Bowls: Midlothian aiming for a hat-trick

Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Peacock boosts the Midlothian team

Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Peacock boosts the Midlothian team

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Midlothian gents enter the final straight of the race to finish top of the A Division of the indoor bowls Premier League sitting joint top on points with Blantyre but handicapped by a massive 162 shortfall in shots.

Midlothian gents enter the final straight of the race to finish top of the A Division of the indoor bowls Premier League sitting joint top on points with Blantyre but handicapped by a massive 162 shortfall in shots.

The initial target facing the elite stars from The Dalkeith Stadium with three matches to play is to reel off a hat-trick of wins and hope Blantyre drop one point on their run in.

Blantyre are strong favourites not to falter as they face away visits to bottom club Arbroath and champions Paisley. Their end fixture is at home to star-studded West Lothian.

Midlothian are due to have their mettle well and truly tested today at home to Paisley.

While Midlothian have already seen off the challenges of Blantyre, West Lothian and Arbroath on their own carpet, and trounced Paisley by 28 shots in the away fixture, there are negative factors to overcome today.

Ace skips Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker are at Potters Leisure in Norfolk competing in the World Championships but team manager Frank Gray is optimistic that his team will still rise to the occasion.

“We have shown strong mental toughness and sharp focus to get to where we are and the presence of (Commonwealth Games gold medallist) David Peacock is always good for stimulating and lifting team morale,” he said.

The reshaped team includes Andrew Caldwell, the former Portobello IBC star, being switched up from second to third and Neil Linton being introduced.

Rink 1: Ian Forbes, Ian Fleming, Lindsay Plenderleith, Sandy (AJ) Knight.

Rink 2: Jack Macnab, Kevin McDougall, Andy Caldwell, Colin MacFarlane.

Rink 3: Colin Cook, Neil Linton, Danny McDougall, Billy Peacock.

Rink 4: Jamie Macnab, Ryan Yuill, Craig Hodge, David Peacock.

Recent three-in-a-row-champions West Lothian IBC are third bottom but a near to full-strength team can ease the relegation threat by winning away to fellow strugglers Lanarkshire.

Rink 1: Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, Des Hagart, Neil Speirs.

Rink 2: Richard Mark, Ian Drysdale, Stuart Johnston, Mark Allison.

Rink 3: Cameron Greer, Raymond Logan, Craig Moss, Calum Logan.

Rink 4: Paul Lynas, Paul O’Donnell, James Speirs, Thomas Mann.