Bowls: Capital bowlers O’Donnell and Fleming set out for national indoor title

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The playdown action of the men’s Scottish Singles Championship at Abbeyview, Dunfermline, dominates the indoor bowls calendar this weekend and a 52-strong field will challenge for a place in the last four.

The Edinburgh challenge is in the hands of Bainfield champion Paul O’Donnell and his Portobello counterpart Ian Fleming. O’Donnell opens in the preliminary round tomorrow morning against Ross Elliot of Galleon while Fleming tackles Lee Collins of Garioch.

Midlothian champion Colin Walker has suffered the agony of defeat in two national finals and the seasoned internationalist has primed himself up for his latest assault on the title by recently qualifying for the World Singles event held in England in January.

Walker opens his national campaign in the prelim round against Kenny Johnstone of Tweedbank.

Willie Wood of East Lothian opens against Mark Davidson of Inverness.

George Sneddon has accumulated 48 caps on the indoor scene and the 61-year old manager of the Scotland outdoor international team carries the West Lothian IBC banner into the prelim round against the accomplished Stuart Pagan of the host club, while Balbardie champion Ewan Shearer comes up against Jim Byron of Cumbernauld.

The depth of the challenge this season is exceptionally strong with a host of high profile figures including holder Robert Grant (Lanarkshire), Wayne Hogg (East Fife), Steven Allan (Alloa, John Gilmartin (Paisley), Iain McLean (Blantyre).

Meanwhile, Bainfield ladies host their counterparts from Portobello in Division 1C of the national league. Bainfield hope to make a quick recovery from their 82-51 defeat at East Lothian last weekend where Aimie Robertson, Kate McVey, Theresa Blair and Anna Anderson were the only winning rink.

Portobello crashed to an 86-53 defeat at West Lothian so are also on a recovery mission.

Balbardie are at home to Fintry in a top-of-the-table clash in Division 1D while Midlothian could make it a hat-trick of wins in the B section of the Premier League and when they play Galleon at Dalkieth.