Local bowlers go all out for indoor national title glory
Bainfield triple Josh Spalding, Daniel Gormley and John McDermott go into this weekend's climax to the indoor bowls Scottish National Championships at Falkirk hoping to emulate the club's title triumphs of 2009 and 2010.
The Capital trio’s pathway into the final stands blocked by Auchinleck’s Derek Ferguson, Craig Johnston and Garry Johnstone and, although presently a mid-table Division 1 club, any Ayrshire opposition must be seriously respected.
The other semi-final features Martyn Jenkins, Jim Prunty and Robert Murphy of Coatbridge against Graham Alexander, George Barclay and Connor Milne of Turriff.
East Lothian is strongly represented in the championships with a hat-trick of titles in their sights via Jamie Higgins and Derek Oliver in the 4-bowl Pairs, Dee Hoggan, Mags Thomson, Yvonne Veitch and Janet Fairnie in the Ladies Fours, and Calum Darling in the Under-21 Singles.
The Higgins/Oliver partnership reigned as the 2013 champions and their bid to regain the title steps up with a tough semi-final challenge against Blantyre duo Jim Meikle and Iain McLean.
Paul Foster MBE is the eye-catching figure in the other semi-final, skipping his Prestwick colleague Craig Lindsay against Colin Smith and Andy Furye of Arbroath.
EL are bidding for a first title success in the Ladies Fours and the talented rink skipped by Fairnie will start against Turriff in the semi-finals. Favourites Auchinleck, skipped by Claire Johnston, face East Kilbride in the other semi.
Teenager Darling faces a tough task against 2015 Under-25 Junior Singles champion John Fleming Jnr. Jason Banks of Garioch faces Thomas Strachan of Coatbridge in the other semi-final.
Midlothian’s Gaynor Duncan and Stacey McDougall face Balbardie duo Sharon Leitch and Lorraine Malloy in the Ladies Pairs.
In the Gents Fours, hopes are high for the rink of Ronnie Duncan, Ian Forbes, Billy Peacock and Colin Walker, who open against Aberdeen, skipped by Kevin Pirie. Foster also features as skip for Prestwick against fellow cap Robert Grant of Lanarkshire.