Bowls: Local bowlers well placed to progress in Scottish Cup

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East LOTHIAN launch their defence of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup at Falkirk tomorrow and the four-time winners should have few problems in progressing at the expense of Clydebank.

East Lothian have Dougie Berwick, Gary Darling and Lessel Middler back on duty. Willie Wood, Derek Oliver, Scott Kennedy and captain Graham Robertson skip.

West Lothian are record five-time winners and they face Fraserburgh of Division 1A at Stonehaven. The giants of the Premier League will have top guns Neil Speirs, Calum Logan, Mark Allison and captain Thomas Mann at the helm of their four rinks.

Jamie Gracie – the former Bainfield star and Junior Internationalist – makes his cup debut at second to Logan with recent Scotland Under-25 captain Cameron Greet at lead and club champion George Sneddon at third.

Bainfield come into the cup on a high having just achieved promotion to the Premier League and the 2008 winners of the Scottish are hopeful of a good run starting against Cumbernauld at Alloa. Star figures Colin Hutchison and Stevie McLeod are enforced absentees, while Bill Garden and Colin Gilchrist are stood down to allow team manager John Bell to recall James Hogg, John Kidd, Stuart Patterson and captain Craig Moss. Hogg replaces Hutchison at skip and forms a new back-end with Kidd while junior cap Jamie Aitken links up at third to Paul O’Donnell for the first time. Robert Marshall and Gavin Smith are the other skips.

Portobello have drawn a short straw in the shape of Premier League play-off finalists Falkirk at Livingston and make two changes with Willie McDonald and Robert Wood stepping in for Scott Rogers and Dean Mackintosh.

Midlothian won the last of their four cup titles in 2004 so will be hungry for more success when they open against Aberdeen at Dundee. Colin Walker, Billy Peacock, Ronnie Duncan and Calum Crawford return.

Balbardie face Stonehaven at Methil and bring in David Lawrie, Graeme Turnbull and Lindsay Forrest for Ian Drysdale, Bill Black, and Mark Bonar.