West LOTHIAN IBC’s recently-crowned British Isles indoor bowls Fours Champions – Bryan Cooper, James Speirs, Thomas Mann and Neil Speirs – have hot-footed it back from Swansea in time for this weekend’s Scottish Cup action.
All four, plus Cameron Greer, Calum Logan, and Mark Allison, who joined Speirs (Neil) in the Scotland team that won the Home International Series will be on an absolute high following the exciting highs they achieved in Wales.
However, their immediate challenge now is to keep the adrenalin flowing and sustain their form as the backbone of the West Lothian IBC team that face a tough test in the quarterfinal of the Scottish Cup against Turriff at Dundee.
East Lothian’s bid to complete a hat-trick of title wins was ended by Falkirk in the first round and, with four-times winners Midlothian also bowing out to Falkirk, it leaves five-times winners West Lothian as favourites to go on and complete a Cup and Premier League double.
But Turriff are a highly competitive unit and it remains to be seen if the Swansea engaged spine of the star-spangled West Lothian team take to the carpet tired and weary having travelled the road and the miles to Dundee or whether they will be on song to deliver another winning performance.
Rink 1: Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs, and Thomas Mann (capt).
Rink 2: Bryan Cooper, Scott Logan, Des Hagart, and Neil Speirs.
Rink 3: James Greenock, Jamie Gracie, George Sneddon, and Calum Logan.
Rink 4: Paul Lynas, Raymond Logan, Stuart Johnston, and Mark Allison.
Falkirk lost out to West Lothian in the play-off final of the Premier League after a great battle and are seeking high value compensation in the cup. They are favourites to reach the last four at the expense of Ardossan in their clash at Coatbridge.
Blantyre are a strong Premier League club yet other than losing to Bainfield in the 2008 final they have failed to shine in the cup, however, they will have a favourites chance of staying in contention this season at the expense of Garioch at Abbeyview.
Stirling and Coatbridge clash at Falkirk in the remaining quarter-final and both have still to go the full distance although Stirling reached the 2006 final , losing to East Lothian.