Paul Foster is man to beat for Singles title at Livingston

Paul Foster
Paul Foster
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Paul Foster is the big-name attraction in the National Indoor Bowls Finals at The Inveralmond Stadium in Livingston this weekend but there is also strong representation from Edinburgh and The Lothians.

Foster lines up at the West Lothian IBC venue with the Scottish Singles crown in his sights, the four-times World Champion bidding to add to his previous national title triumph in 1999.

Circumstances have robbed the occasion of a box-office clash against semi-final opponent Neil Speirs with his fellow 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal colleague and 2009 finalist from the host club ruled out by a leg injury.

Foster’s bye into Sunday’s final (1pm) tees him up for a tilt against the highly rated six-times capped Martin Williamson of Ardrossan or Dougie Berwick of East Lothian.

Although Berwick is viewed as the dark horse, he has emerged as the East Lothian champion from a club that is a hotbed of players with exceptional talents and achievements in Singles play.

Jack Macnab is a budding star from the Midlothian IBC camp and with Premier League experience boosting his morale his challenge for the gents Junior Singles title carries high expectations from The Dalkeith Stadium.

Macnab faces Mark O’Hagan of Blantyre in the semi-finals with Andrew Thomson of Aberdeen or John Orr of East Kilbride waiting in the final.

Mark McIntosh of Bainfield IBC faces Jason Banks of Garioch in the last four of the Under 21 Singles. Chris Mair of Dumbarton faces Greg McLaughlin of Blantyre in the other semi-final.

Whilst the enforced absence of Neil Speirs from the main event is depressing news for the host club supporters there is still much for them to be excited about with a challenge in the 2Bowl Pairs by international stars Thomas Mann and Calum Logan.

Mann – national singles champion in 2013 – and Logan – Junior Singles champion in 2011 – came together as a partnership with Logan stepping into the shoes of Speirs and a strong qualifying campaign now pitches them into a tough battle against 2015 champions Colin and Jason Banks of Garioch.

The other semi-final features Alastair McClelland and Cameron Wilson of Galleon versus John Meikle and Scott Bishop of Blantyre.