Bowls: Lothian players in hunt for Championship glory

EAST, West, and Midlothian indoor bowls clubs have a strong interest in the final stages of the joint Scottish Championships at Falkirk this weekend with title hopes high in the gents disciplines of the Singles, Junior Singles, and 2 Bowl Pairs.

West Lothian champion Thomas Mann continues his bid for the Singles title with a semi-final against Darren Gualtieri of Glasgow club Whiteinch.

The 31-year-old Mann has 15 caps on the indoor scene and has also enjoyed national title success in the 4 Bowl Pairs – with Neil Speirs in 2007 – and the Fours – with Bryan Cooper, James Speirs and Neil Speirs in 2011.

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The other two challengers are Jonathan Ross of Paisley and Alloa’s Steven Allan.

West Lothian also carry the local banner in the Junior Singles with 23-year-old Calum Logan bidding to repeat his title win of 2011 starting with his semi-final against the talented Kevin Wallace of Alloa.

Logan won the Scottish Champion of Champions title in front of the TV cameras at Perth this season.

The other contenders are Martin Williamson of Ardrossan and Mark O’Hagan of Blantyre. Mann plays in the 12.30pm session tomorrow while Logan takes to the carpet at 3pm. East Lothian have yet to enjoy title celebrations in the 2 Bowl Pairs so it would be an emotional moment if the man to rectify that was 74-year-old bowls legend Willie Wood.

Wood will parade his skills as skip to 2002 national singles champion Mark Johnston but they face a corker of a semi-final challenge against title-favourites Alex Kelly and Iain McLean of Blantyre. The session time is 12.30pm.

Midlothian have enjoyed a previous title success in the event through the McFarlane twins Craig and Colin in 2001 and the club is back in the frame with Scott Matthews and Ian Brown.

The Midlothian champions are in the 10am session with Daniel Colvin and Paul Hay of Stonehaven providing their semi-final opposition.

The finals take place on Sunday with the 10am session embracing the Ladies and Gents 2 Bowl Pairs finals and the Ladies and Gents Junior Singles finals, while the finals of the Ladies and Gents Singles are at 1pm.

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Meanwhile, the results in this week’s penultimate fixtures of the East B section of the Seniors League Cup were: Teviotdale 44, West Lothian 75; Tweedbank 51, Bainfield 77; Midlothian 77, Balbardie 40; East Lothian 70, Portobello 47.