Bainfield gents bidding to reel in Falkirk at the top

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Bainfield gents sit third in the table after five games in the A Division of the indoor bowls Premier League and have the chance to draw level with joint leaders Falkirk when the two teams clash today.

Falkirk are undefeated at home – and that includes beating fellow joint leaders Blantyre – so it will be a tall order for the Edinburgh elite.

However, Bainfield hopes are boosted by the fact they beat Falkirk at home in their opening match. The enforced absence of ace skip Colin Hutchison is a negative but Paul O’Donnell steps up and into his shoes and joins James Hogg, Gavin Smith and Robert Marshall as skips.

Alan Brown – a winner of 18 full caps in his heyday – captains the team.

Rink 1: Tam Ebbs, Brian Stoddart, Alex Hurry, James Hogg.

Rink 2: Euan Craig, Alan Brown, John McDermott, Gavin Smith.

Rink 3: Willie McIntosh, Colin Gilchrist, Craig Paterson, Paul O’Donnell.

Rink 4: Mark McIntosh, Danny McCourt, Daniel Gorman, Robert Marshall.

Midlothian sit two points behind Bainfield and too close to the relegation zone for comfort – especially if the team from the Dalkeith Stadium fail to pull off a win from their visit to Ayr.

Ayr is unfamiliar territory for a Midlothian team that goes into battle without star figure Ronnie Duncan – off to the World Outdoor Championships in New Zealand – but the return of Graeme Archer and David Peacock is major compensation.

Rink 1: Scott Runciman, David Salkeld, John Stevenson, Billy Peacock.

Rink 2: Jamie Macnab, Craig Hodge, Scott Briggs, David Peacock.

Rink 3: Andy Caldwell, Keith Stables, Sandy Knight, Graeme Archer.

Rink 4: Jack Macnab, Ian Fleming, Lindsay Plenderleith, Colin Walker.

East Lothian also travel to Ayrshire where the clear leaders of the B Division tackle an Ardrossan team aiming to remain undefeated at home.

The absence of Alex Marshall MBE, Billy Mellors and Mark Johnston is a blow to EL prospects but they have often proved resilient under such circumstances in the past.

Rink 1: Les Middler, Matt Osborne, Jamie Higins, Derek Oliver.

Rink 2: Craig Mackintosh, Stevie Thomson, Willie Wood MBE, Graham Robertson.

Rink 3: Calum Darling, Lewis Betts, Glenn Blair, Joe Mower.

Rink 4: Andy Jeffrey, Dean Riva, Dougie Berwick, Scott Kennedy.

Bottom side Balbardie are in a must-win situation when they entertain fellow strugglers Lanarkshire while neighbour club West Lothian – without Neil Speirs – bid to make it six out of six when the Division 1 North leaders travel to Arbroath.