Bowls: Big home victory boosts Northern’s survival chances

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Relegation-zoned Northern gave their prospects of survival in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League a massive boost by inflicting a 9-0 victory on bottom club Hillside in last night’s fourth round of fixtures.

Northern need to win their home games and they duly delivered with victories on all four rinks – skipped by Mike Burns, Gordon Wilson Jnr, George Prentice and Jamie Reid.

The result moved Northern up to fourth place, level with Queensberry and Pilrig but 12 points clear of Hillside and six ahead of Wardie.

Reid did live dangerously but the talented 20-year-old showed great resilience with a 4, 2 fight back from 19-14 down to skip Graeme Prentice, Hugh Hilson and Stan Christie to a 20-19 win over John Simpson.

The climax included last-bowl drama with Reid faced with shot against him before he captured the win with a trail on the jack for two shots.

Burns made a scorching start to lead 12-1 after six ends then skipped Stevie Raeburn, Walter Murray and Ian Miller to a 24-8 win over Colin Bell.

Wilson highlighted his performance with a sizzling count of 6 to lead 19-10 then skipped Gary Garrison, Gordon Wilson Snr and David Scott to a 19-13 win over BJ Smith.

Prentice was 15-10 down to Gary Muir but conjured up a run of 2, 4, (1), 1, 2 to skip Gary Largue, Jim Prentice and Andrew Reid to a 19-16 victory.

Pilrig also cashed in on home advantage to help their survival cause, with the newly promoted team winning 7-2 to topple league leaders Parkside.

Darren McKenny zipped from 6-4 to 15-4 then skipped Gavin Rogers, Paul Barclay and Darren McCardle to a 16-8 win over Paul Veitch, while Ryan Gow, Matthew Clark, Gavin Smith and Euan Craig won 18-9 against Robert Donaldson.

Scott Rogers blitzed Alex Hurry 14-0 over the first seven ends then skipped John Craig, Keith Mitchell and John Geddes to a 17-10 win, but John Bell, David Moran, Brian Salvona and Derek Smith salvaged two points for Parkside with a 19-9 win over Chris Steven.

Three-in-a-row defending champions Craigentinny are the new leaders with wins for Willie McDonald (22-10), Andrew Caldwell (21-10) and Kevin McFarlane (20-12), delivering a 7-2 away victory over Queensberry.

Tanfield beat Wardie 7-2 with Graeme McIntosh (20-9), Andrew Sneddon (23-14) and David Snodgrass (22-20) delivering the wins.

A top-of-the-table clash in Division 2 saw Dean beat leaders Goldenacre 5-4 yet drop down from second to third as they were leapfrogged by Maitland, who beat Leith 7-2.

Wins for David Poole (20-12), Keith Taylor (16-11) and Mark Wilson (15-13) saw them deliver a 7-2 home win for Summerside over Dudley In Division 3.

EBL Results:

Div 1: Pilrig 7, Parkside 2; Queensberry 2, Craigentinny 7; Tanfield 7, Wardie 2; Northern 9, Hillside 0.

Div 2: Corstorphine 5, Blackhall 4; Dean 5, Goldenacre 4; Maitland 7, Leith 2; Mayfield 8, Willowbrae 1.

Div 3: Summerside 7, Dudley 2; Postal 2, West End 7; Merchiston 6, Whitehouse & Grange 3; Tramways 2, LRF 7.