Local bowlers bidding for National titles in Aberdeen

The National Finals at Aberdeen this weekend bring title-winning opportunituies to Lothian challengers with the combined representation from East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and Bathgate-based Balbardie adding up to a magnificent seven in number.

Saturday, 25th March 2017, 5:30 am
Updated Saturday, 25th March 2017, 10:44 am
Derek Oliver is going for a double this weekend

The East Lothian banner is present in the gents Triples and Fours plus the Under-18 Singles while Balbardie provide the ladies Pairs and the gents Triples. Midlothian line up in the ladies Pairs while West Lothian are in the gents Pairs.

East Lothian star Derek Oliver, 32, the reigning national outdoor singles champion, is bidding for more title glory in the Triples and Fours.

In the semi-finals of the latter, he skips Mark Johnston, Stevie Thomson and Jamie Higgins against Falkirk. The Falkirk opposition is strongly formed in the shape of Martin McCalley, David Taylor, John McHutchison and Gary Hutchison while the other semi-finalists from Blantyre and Garioch are both tough nuts to crack. Craig Irvine, Greg McLaughlin, Iain Mclean and Stewart Anderson form a Blantyre line-up while Alan Rough, Colin Banks, Jason Banks and Lee Collins represent Garioch.

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Oliver and Johnston return to the carpet on the afternoon session and are joined by Willie Wood MBE as the middleman of a Triple that will try and make life uncomfortably hot for Andrew Jenkins, Kenny Martin and Ewan Shearer of Balbardie.

The other semi features Colin Banks, Brian Reid and Jason Banks of Garioch against Mike Stevenson Jnr, Brian McAlees and Sandy Wotherspoon of Inverclyde.

Dean Riva is one of the rising stars at The Alex Marshall Arena and he will attempt to progress into the final of the Mixed Under-18 Singles at the expense of Garioch poster girl Carla Banks. Also in the title frame are Robert Hunter of Alloa and Darren Weir of Prestwick.

The ace partnership of Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Craig of Balbardie captured the ladies Pairs crown in 2006 and 2011 so are on a hat-trick seeking mission when lining up against Michelle Keenan and Emma McIntyre of Dumbarton in their semi-final. Midlothian stars Sandra McLeish and Stacey McDougall face the formidable Leanne Furye and Caroline Ruxton of Arbroath in their semi-final.

The West Lothian challenge in the gents Pairs is in the hands of international stars Thomas Mann and Calum Logan. Mann captured the title with Neil Speirs in 2007 while Logan was Junior Singles champion in 2011. They open against their fellow caps Robert Gordon and Robert Grant of Lanarkshire. Paul Foster MBE of Prestwick skips Craig Lindsay in the other semi-final against Norman Barker and Michael Stepney of Elgin.

All finals are on Sunday.