The return to membership and first-team duty of icon figure Robert Marshall is a major uplift to morale in the Bainfield camp setting out on their indoor bowls Premier League campaign this weekend.
Marshall, who has 48 international caps, would be the first name on the team sheet of newly appointed team manager Gavin Smith.
Smith’s first decision was to appoint Colin Hutchison as team captain and also select the current Scotland Cap to join himself, Marshall and the much talented Craig Paterson as the Four skips to spearhead the Bainfield campaign in the B section of the highly competitive Premier League.
The opening game away at Aberdeen sees Edinburgh’s only indoor bowls club with an old face in the ranks as the fixture heralds the return to the club and first team duty of Alex Hurry Jnr.
“There could be late changes due to availability factors but our selected opening line up is strong on paper and our aim is to hit the ground running against an opposition that is formidable on their home territory,” said Smith.
Smith is hopeful that the following team selection will be on the bus north and in great heart to face a testing challenge.
Rink 1: Stephen Pringle, Steven Pilley, Kevin Tennant, Robert Marshall.
Rink 2: Jamie Reid, Stuart Douglas, Daniel Gormley, Craig Paterson.
Rink 3: Josh Spalding, Mark McIntosh, Alex Hurry, Gavin Smith.
Rink 4: Tam Ebbs, Brian Stoddart, John McDermott, Colin Hutchison.
The luck of the draw has placed likely favourites East Lothian in the same B section as Bainfield and that makes possible the chance of an attractive head-to-head clash between the Marshall brothers as Alex (Tattie) is a confirmed starter for The Garden County. There would be a wait until November 14 though.
Tattie’s confirmation of his regular availability is hugely welcome news for an East Lothian camp that opens against Ayr away with first-team stars Scott Kennedy, Graham Robertson, Ewan Fallen and Dougie Berwick all absentees.
However, two further items of good news are that recently crowned E&L Tait Trophy champion Mal Higgenbotham returns from a lengthy self imposed exile to represent the East Lothian banner and he is joined by the exciting capture of Welsh Under-25 cap, Joe Mower.
East Lothian open with an all-internationalist cast at their helm with Billy Mellors, Derek Oliver, Jamie Higgins and Tattie Marshall named at skip in a team that lines up as follows:
Rink 1: Mal Higgenbotham, Jamie Gordon, Gary Darling, Alex Marshall MBE.
Rink 2: Mark Johnston, Callum Darling, Willie W Wood MBE, Derek Oliver.
Rink 3: Lessel Middler, Glenn Blair, Stewart W Thomson, Jamie Higgins.
Rink 4: Joe Mower, Andy Burt, Andy Jeffrey, and Billy Mellors (cpt).