1 to make it four as the pressures on her will be intense but she is the form horse.
The challenge for the Junior Singles title lies with Kirkliston star Lisa Barrett who has good form credentials and enters the national arena on Saturday.
The main spotlight on the Pairs will focus on the defending champions Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station and the exciting partnership are bidding to etch their names on the silverware for a fourth time. They open against Kirkcowan today.
Deans hope to make a mark I the Triples with their trio of Paula Barrott, Debbie Holcroft, and Jodie Nicol entering th scene on Friday ad tackling Blacklad & District at 12noon.
And its two bites at the national cherry for the Buchan Park rink of Nancy Raeburn, Marguerite Bradbury, Margaret Kain, and Jennifer Sneddon who qualified in both the Seniors Fours and Fours proper. They open in the latter tonight against Planefield
The final days play takes place on Sunday.
Play in the 16th West Lothian Masters – sponsored by Scotmid – kicks off on Monday across the greens of the County with a 200 strong field competing for the bumper £1000 title and the signature Green Jacket.
Te 16 seeds are as follows
Brian Craig (47) of Glenmavis (Holder).
Grant Logan (39) of Kirkliston. 4 times winner.
Andrew Dunnett (41) of Queensferry. 2 times winner.
Gary Smith (56) of Linlithgow. Three finals one win.
John Aitken (60) of Kirkliston). 3 times winner.
Ewan Shearer (42) of Bo’ness. One win.
Cameron Greer (28) of Bathgate. One win.
Alec Alan (53) of Newbridge. One final.
Walter McDougall (48) of Glenmavis. One CofC.
Steven Fleming (43) of Linlithgow). One final.
Bryan Cooper (33) of Bathgate. One final.
Glen King (31) of Bankton Mains. One final
Richard Mark (58) of Uphall Station. 3 semi finals.
Raymond Logan (60) of Kirkliston. One Nat. Sings win.
Connor McKendrick (21) of Middleton Hall. Section winner.
Jonathan Pearce (18) of Kirkliston. J/District Champ.