Bowls: Bainfield forced to make changes for journey west

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Bainfield are the pacesetters in Division 1B of the national indoor bowls league, on shot margin from Tweedbank, and step up their promotion campaign with a visit to foot-of-the-table Cumbernauld tomorrow.

Bainfield have five wins from six matches but will tomorrow be without Neil Watson, John McDermott, Russell Wilson and skip Colin Hutchison. However, international trial player Chris Downie returns while Graham Pringle, John Kidd and Bill Garden come in.

James Hogg is stepped up to skip with junior international trial player Jamie Aitken as his third with Craig Paterson and Paul Millar at the front while Downie and Garden form the front end for Alan Brown and Gavin Smith.

Pringle plays second to Kidd and Robert Marshall and forms the front-end with his teenage son Stephen at lead. Paul O’Donnell skips Craig Moss, Stuart Patterson and Stevie McLeod.

Tweedbank are exceptionally strong at home so look good for the points against third-placed Balbardie while East Fife will also expect to win at home to Stirling.

Portobello hope that opportunity knocks when they visit foot-of-the-table Fintry in search of a victory enhanced by a healthy addition to a shot-margin bank that is 59 shy of fellow joint-leaders Whiteinch.

Portobello travel without two important players in Euan Murray and skip Chris Steven but team manager Robert Wood will be pleased cover is coming from the return of club champion Ian Fleming and prominent outdoor star Kevin Hunter.

West Lothian won their away fixture over Prestwick so the clear leaders in the A section of the Premier League will hope to do the double against their Ayrshire visitors, albeit with the same team that struggled to beat bottom side Alloa.

That decision by the selectors provokes two points of debate as club champion George Sneddon (48 caps) and Jamie Gracie (12 junior caps) are on the bench keeping David Wilson and James Greenock company.

East Lothian are just two points off the pace and look a safe bet to stay competitive at the expense of an Alloa team visiting Tranent still seeking their first point.

The Garden County remain unchanged while, in the B section, Midlothian recall Drew Pearson and hand a debut to Scott Runciman in place of Mark Yuill and Andrew Kelly for the visit to Auchinleck.

Midlothian were a touch unlucky to be held to a 66-66 peel at home to leaders Falkirk last weekend and so the gap between them remains three points.