As Commonwealth Games challengers Alex Marshall and Derek Oliver of East Lothian, and Ronnie Duncan of Midlothian, join forces in their bid for medal glory in Australia’s Gold Coast, back home the respective clubs will do battle in Saturday’s final of the Henselite Scottish Cup.
Abbeyview (Dunfermline) is the neutral scene of a high-intensity, high-noon confrontation between the neighbour clubs that has prospects of developing into an epic of classical spectacular proportions.
Midlothian – four-times champions – enter the fray fired up by memories of their triumph over East Lothian in the 2004 final, since when the stars from the Dalkeith Stadium have suffered the pain of defeat to Tweedbank in 2009 and Falkirk in 2017.
East Lothian – the inaugural winners in 1989 – have etched their name on the silverware a magnificent seven times and on current form are favourites to achieve a record-extending eighth success.
Last weekend’s semi-final action saw East Lothian avenge their recent defeat in the play-off final of the premier league with a dramatic down-to-the wire 6-4 victory over Blantyre, with crucial wins on the rinks skipped by Joe Mower and Graham Robertson.
Mower produced the man-of-the-match performance as he inspired his front-three of Lessel Middler, Kevin Cunningham and Jamie Higgins to a 23-10 win over Jim McCann. Robertson edged an 18-17 thriller, while Scott Kennedy was pipped 21-20 and Billy Mellors lost 27-18.
Team captain Dougie Berwick returns to the EL line up for the final, as does budding teenage star Lewis Betts, while stalwart campaigners Andy Burt and Jamie Gordon are enforced absentees.
Rink 1: Lewis Betts, Andrew Jeffrey, Dean Riva, Billy Mellors.
Rink 2: Aaron Betts, David Sked, Stewart Thomson, Scott Kennedy.
Rink 3: Lessel Middler, Kevin Cunningham, Jamie Higgins, Joe Mower.
Rink 4: Mark Yuill, Dougie Berwick, Mark Johnston, Graham Robertson.
Rink 1: Jack Macnab, Liam McKay, Kevin McDougall, Billy Peacock.
Rink 2: Jamie Macnab, Sandy Knight, Jim Cullen, David Peacock.
Rink 3: Ian Forbes, Craig Hodge, Andy Caldwell, Graeme Archer.
Rink 4: Neil Melrose, Lindsay Plenderleith, Dougie Russell, Colin Walker.
Rink draw: Kennedy v Archer; Mower v D Peacock; Mellors v Walker; Robertson v B Peacock.
• The stunning form of the East Lothian Ladies team in season 2017/18 continues with a 10-0 win over East Fife to reach the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.
Good wins on the rinks skipped by Emma Logan, Yvonne Veitch, Janet Fairnie and Lauren Baillie have been rewarded by team manager Gordon Pryde announcing an unchanged line up for this Saturday’s clash against Ayrshire giants Auchinleck at West of Scotland IBC.
• The Seniors brigade of West Lothian IBC are the current heroes of the Livingston-based club with David Wilson (S), Stuart Smith, George Marshall (P), George Clark, Davy Anderson and Alasdair Stenhouse (T) capturing the Central District Top Six Crown.
Wilson produced an inspirational 21-10 win over George Newby of Falkirk in the Singles, while game-changing drama in the Pairs saw Marshall burn the jack on the last end then draw two shots on the re-spot to snatch a 21-20 victory.
The unfolding picture in the Triples saw Stenhouse edging towards a likely victory from 6-6 to 12-6 when play came to a halt.
• Midlothian and West Lothian seniors both bowed out in yesterday’s semi-final action of the Jock Brodie Seniors Challnge Trophy played at The Alex Marshall Arena.
East Lothian crushed their neighbour rivals 10-0, while Perth beat West Lothian 6-2. The final is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11 at 11am.