Bowls: Scottish Cup crunch time for record-chasing West Lothian

Thomas Mann: the only one to remain intact from West Lothian's quarter-final success against Turriff. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Thomas Mann: the only one to remain intact from West Lothian's quarter-final success against Turriff. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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WEST LOTHIAN IBC’s bid to win the indoor bowls Scottish Cup for a record sixth time faces its toughest challenge yet when the star team from the Inveralmond stadium in Livingston face Falkirk in the semi -finals tomorrow.

Cumbernauld is the scene of a battle that is a re-run of the recent play-off final of the Premier League which West Lothian captured after being fully stretched by Falkirk.

Falkirk’s winning of the B section of the Premier League in their first season as a top-flight team was a real eye-opener and they have continued to impress by eliminating defending champions East Lothian and Midlothian in their current cup run. However, it is highly unlikely that West Lothian will sleepwalk into a semi-final confrontation that will demand maximum concentration from them.

West Lothian will field a changed team though with regulars Scott Logan and Stuart Johnston both unavailable and their absence causing the selectors to re-jig what has been well settled rink formations.

Richard Mark and Blair Mackie come off the reserve bench but are seasoned campaigners and the WL selectors have opted to pair them as a new front-end for George Sneddon and young internationalist Calum Logan.

James Greenock moves from lead in the Logan rink to play second for Neil Speirs in place of Scott Logan while former Bainfield star Jamie Gracie is switched from second in the Logan rink to play third to Mark Allison in place of Johnston.

The rink skipped by team captain Thomas Mann is the only one to remain intact from West Lothian’s quarter-final success against Turriff while David Wilson and Stewart McMaster are the two reserves asked to travel.

The other semi-final features Stirling against Blantyre at Lanarkshire IBC.

n THE draw for The Edinburgh Cup, sponsored by Specsavers of Shandwick Place and North Bridge, will be one of the highlights of the Annual Dinner of The Edinburgh Bowling League being held at the Masonic Club in the Capital tonight.

EBL President Brian Higgins of Maitland BC will welcome a record turnout of 309 for an event that has attracted John Htet-Khin and Donald Findlay QC as the after-dinner speakers.

Holding the office of President brings Higgins the privilege of nominating the Charity to be supported by the EBL and he has chosen CCLASP, an Edinburgh based group who do a terrific job in helping Children with Cancer and Leukaemia.