Bainfield boss wants team to finish league on a high

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Bainfield indoor bowling club have already clinched their much-desired return to Premier League status, but team manager John Bell wants them to finish on a high by completing the ten-match programme in Division 1B with an away win over Balbardie tomorrow.

Bell travels to the Bathgate venue without James Hogg, Stuart Patterson and team captain Craig Moss but he welcomes back Jamie Aitken fresh from making his junior international debut against England last weekend.

Russell Wilson comes off the reserve bench, and an interesting fresh face sees Bell introduce a young exciting outdoor talent in the shape of Craig Aitken who makes his indoor debut.

Jamie Aitken and Wilson form a new front end for Stevie McLeod and Paul O’Donnell, while Craig Aitken plays third to Colin Hutchison, and Robert Marshall and Gavin Smith are the other skips.

Balbardie, who occupy joint second place with Tweedbank and are six points off the pace, introduce Bill Black in place of the unavailable Jim Speirs and field four good skips in Ewan Shearer, Andy Forrest and the McDougall brothers, Walter and Sandy.

“I have the utmost respect for Balbardie at Bathgate, but their form has been mediocre this season. If Bainfield are to be accepted as a team capable of surviving in the Premier League they should be up to winning this,” said Bell.

West Lothian have already secured their place in the play-off final of the Premier League which is just as well as they will be the underdogs against a Blantyre team that have an awesome reputation at home.

Blantyre blew their chances of capturing the A section honours when losing away to foot-of-the-table Alloa in the penultimate fixture so will presumably be all out to humble a West Lothian team that has Cameron Greer and Calum Logan back on duty.

Bryan Cooper returns, while Jamie Gracie and George Sneddon are retained in a WL team that compensates with the standing down of Stewart McMaster, Richard Mark and Blair Mackie.

East Lothian are safe in third place, but have a big say in the relegation battle as they entertain a Prestwick team that is fighting to avoid the drop in competition with Alloa who are away to Paisley.

Alex Marshall continues to be an absentee, while Gary Darling, Lessel Middler and Dougie Berwick are rested in a re-shuffled pack that brings in John Stevenson, Stevie Thomson and debutant teenager Kieron Simmants.