East Lothian and Midlothian clash in tomorrow’s semi-finals of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup at Stirling (2pm) and there is little to split the two teams.
Both finished as runners-up in their respective Premier League sections but East Lothian have the stronger history in the cup, having won it a record six-times compared to Midlothian’s three.
“It adds an extra dimension when the match is a local derby and bragging rights are at stake,” said Midlothian spokesman Frank Gray.
Midlothian have blooded two talented 15-year-olds this cup campaign in Jack Macnab and Paul Innes and team manager Gray retains faith in the duo by pitching them into tomorrow’s showdown ahead of the experienced AJ Knight, Andy Kelly and Jamie Macnab.
Recently-crowned British Isles Pairs champions Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker, and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal hero David Peacock are joined by Billy Peacock as the four skips.
East Lothian failed to impress in their last gasp quarter-final win over Division 2 opposition Cumbernauld but that was an unusual looking blip and a team driven by ambitions of achieving a magnificent seventh cup success welcome back Scott Kennnedy.
Kennedy is joined in the skips position by Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver and Jamie Higgins while the presence of Scotland’s most capped players in Willie Wood (90) and Graham Robertson (87) is always a boost to their morale.
Gary Darling misses the semi-final, allowing last weekend’s late substitute Brian Galloway to continue.
Rink 1: Colin Cook, Ian Fleming, Colin MacFarlane, Billy Peacock.
Rink 2:. Ian Forbes, Paul Innes, David Munro, Colin Walker.
Rink 3: Jamie Aitken, Jack Macnab, Kevan McDougall, Ronnie Duncan.
Rink 4: Neil Watson, Lindsey Plenderleith, Andy Caldwell, David Peacock (c).
Rink 1: Lessel Middler, Brian Galloway, Willie Wood, Scott Kennedy.
Rink 2: Andrew Jeffrey, Andy Burt, Dougie Berwick, Billy Mellors.
Rink 3: Ewan Fallen. John Robertson, Graham Robertson, Derek Oliver.
Rink 4: Mark Johnston (c), Calum Darling, Stewart Thomson, Jamie Higgins.
The second semi-final is also another corker featuring West Lothian IBC and Blantyre, who clash at Lanarkshire IBC.
Blantyre beat WL both home and away in the recent league campaign so the deposed then three-in-a-row defending league champions will be thirsting to take revenge in the cup. The West Lothian line up is one of experience.
Rink 1: Bryan Cooper, Dougie Mitchell, Paul O’Donnell, Neil Speirs.
Rink 2: James Greenock, Stuart Johnston, Jamie Gracie, Mark Allison.
Rink 3: Cameron Greer, Blair Mackie, Craig Moss, Calum Logan.
Rink 4:Paul Lynas, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs, Thomas Mann (c).