West Lothian geared up for Scottish Cup

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West LOTHIAN IBC is all primed up and raring to go in tomorrow’s final of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup at Whiteinch, Glasgow, but face tough opposition in the shape of Blantyre who represent real danger.

A cracking encounter is in prospect with both teams of Premier League status. It was honours even when they clashed in the A-section with West Lothian winning by 37 shots at home but going down by 35 when they visited Blantyre.

West Lothian did come out top, but only by two points, and the team from Livingston went on to capture the Premier League title. Their fired up ambition is to complete the League and cup double tomorrow.

There is extra incentive for WL. The club have etched their name on the cup a record five times; however, they currently share that distinction with East Lothian, so tomorrow brings them the chance to go clear of the Garden County.

The WL selectors have managed to field a strong team, but Raymond Logan is an enforced absentee. That disappointment is balanced by the return of Stuart Johnston, who has a British Isles Fours title on his CV.

Johnston will line up at third to Mark Allison, which will push Jamie Gracie down to second, but the former Bainfield star will be over the moon if he caps his first season at Livingston with two major honours. Paul Lynas leads the rink.

Neil Speirs skips Bryan Cooper, James Greenock and Des Hagart, while Calum Logan is at the helm for Richard Mark, Blair Mackie and George Sneddon. Thomas Mann captains WL and skips Cameron Greer, Ian Drysdale and James Speirs.

Blantyre lost the 2008 final to Bainfield and have yet to win the cup. However, they are a potent force and are strongly led by four top quality skips in the shape of Iain McLean, Jim McCann, Brian Irvine and Alex Kelly.

The neutral venue adds to the intrigue, as Blantyre are virtually unbeatable at home yet vulnerable on away territory, while West Lothian will also be tested by a carpet that isn’t familiar to them.

The draw for the cup final has been made and it pitches Logan against McCann; Speirs against Irvine; Allison against McLean; and Mann against Kelly. The match starts at 12pm.

Meanwhile, promotion to Premier League status for the ladies of Bathgate-based club Balbardie will see them celebrate their debut season in the company of Auchinleck, Galleon, East Fife, West of Scotland and Arbroath who make up the B-section.

Midlothian will start their defence of the title in the A-section with Turriff, Aberdeen, Paisley, Blantyre and Falkirk as their rivals.