Bainfield and Midlothian remain in thick of action

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Bainfield and Midlothian enter the final fixtures in Division A of the gents indoor bowls Premier League with no relegation concerns but they can still influence matters at both ends of the table.

Bainfield visit an Alloa team fighting to avoid bottom spot and the drop.

Alloa share the four-point mark with an Ayr team that is 30 shots better off and also finish with a home game. However, they lock horns with a Falkirk team in with a chance of pipping joint-leaders Blantyre for top spot and a place in the play-off final. Blantyre have a massive 177-shot margin advantage over their rivals but the richly-talented Lanarkshire outfit can be vulnerable away from home and today’s climax is against Midlothian at Dalkeith.

Bainfield have yet to win an away fixture and will attempt to rectify that but must do so without the help of experienced bowler Alan Brown. Stalwart figure Brian Stoddart is the player drafted in while four top-notch skips line up in the shape of James Hogg, Gavin Smith, Paul O’Donnell and Robert Marshall.

Bainfield:

Rink 1: Kevin Tennant, David McNair, Alex Hurry, James Hogg.

Rink 2: Steven Stewart, Brian Stoddart, John McDermott, Gavin Smith.

Rink 3: Mark McIntosh, Danny McCourt, Daniel Gormley, Robert Marshall.

Rink 4: Steven Pilley, Tam Ebbs, Craig Paterson, Paul O’Donnell.

• Midlothian have huge respect for their Blantyre visitors and would value their scalp but the absence of world stage star Graeme Archer is a major concern. However, there is a compensating high with the return of another in the shape of Ronnie Duncan. Brothers Jack and Jamie Macnab plus Martin Wyllie remain sidelined after missing last weekend’s clash with Bainfield where victory secured their top-flight status.

Midlothian:

Rink 1: Andy Caldwell, Jim Cullen, Lindsay Plenderleith, Colin Walker.

Rink 2: Ian Forbes, Keith Stables, Scott Briggs, David Peacock.

Rink 3: Scott Runciman, Craig Hodge, John Stevenson, Ronnie Duncan.

Rink 4: Neil Murray, David Salkeld, Sandy (AJ) Knight, Billy Peacock.

• Balbardie gents will escape the automatic relegation place in Division B if able to beat fellow strugglers Paisley by 30 shots and, with home advantage at Bathgate, the atmosphere could sizzle or fizzle.

West Lothian IBC have won Division 1 North out of sight with nine wins from nine but, with travel costs a factor, have conceded fixture No,10 to second-placed Elgin.