Portobello launch their escape mission from Division 2B of the national indoor bowls league with an away visit to Allander this afternoon, and will go into action with three teenagers and one 20-year-old in their 16 player line up.
Josh Spalding gets the chance to show he can shine equally well on the carpet as he does on the grass of the outdoor and the 16-year-old is joined by other emerging talents in the shape of 15-year-old Ross Thomson and 18-year-old Daniel Gormley.
Team captian and Portobello selector Robert Wood said: “It is great that Portobello gives these young lads the chance to develop their skills in a competitive environment and although we hate dwelling in the low echelons of Division 2, it may be good for them that they gain experience away from the main spotlight”.
He added: “We also have a 15-year-old on the reserve bench in the shape of Dean Macintosh, who has Bill Ramsay for company”.
Portobello’s pre-campaign shock is the loss of ace skip John McDermott to city rivals Bainfield, but Wood is happy to pin his promotion hopes on the shoulders of battle hardened campaigners Andrew Caldwell, Ian Fleming, Stuart Betts and Willie McDonald.
Caldwell skips 20-year-old Jamie Reid, Andrew Davie and George Johnstone. while Fleming has a front-three of Wood, Thomson and Euan Murray.
Betts’s skips Spalding, Barry Smythe and Gordon Bold, while Gormley, BJ Smith and David Brown are the front-three for McDonald.
Headwell v Teviotdale, and Fintry v Whiteinch are the other challenging clubs in the Division.
Midlothian have been a major force in recent times of the Premier League and team manager Frank Gray is confident that they will remain so, but it looks like Graeme Archer will sit out the campaign.
In addition, regular stalwarts Willie Rankin, Lindsay Plenderleith and Robert Campbell miss today’s opening match away to Falkirk in the B section.
The four skips are the Colin Walker, AJ Knight and the Peacock brothers, Billy and David.