O’Donnell returns to boost Bainfield at Tweedbank

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Paul O’DONNELL returns from his short break in Cyprus, where he is supporting his sister Mandy in the Atlantic Rim Championships, to skip for Bainfield in their tough visit to Tweedbank in Division 1B of the national indoor bowls leagues tomorrow.

It is an away fixture that Bainfield team manager John Bell is keen to win as both teams remain undefeated after three matches. “It has the all the makings of a classic so I am pleased Paul is back with us,” said Bell.

Bell retains last weekend’s debut player Jim Hutchison, and Paul Millar returns for Bill Garden, but Stevie McLeod is a high-profile absentee in an otherwise full-strength Bainfield team.

In the same division, Balbardie, who have one win from their three matches, have Sandy McDougall back at skip for tomorrow’s meeting with Stirling at Bathgate.

Division 2b pacesetters Portobello will bid to make it four wins in a row against Teviotdale at Hawick, but will be without Willie McDonald, Gordon Bold and Daniel Gormley. However, their replacements, Chris Steven Scott Rogers and Andrew Davie, are all frontline players, so a bold show is expected from the rinks skipped by Andrew Caldwell, Ian Fleming, Stuart Betts and the promoted David Brown. The clash between East Lothian and West Lothian at Tranent in the A Section of the Premier League is being billed as Scotland’s ‘match of the day’ and it gives the home side the opportunity to inflict a first defeat on the table toppers.

The absence of internationalist Derek Oliver is a setback for East Lothian but they remain strong with Scott Kennedy stepping up to join Alex Marshall MBE, Willie Wood MBE and skip Graham Robertson.

Experienced duo David Oliver and Neil Pringle also return to a team that shaped up well in a narrow first defeat at Blantyre last weekend. West Lothian continue without George Sneddon but welcome back stalwart figures Des Hagart and Paul Lynas and, like EL, have strong skips on parade in Thomas Mann, Neil Speirs, Calum Logan and Mark Allison.

Midlothian are still seeking their first win in the B section but banked their first point when rescuing an away peel against Lanarkshire last weekend, thanks to a last-end double for Colin Walker. Martin Wyllie returns to the line-up against Turriff at Dalkeith, with Jamie Hanlon standing down.

In contrast, the ladies of Midlothian continue to blaze a winning trail in the B section of their Premier League and aim to extend their undefeated run to four games when they visit foot-of-the-table Abbeyview.

Bainfield entertain Tweedbank in Division 1C while Portobello are at home to Teviotdale.