Bainfield are in a buoyant mood after last weekend’s home win over a strong Blantyre side in the A section of the indoor bowls premier league but the relegation-zoned Edinburgh elite have a massive challenge on their hands when they tackle Midlothian at Dalkeith tomorrow (2pm).
Midlothian sit joint top of the table with Abbeyview and with the Dunfermline-based team considered to be likely losers on their visit to Blantyre, it plants the thought in Dalkeith minds that a good result will put them in the strongest position to clinch the A section honours.
“The outcome of our clash is of critical importance to both teams, suggesting a cracking encounter,” said Bainfield team manager Alan Brown.
“We will be the underdogs but we won our home game against them, generally play well at Dalkeith and are fired up from our win over Blantyre so travel without fear or trepidation.”
Brown makes one change in the shape of Craig Aitken returning at the expense of Graham Pringle and he lines up at second to Graeme Mcintosh, Brian Stoddart and Barry Hill.
The other rinks are made up of (two) Kevin Tennant, Alan Brown, Colin Hutchison and James Hogg; (three) Chris Downie, Mark McIntosh, John McDermott and Gavin Smith and (four) Josh Spalding, Stephen Pringle, Daniel Gormley and Craig Paterson (c).
Midlothian have blown hot and cold this season so are a bit surprised to find themselves become leading contenders to reach the play-off final, but team manager Frank Gray is hopeful that his team now have the bit between their teeth.
“A golden qualifying opportunity has landed in our lap and there is now a strong incentive for the team to be fiercely competitive, especially on our home carpet,” he said.
Midlothian’s win at home over three-in-a-row defending champions West Lothian was impressive but, even so, Gray makes two change to his line-up, with Ryan Yuill and former Portobello star Andy Caldwell being recalled.
Yuill comes in for Andy Kelly, who is switched to the reserve bench, while Caldwell replaces the unavailable Davy Munro.
The rinks are made up of (one) Jamie Aitken, Ian Fleming, Colin MacFarlane, Billy Peacock; (two) Ian Forbes, AJ Knight, Andy Caldwell, Colin Walker; (three) Neil Watson, Ryan Yuill, Kevin McDougall and Ronnie Duncan and (four) Jamie Macnab, Lindsay Plenderleith, Craig Hodge and David Peacock (c).
West Lothian still have a tough visit to Blantyre in their schedule but tomorrow the defending champions have the chance to stay in the race as they visit joint-bottom Coatbridge. Stuart Johnston is introduced at the expense of George Sneddon, who is moved to the reserve bench.
The rinks are made up of (one) Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, Paul O’Donnell and Neil Speirs; (two) Richard Mark, Stuart Johnston, Craig Moss and Calum Logan, (three) Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Jamie Gracie and Mark Allison and (four) Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs and Thomas Mann (c).
East Lothian have won three on the trot and have a good chance of inflicting a first defeat on Aberdeen when they face the B section leaders at the Meadowmill stadium.
Scott Logan and junior cap Ewan Fallen are kept on the sidelines. The rinks are made up of (one) Lessel Middler, Gary Darling, Stewart Thomson and Scott Kennedy; (two) Gary Muir, Andy Burt, Graham Robertson and Derek Oliver; (three) Calvert Allison, Dougie Berwick, Willie Wood and Billy Mellors and (four) Mark Johnston (c), Calum Darling, Andy Jeffrey and Jamie Higgins.