Portobello look to Mac to power up Fours title tilt

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Portobello have drafted in high-profile name Scott Mackintosh to skip Denis Anderson, Keith Adamson and Colin Hairs in the playdown action of the Scottish indoor bowls Fours championship this weekend.

Mackintosh, 40, has made his name on the outdoor scene having reached the final of the national singles in 2009 then skipping his sister Gillian to the Scottish Mixed Pairs title last season.

His reputation on the indoor scene has yet to be enhanced by any major captures but his competitive attitude will be an asset as he waas due to go into battle against Coatbridge in the prelim round at Glasgow IBC today.

Glasgow is also the venue for the other challenge from the Capital as Bainfield champions Chris Conway, David Greig, Jim Hutchison and John Kidd were due to parade their skills on the same session against Allander.

The twin challenge from Edinburgh may however be overshadowed by the banner carriers for Midlothian with the rink of Steven Currie, Scott Matthews, Billy Peacock and Graeme Archer enjoying maximum confidence from the faithful at the Dalkeith stadium.

Matthews and Peacock have previous form in the event having been part of the rink that captured the title back in 2002 while Currie is a player of international experience and his CV includes titles at national (3), and British Isles (2) levels.

Archer – just arrived back in Scotland from an explorative bowls adventure in Australia – was the Singles champion of the World Indoor Bowls Council in 2000 and to date has 45 caps to his name. Dundee captured the title in successive years back in 1977-78 with the same personnel and West Lothian have an opportunity to emulate that success with holders Bryan Cooper, James Speirs, Thomas Mann, and Neil Speirs having qualified to defend their crown.

Speirs and Co launch their defence in the prelim round against Perth and make the short journey to Bainfield to do so.

Bainfield is also the venue for the East Lothian challenge and it is a strong one in the shape of Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson, Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver who open against Alloa in the prelim round.

Balbardie of Bathgate also enter the mix at Bainfield with their rink of Gary Orr, Graeme Keery, Diz Drysdale and Graeme Byrne opening in the prelim round against Headwell.

The ladies National Fours championship runs in tandem and the Bainfield challenge is in the hands of Susan Allan, Susan Brown (doubtful), Anne Watson and Alison Ross who head for Lanarkshire IBC and open against Coatbridge in the prelim round.

The Portobello line-up at the same venue is unknown – they play Ardrossan in the first round - but the main focus will be on Midlothian champions Joyce Green, Megan Grantham, Gaynor Blair and Sandra McLeish.

McLeish has a brilliant record in the vent having etched her name on the trophy five times while Green has played a part in three of these triumphs.

Midlothian open against Stirling while at Portobello West Lothian face Tweedbank and Balbardie tackle East Fife.