West LOTHIAN will bid to defend their bowls Premier League title against Blantyre in the play-off final at Falkirk IBC tomorrow.
West Lothian reached the final as winners of the toughest looking qualifying section and are generally reckoned to have taken over top spot in the sport from East Lothian, but Blantyre have winning form against West Lothian, having won last season’s Scottish Cup final.
The final gets underway at 12noon, with West Lothian back to full strength. West Lothian have triumphed five times from six appearances in the final while Blantyre have four wins from nine appearances.
Meanwhile defending champions East Lothian surprisingly lost their grip on the Seniors League Cup as they lost to Abbeyview in the quarter-finals despite having waltzed though their qualifying section with 13 wins from 14 games.
The start of the Seniors Scottish Cup on Wednesday saw the Garden County embark on a redemption mission as they won 61-55 against Stirling at neutral venue Livingston.
The rink honours were shared 2-2 but the winning performances produced by Willie Wood MBE and Tom Young tipped it in favour of an East Lothian team that lost on the rinks skipped by Jock Brodie and Frank Gray.
Wood made the major contribution with an 18-8 win, having set his game alight by skipping Kenny Boyd, Bill Patterson and Peter Laidlaw on a late run of 1, 1, 4, 1 to lead 17-7. Young created excitement with a blitz start of 1, 6, 1 then traded on his 8-0 lead to skip Willie Higgins, Alex Russell and John Holmes to a 16-9 win over J Carnachan.
Portobello served up a good performance to beat Abbeyview 73-52 but their Edinburgh neighbours, Bainfield, made a 66-60 exit to Falkirk.
West Lothian set up a first round proper clash against East Lothian with a 103-40 win over Tweedbank, but Balbardie lost 65-64 to Alloa.