Gary Cornish, the heavyweight from Inverness, will fight Yavor Marchinchev, an experienced Bulgarian who has won his last three contests, on the Norscot-sponsored Chris Gilmour promotion at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, on Friday December 7, writes Kathy May.
"Marinchev lost a points decision against David Price, the British and Commonwealth champion, so we must not underestimate him," said Cornish's manager Tommy Gilmour. "Gary has made great progress but 2013 can be a big year for him as we try to move closer to the dream of having a first Scottish heavyweight champion."
Also on the bill is the local favourite Alastair Chisholm, aiming to get back on track after his controversial loss to Paisley's Craig Kelly and Glenrothes-based Andrejs Podusovs, who beat Dougie Curran, of Newcastle, to win the British Masters title.
Scotland's emerging national squad face a tough assignment in the second round of the men's World League, having been drawn against the hosts France, Belgium, Canada, Poland and Portugal in St-Germain in May, writes Craig Madden. Belgium are favourites – they are ranked eighth in the world and finished a very creditable fifth in the London Olympics – but all the other nations except outsiders Portugal are ranked higher than the Scots.
Eugene Connolly, the Scotland manager, is far from downcast, though. He said: "Belgium will be the best team, Portugal will struggle at this level and the other four teams are capable of beating each other on the day." He sees a renaissance in the side under new coach Derek Forsyth after several years in the doldrums. "We went as favourites to the first round tournament in Portugal; we won every game, scored lots of goals and didn't let any in. I see that as positive."
The return of key players could be crucial to Scotland's prospects of progress to the next round, especially the Olympian Niall Stott who was a very influential player in the first round. Connolly also hopes that the striker Stephen Dick, the Beijing Olympian took some time out for family and work reasons but is now back playing for English side Cambridge City, will also return, and he hopes to have Inverleith's Derek Salmond back in the international fold
There is, though, a lot of experience in a relatively youthful squad: Chris Nelson and Gareth Hall have more than 100 Scotland caps; Iain Scholefield and Kenny Bain play their club hockey on the continent; while the under-21 striker Alan Forsyth has already earned more than 50 senior caps and is a prolific goalscorer.
n Grange seem to be taking the indoor game more seriously this season, having sent a young development side to the Pragochema Cup in Prague last weekend. Although they won only one of their five games , they were all against experienced indoor sides from Eastern Europe, and was considered to have been "a very worthwhile experience for our young side".
Their opening two matches resulted in losses by 8-1 to the crack Russian side Ekaterinburg (17-year-old Murdo Elwis scored the consolation), and 4-1 to Vinnitsa, from Ukraine, with Duncan Riddell on target. Their only win was a 4-2 defeat of the Slovaks Raka (Stewart Laing scored twice with others from Fraser Sands and Hamish Imrie) before they lost 4-2 to a powerful Sparta Prague side (Laing hit both goals) and 7-3 to Minsk who led 5-0 at the interval before a hat trick of penalty-corner strikes from Fraser Sands.
Jeff Hutchins, Dundee CCS Stars' Canadian coach, last night apologised to supporters for their 9-1 home defeat by Cardiff Devils and he is seeking a positive reaction when they take on Sheffield Steelers away tonight in the Elite League, writes Nigel Duncan.
"We didn't show up to play, simple as that, and we let ourselves down," he said. "We were taught a tough lesson by Devils." The defenceman Doug Krantz misses the game and Hutchins hopes that Billy Bagron, who was ill and did not make the starting line-up on Saturday, is fit for the trip. "I'm not going to use the absence of these guys as an excuse as it is up to the others in the room to pick it up," he added. "The schedule doesn't get any easier in the coming weeks so we need to regroup. I would like to apologise to the fans for the performance. It is not one I could accept on the road never mind at home."
Nick Morris, the 18-year-old former Glasgow Tigers prospect, was linked with a return loan move to the Elite League side Swindon Robins, despite having been a regular guest for Berwick Bandits last season, writes Nigel Duncan. Morris was the only rider from Scunthorpe Scorpions' Premier League title-winning team not to have been retained.
n Berwick Bandits are still seeking an injection of funds to ensure they take part in the Premier League next summer, writes Nigel Duncan. George Hepburn, a director, said: "We have said all along that we need to put in place a new team sponsor for 2013 and other financial measures to ensure we run and we are looking at various avenues just now. We would like to come out here now and say, 'yes we are running in 2013', but we still have a lot of hard work to do."
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