Edinburgh & Leith hope to have iconic skip Robert Marshall back from a visit to England in time to take his place against Lanarkshire West in tonight’s rearranged quarter-final bowls match of the Cities & Counties Championship at Larbert.
Team manager Willie Watson has alternative plans up his sleeve if Marshall fails to make the 6:15pm start, but, so far, there is only one change of personnel with the enforced absence of Gordon Bold compensated by the return of team captain Billy Mellors.
Watson has made changes to the original line up with the return of Mellors pushing Colin Hutchison and Andy Sneddon down to positions 3 and 2 respectively, resulting in Craig Paterson being switched to play second to Paul O’Donnell.
David Brown is switched from second to O’Donnell to the same role for Mal Higgenbotham and that move sees him form a front-end partnership with his Craigentinny club-mate Craig McCall.
The Edinburgh camp feel that there are extra pressures being thrust upon them with the rush through a busy Capital city traffic to make an early evening start. Then, at the other end of the evening, there are concerns that fading light could present a problem.
“It is vital that the E&L players put any concerns about other issues to one side and give 100 per cent concentration on beating the opposition as there will be no second chances,” said Watson.
The immediate reward that awaits the victors will be a semi match against Dumfriesshire at Kirkliston tomorrow.
Last nights first round proper of the Edinburgh Bowling League Knockout Championships, sponsored by Mackay Joinery, saw a cracking singles encounter at Postal won by Craig McCall of Craigentinny at the 21-19 expense of David Poole.
There was 21-20 drama at Pilrig where Colin Barr of Dudley survived a 29-end marathon against Larry Sorrell of Wardie having picked up from 14-13 down to cross 19-16 then answering pressure at 19-20 with a 1, 1, finish.
Coltbridge also witnessed a 21-20 thriller with Scott Walker of Queensberry trailing 10-4 then 13-9 before storming into a 20-13 lead over Joe Blair of Corstorphine. Blair eventually escaped the bowler’s graveyard to boldly reach 20-20, but Walker clinched victory on the 25th end.
More 21-20 drama unfolded at Seafield where Neil Hunter of Tramways tipped the scales with a single after a 28-end battle against Craig Duffus of Willowbrae.
Donald Brown of Tipperlin clinched a 21-17 win over Alan Flockhart of Maitland with a 2, 1, 3 finish at Dean.