West Lothian IBC becomes the centre of the The Bowls Universe in Scotland this weekend with their Inveralmond Stadium at Livingston playing host to a series of National Championship semi finals and finals.Read More
The stars on parade include four times World Indoor Singles Champion Paul Foster MBE of Prestwick who is bidding to capture the Scottish Singles title for a second time having previously triumphed in 1999. Foster was due to go head to head with local hero Neil Speirs in Saturdays semi finals play but that headline attraction is off the bill with the 2009 losing finalist forced to pull out as a consequence of a leg injury traced back to his days as a young footballer. His walkover into Sundays final (1pm) pitches Foster into a battle for the national crown against the winner of the semi final featuring Martin Williamson of Ardrossan and Douglas Berwick of East Lothian.
Whilst the enforced absence of 42 times capped Speirs is a major box office blow for the community of West Lothian Bowlers there is still a strong local presence with Lisa Barrett in the Ladies Singles and the 2Bowl Pairs partnership of Thomas Mann and Calum Logan bang in the frame for national title glory. Barrett – with three full caps on her CV – faces a tough semi final challenge (3pm) against 2010 finalist Caroline Brown of Blantyre whose campaign honours include 33 full caps on the indoor scene.
The other semi final features the 33 times capped Claire Johnston of Auchinleck against 15 times capped Carol Stuart of Turriff. The final is scheduled for 1PM on Sunday.
WLIBC celebrated their only national title triumph to date in the men’s 2Bowl Pairs back in 2000 when Joey Strickland and George Sneddon reigned supreme but expectations are high that the combined talents of Mann and Logan with 27 and 18 caps to the name can bridge that time gap. If the local stars are to deliver however they will both have to be at their sparkling best to overcome Colin and Jason Banks of Garioch in a tough semi final test (10am) then if they make it to the final (10am) against Alistair McLelland and Cameron Wilson of Galleon or John Meikle and Scott Bishop of Blanrtre.
The other titles being contested on a busy weekend programme are, The Gents Junior Singles – Jack Macnab (Midlothian) v Mark O’Hagan (Blantyre); Andrew Thomson (Aberdeen) v John Orr (East Kilbride).
The Ladies Junior Singles – Kim Hoggan (East Lothian) v Carla Banks (Garioch); Emma McIntyre (Dumbarton) v Stephanie Wallace ( Auchinleck). The Ladies 2Bowl Pairs – Abbeyview v Blantyre; Glasgow v Garioch.
The Under 21 Singles – Jason Banks (Garioch) v Mark McIntosh (Bainfield); Chris Mair (Dumbarton) v Greg McLaughlin (Blantyre).