Lothian players have high hopes in national finals

Stacey McDougall skips the Midlothian Ladies Fours
Stacey McDougall skips the Midlothian Ladies Fours
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The Lothian challenge is five-strong in the finals of the Scottish Championships being played this weekend at Coatbridge IBC with Midlothian enjoying representation in the men’s Pairs, Ladies Fours and Under-21 Singles.

Colin Walker skips Billy Peacock in the Pairs and the line-up in the Fours is Susan Liddle, Alison Plenderleith, Sandra McLeish and Stacey McDougall while opportunity knocks for Paul Innes in the Under-21 Singles.

Walker completed the course in 2014 to skip Ronnie Duncan to the title while Peacock aims to emulate the triumphs of his younger brother David in 2004 and 2005. The Midlothian partnership open against Derek Murray and Raymond Clark of Fraserburgh in their semi-final while it’s Craig Lainday and Paul Foster of Prestwick against Stuart Pagan and Paul Brown of Abbeyview in the other.

Stacey McDougall skipped a title-winning rink that included Alison Plenderleith in 2014 and the Commonwealth Games-bound star opens against Blantyre while East Fife face Elgin in the other semi-final.

Innes faces Darren Weir of Prestwick while Connor Robertson (Abbeyview) and Blane Notmaan (East Kilbride) are the other challengers.

East Lothian compete in the men’s Fours and hopes are high their quartet of Jamie Higgins, Joe Mower, Scott Kennedy and Derek Oliver can deliver. Oliver skips his rink against a home-based Coatbridge opposition while Galleon face Dundee.

In the Ladies Pairs, Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Craig of Balbardie IBC have captured the crown on two previous occasions. The Bathgate club open against Rosie Wood and Catherine McIntosh of Stonehaven while Galleon and Whiteinch fight out the other semi-final.

• East Lothian ladies made an encouraging start in their Premier League final but ended up losing 89-71 to Glasgow.

“We have no complaints as the best team won but I am super proud of all my players for a truly fantastic campaign,” reflected team manager Gordon Pryde.

Rink scores: Lauren Baillie 20, June Marshall 19; Emma Logan 15, Natalie Docherty 18; Janet Fairnie 19, Lorna Cameron 23; Dee Hoggan 17, Betty Eastop 29.

• Play in the first round of the men’s Scottish Cup saw wins for Bainfield (6-4) against Glasgow; West Lothian (8-2) against Tweedbank; East Lothian (8-2) against Forfar; and Midlothian (7-3) against Dundee. Balbardie crashed out to a 10-0 defeat by Falkirk.

• Bowls Scotland have announced Midlothian’s David Peacock and Paul Foster of Ayrshire as team managers for the 2018 Home International Campaign and they will be assisted by Scott Kennedy (East Lothian), Robert Grant and Andy Meekison.

Jock Halliday, the long-serving district secretary of Midlothian, will manage Scotland in the British Isles Championships, joined by Betty Aitken of Lanarkshire.