Bowls: Lothians clubs begin Top Ten campaigns

Bonnyrigg will look to Ronnie Duncan in the Singles

Bonnyrigg will look to Ronnie Duncan in the Singles

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Three Lothians clubs will begin their Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish Inter County Top Ten campaigns this weekend.

Bonnyrigg, Tranent, and Newbridge are each in preliminary-round action. Edinburgh champions Slateford have a bye.

Bonnyrigg have won this title twice. “We celebrated like mad in 2009 and 2014 having experienced the bitter taste of defeat in the finals of 1988 and 2007,” said team manger Drew Pearson.

Pearson didn’t play in last season’s qualifying final but the enforced absence of Lindsay Plenderleith sees him step into the limelight at home on Sunday against West Fife champions Lochgelly.

Ronnie Duncan leads the line in the Singles and is supported in the Pairs by Calum Redpath and John Stevenson.

Kevin McDougall skips Jamie Hanlan and Neil Linton in the Triples while Scott Lees, John Tod, Drew Pearson and Tam Russell form a formidable rink in the Fours.

Lochgelly are eight times Top Ten champions of West Fife and have high profile figures James McGure and James Gilruth within their ranks.

Tranent are well equipped to mount a serious 2016 challenge going into their match at home to Inverurie of Aberdeen & Kincardine.

They’ll be looking to 2000 national champion John McCrorie in the Singles and the former Evening News Champion of Champions is perfectly at ease with the pressure.

Jim Bonner and his son-in-law Brian Young won the Scottish Pairs title last season and will be looked upon by the locals as their trump card as they resume their partnership.

Jamie Higgins – an indoor cap – skips Alex Cormack and David Whitson in the Triples while Kevin Cunninghman, David Sands, Kevin Jones and Matthew Osborne form the rink in the Fours.

It is expected that a minute’s silence will be observed prior to the start of the game as a mark of respect to Tranent member Simon Blyth who has passed away aged 42 following a short battle with cancer.

Newbridge represent West Lothian at home to Wigtownshire champions Stranraer. Their spearhead figure in the Singles is internationalist Thomas Mann.

Drew Paterson and James Speirs form the Pairs partnership and Blair Mackie, Paul Sweeney and Andy Semple line up in the Tripes while Greg Baldry skips Ian Robertson, Jamie Aitken and Alec Allan in the Fours.