Last season’s title success was Craigentinny’s third in a row and fifth overall, while Pilrig were the inaugural champions in 1998 and again in 2008.
Another tasty clash sees Queensberry host newly promoted Wardie and, given that they are neighbour clubs, the match is keenly anticipated. “Our rivalry is intense so we look forward to giving them a warm welcome to the top flight,” said a spokesman from the Queensberry camp.
Tanfield are record six times champions of League 1 but their last celebration was back in 2006 so they will hope to fire up their 2012 challenge with a home win over poor travellers, Hillside, while Northern open at home to Parkside.
The opening-night is on Wednesday, May 2.
The competition has been a great success since its inception in 1996. It has a structure of 13 leagues with more than 1000 players taking part.
EBL President Brian Higgins said: “The clash of last season’s Division 1 and Division 2 champions on the first night of the league season will generate an immediate interest throughout the membership but there are other fixtures of great interest and intrigue.”
• West Lothian IBC stepped up their bid to win the Scottish Cup for a sixth time with a comfortable 96-60 victory over Cumbernauld in the second round action at East Kilbride.
Wins for the rinks skipped by Neil Speirs and Thomas Mann were by double-figure margins so put WL on easy street, however, Cumbernauld did make an impression by inflicting defeat on Mark Allison and Calum Logan.
WL came into the match as firm favourites and the recently crowned Champions of The Premier League showed they meant business by dominating the first five ends, 26-10 and, although the pace slowed, they did build gradually on their lead.
They added a further nine shots over the second five-end spell to lead 51-26 then edged the third five-end phase by two shots to have Cumbernauld in their 70-43 grip before going on to widen that gap by a further nine shots to win by 36 in all.