Midlothian head out to the Inveralmond stadium at Livingston tomorrow to renew rivalry with Falkirk in the second round of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup and it’s the ‘match of the day’ with both clubs prominent Premier League performers.
Falkirk finished top of the B section of the recently completed PL and three points clear of second-placed Midlothian having shocked the defending champions 95-70 in the opening fixture then sharing the away return 66-66.
Gray is upbeat about his team’s chances as his four men at the helm are all top-notchers in Colin Walker, Willie Rankin, Billy Peacock, and icon figure David Peacock.
Midlothian have tinkered with their line-up with Gray re- instating Billy Peacock at skip at the expense of stalwart figure Sandy (AJ) Knight who moves to form a formidable backend partnership with David Peacock.
Robert Campbell comes back into the fold at lead with Sandy Dippie moving to the reserve bench while international star Graeme Archer (in Australia) is a high profile absentee.
Falkirk will be fired up to seek Cup compensation for losing out in the play-off final of the Premier League and, with their leading figures including class acts Simon Thomson and Steven Glen are sure to be a hot handful.
West Lothian – the PL champions – are being talked up as the Cup favourites and it will rank as a major upset if the five-times winners fail to deal with Division 1 club Cumbernauld at East Kilbride.
All four skips in the shape of Neil Speirs, Mark Allison, Calum Logan and team captain Thomas Mann are players of international status and the body of the 16-strong line-up includes other capped figures in Cameron Greer, Jamie Gracie, and George Sneddon.
The play-off final of the Ladies Premier League is down for decision at Ardrossan tomorrow and it promises to be a real cracker with record seven times champions Midlothian biding to complete a second hat-trick.
It isn’t going to be easy street though for the stars of the Dalkeith stadium as they face East Fife for the second weekend running and they are nursing the wounds of an 88-73 defeat in the second round of the Scottish Cup.