Bowls wrap: Capital aces bud for glory in Scots Pairs
The play-down action of the indoor bowls Scottish 4Bowl Pairs Championship dominates the national calendar this weekend and there is a strong Edinburgh interest with the Bainfield challenge in the gents event represented by John McDermott and Gavin Smith.
The Bainfield duo will parade their skills in the Section down for decision at Cumbernauld, where a bye into Saturday’s first round proper pitches them against Alloa in the 2pm session.
The Bainfield name has yet to be etched on this particular national silverware, but that can’t be said of Midlothian, who have captured the title on three occasions and have high expectations for international stars Ronnie Duncan and Colin Walker emulating their 2014 triumph.
Midlothian open against Martyn Jenkins and Jim Prunty of Coatbridge in the first round, while a third of the five Lothian clubs in the shape of West Lothian is also in the hot-pot Cumbernauld section.
The experienced partnership of Cameron Greer and Calum Logan from The Inveralmond Stadium in Livingston have an early start against Drew Boyd and John McCabe Jnr in the prelim round.
Midlothian IBC is also a venue and making the short journey to The Dalkeith Stadium is high-profile East Lothian champions Mark Johnston and Willie Wood MBE, who take to the carpet in the prelim round against Teviotdale.
The challenge from the Balbardie club in Bathgate is in the hands of Brian Craig and Sandy McDougall, who launch their bid against Fintry in the prelim round.
• Midlothian also host a section of the Ladies play-down action and a major attraction is the appearance of a super-charged sister act in the shape of East Lothian outdoor legends Leanne and Lauren Baillie, who face Perth in the prelim round.
However, there is another top-of-the-bill partnership out to capture the qualifying headlines, with two-times national champions Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Craig carrying the hopes of Balbardie and opening in the first round against Lanarkshire.
Bainfield champions Chloe Thomson and Mandy Jenkin head for Cumbernauld, where they are joined by Ann Muirhead of West Lothian and Midlothian’s star partnership of Sandra McLeish and Stacey McDougall.
• Jack Macnab’s bold start to the section play of the World Indoor Bowls Council Under-25 Singles Championship played at Newport – two wins and a tie-break defeat in the third – ended in disappointment, with the talented Midlothian teenager failing to qualify for the knock-out stage.
• The showpiece climax to both the Ladies and Gents Scottish Triples Championship at Coatbridge in February will be a Lothians-free zone, with no qualifiers from any of the five clubs.
Balbardie trio Kim Ross, Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Craig and their East Lothian counterparts, Yvonne Veitch, Mags Thomson and Emma Logan, did reach their section finals, but lost to Abbeyview and Teviotdale respectively.
The demise of the East Lothian gents Triple was a shock, with star trio Joe Mower, Scott Kennedy and Billy Mellors failing to sparkle in a first-round defeat against Headwell, who did go on to qualify.
West Lothian and Balbardie were also first-round casualties, while Midlothian bit the dust in the prelim round. Bainfield made it to round two but Mark McIntosh, John McDermott and James Hogg lost to Inverclyde.