Bowls: Beefed-up team for Edinburgh & Leith

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EDINBURGH & LEITH set out to repair the damage of an opening-match defeat and hope to have beefed up the strength of their team with the introduction of Darren Hush (Carrick Knowe) and Derek Smith (Parkside) against Stirling County East in their Scottish Cities & Counties bowls game at Bainfield tomorrow.

Team manager Willie Watson shifts David Brown (Craigentinny) and Gavin Smith (Pilrig) to the bench and reshuffles the pack with the incoming Hush playing third to Colin Hutchison and allowing Andrew Caldwell to return to his international position at lead.

Midlothian can testify to the fighting spirit of Stirling as the visitors looked home and dry, taking a seven-shot lead into the last end at Bonnybridge last weekend but an astonishing 15-1 collapse saw them lose 119-112.

However, team manager Frank Gray sticks with an unchanged team travelling to Markinch to take on Fife County. West Lothian are also unchanged against West Fife in Kirkliston.

East Lothian travel to Hawick to take on a Borders team that came close to giving WL a fright last weekend. Stewart Thomson of ELCO covers the absence of Jamie Blair.

Meanwhile, Port Seton could not repeat their glorious national title success of 2007 in the Scottish Inter County Top Ten Championship when the champions of East Lothian crashed out in the prelim round of The Co-operative Funeralcare-sponsored event. Port Seton were strongly fancied away to Arbroath but made a 6-2 exit.

Brothers David and Derek Oliver carded a double at the last to manage an 18-18 peel in the Pairs, while Steven Morgan also battled his way to a 12-12 peel in the Fours, but Craig Valentine lost the Singles, 21-15, and Ronald Branley suffered a 22-9 setback in the Triples.

Better fortune for Bathgate saw the West Lothian champions step up their bid to succeed Kirkliston to the title with an 8-0 win over Lanarkshire visitors Motherwell.

Diz Drysdale set the scene when picking up from 7-7 to deliver a 21-12 win over Peter Ritchie in the Singles, while Bryan Cooper and Alan McCormick led most of the way to win the Pairs, 17-11.

Billy Arnott won 18-10 in the Triples, while Stuart Johnston skipped the Fours to a 21-7 triumph.