Bainfield received a walkover in the first round of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup when Elgin failed to raise a team so the elite from the Hutchison Crossway Stadium launch their campaign against Galleon at Glasgow IBC in the second round tomorrow.
Galleon finished fourth of five in Division 1F of the recently completed league campaign so the Kilmarnock club should pose no great threat to their Premier League opponents
However, their three wins from eight games did include impressive home wins over Ayrshire legends Auchinleck and Prestwick, so team manager John Bell will be urging Bainfield not to take victory for granted.
Bainfield have only won the Scottish Cup once – in 2008 – but Bell is hoping they can carry on the fine end-of-season form which saw them secure their Premier League survival.
“We can’t treat any opposition lightly, especially in a cup tie, but we are strongly favoured by the formbook and expected to deliver,” said Bell.
Bell’s team will be missing James Hogg, Alan Brown, Stevie McLeod, Neil Watson, and Paul Millar, and that situation leads to the call-up of John Priestley, Craig Aitken, John Kidd and the return of Gavin Smith.
Smith – a current internationalist – takes over from Hogg and skips Chris Downie, Brian Stoddart, and John McDermott, while the iconic figure of Robert Marshall skips Stephen Pringle, Priestley, and Kevin Tennant.
Paul O’Donnell has Craig Paterson, Aitken and Kidd as his front three while Colin Hutchison skips Daniel Gormley, Stuart Patterson and team captain Craig Moss.
West Lothian face relegated Premier League team Perth at Headwell and the five-times cup winners shouldn’t be troubled, although Calum Logan and his father Raymond miss the action, with Blair Mackie and supersub David Wilson coming in.
Jamie Gracie, a former Bainfield favourite, is stepped up from second to skip in place of Calum Logan, with Mackie filling that gap, while Wilson lines up at second to Mark Allison.
Neil Speirs and Thomas Mann are the other skips.
Midlothian make the short journey to Livingston and, having demolished fellow Premier League outfit Aberdeen in the first round, they are expected to continue their progress at the expense of struggling Division 1 side Headwell.
Team manager Frank Gray has tinkered with his line-up, elevating Ronnie Duncan to skip in place of team captain Billy Peacock, who switches rinks to play third to Colin Walker. David Peacock and Sandy (AJ) Knight are the other skips.
Meanwhile, Kim Hoggan of East Lothian and Megan Grantham of Midlothian make their debut for Junior Scotland in this weekend’s Under-25 Home International Series at Bromsgrove IBC in Worcestershire.
Stacey Laidlaw (Midlothian), Emma Brown (East Lothian) and Lisa Barrett (West Lothian) are also in the opening team to face Wales.