Bainfield’s survival prospects in the indoor bowls Premier League are poor entering the second half of the campaign, but the Edinburgh outfit can spark a revival with a win over Blantyre at the Hutchison Crossway Stadium tomorrow.
“With only one win in five matches we are in great danger of being isolated at the foot of the table and it is stating the obvious to say that it is vital that we start winning our home games,” team manager Alan Brown said.
Even with home environment advantage the task of beating Blantyre is a huge one as the visitors are joint leaders of Section A and on a high, having just taken the scalp of three-in-a-row defending champions West Lothian at Livingston.
Brown is heartened by the return of experienced international Gavin Smith in a slightly recast line-up.
Rink 1: Kevin Tennant, Alan Brown, Colin Hutchison, James Hogg.
Rink 2: Graeme McIntosh, Craig Aitken, Brian Stoddart, Barry Hill.
Rink 3: Chris Downie, Mark McIntosh, John McDermott, Gavin Smith.
Rink 4: Josh Spalding, Stephen Pringle, Daniel Gormley, Craig Paterson (cpt).
There is also a massively important match at Dalkeith where Midlothian seek to do the double over a West Lothian team that still tops the table on shot margin but nursing the wounds of a home defeat by Blantyre.
It is probably a must-win game for West Lothian if the visitors are to remain top dogs in Section A, but there is also great incentive for Midlothian, who can go two points clear at the top if the beat the defending champions for a second time, and Blantyre lose their match at Bainfield.
Rink 1: Neil Watson, Andy Kelly, Kevin McDougall, Ronnie Duncan.
Rink 2: Jamie Aitken, Ian Fleming, Colin MacFarlane, Billy Peacock.
Rink 3: Ian Forbes, AJ Knight, Davy Munro, Colin Walker.
Rink 4: Jamie Macnab, Lindsay Plenderleith, Craig Hodge, David Peacock (cpt).
West Lothian have been stung by their recent setback at home and have reacted by reshuffling their pack, so Calum Logan is given a new front-three in Richard Mark, George Sneddon and Craig Moss.
Mark and Sneddon return to the team in place of Stuart Johnston and Des Hagart while former Bainfield star Paul O’Donnell is switched from third to Logan to play third for Neil Speirs, for whom Bryan Cooper and Dougie Mitchell form the front end.
The other two rinks are:
Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Jamie Gracie, Mark Allison.
Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs, Thomas Mann (cpt).
East Lothian have the momentum to make it three wins in a row when they visit Paisley in a match that sees the recall of Under-18 internationalist Calvert Allison in their line-up.
Rink 1: Gary Muir, Andy Burt, Graham Robertson, Derek Oliver.
Rink 2: Lessel Middler, Gary Darling Stewart Thomson, Scott Kennedy.
Rink 3: Calvert Allison, Scott Logan, Willie Wood MBE, Billy Mellors.
Rink 4: Mark Johnston (cpt), Dougie Berwick, Andy Jeffrey, Jamie Higgins.