The stakes will be high as reigning national champions East Lothian clash with West Lothian in the B section of the indoor bowls Premier League at Livingston this Saturday.
East Lothian arrive at the Inveralmond stadium as the table-toppers but only by six shots as they enter the penultimate fixture level on points with West Lothian.
West Lothian, 103-66 winners at home to Elgin last weekend, are undefeated at Inveralmond this season as they bid to re-establish a reputation dented by a season spent in Division 1 – but now they face the toughest test possible.
East Lothian lost away to Elgin but when in full flight are an awesome force as demonstrated with last week’s massive 42-shot win at home to Ardrossan.
Their leader is six times world singles champion Alex Marshall and he returns from the World Championships at Potters Leisure to play at Livingston.
Marshall is joined as one of the four EL skips by international figures Derek Oliver and Billy Mellors plus Scotland’s second most capped Scotland star, Graham Robertson. Veteran champion Willie Wood will be at third to Robertson while other international stars Scott Kennedy and Jamie Higgins help to give EL an invincible look.
West Lothian are likely to be spearheaded by international figures Neil Speirs and Thomas Mann in company with fellow caps Mark Allison, Calum Logan, Bryan Cooper, Craig Moss and perhaps George Sneddon.
Rink 1: E Fallen, K Cunningham, W Wood, G Robertson.
Rink 2: M Yuill, D Berwick (C), SW Thomson, A Marshall.
Rink 3: L Middler, D Riva, S Kennedy, B Mellors.
Rink 4: L Betts, D Sked, J Higgins, D Oliver.
• Midlothian IBC were knocked off their perch as joint leaders of Section A of the Premier League and the damaging defeat by a massive 42 shots was inflicted by chief rivals, Blanrtyre, who were confirming an invincibility at home.
Midlothian finish at home to Lanarkshire and away to Bainfield but Blantyre are not expected to slip up in a run in that finds them away to Coatbridge and at home to Cumbernauld.
Edinburgh club Bainfield improved their prospects of staying clear of the relegation play-off zone with an 82-72 away win over third placed Lanarkshire and now sit two points clear of Coatbridge and eight clear of Cumbernauld.
A win at Cumbernauld this weekend would secure Bainfield’s PL status if at the same time Coatbridge lose to Blantyre.
• The Edinburgh & Leith BA is calling for County Team Nominations for the 2018 outdoor season to be submitted no later than March 31. David McGill of Braid and Andy Mackay of Maitland as candidates to join the committee.
• Hillside stalwart figure of 31 years and well known EBL and Edinburgh Top Ten Official John Newall is returning to his roots by joining Northern BC having started his career there in 1976 and remaining through to 1986.