Bowls: Caldwell into District 11 semi-finals

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Andrew Caldwell of Craigentinny reached the semi- finals of the Edinburgh District 11 national bowls championships with a 21-15 win over Stan Christie of Northern.

Both players found the rink at host club Goldenacre difficult to conquer but they still managed to produce a thrilling encounter.

Christie made an encouraging start to lead 5-0 but Caldwell was soon in contention at 7-7 and, seven ends later, the two were still deadlocked at 11-11.

The three ends that followed tipped the scales heavily in favour of Caldwell with the 26-year-old carding 1, 3, 4 to accelerate to 19 and the 2005 national junior singles champion then answered the loss of a 3 and a 1 with a double to hit 21 on the 21st end.

Caldwell will face Portobello dark horse Malcolm Thom who was in scintillating form at Queensberry to crush Ian Kent of Dudley 21-6 in 13 ends having blazed a 17-0 trail.

Gary Muir of Hillside – who reached the national junior singles final in 2010 – signalled the strength of his challenge with a 21-8 win over Tam Ebbs of Queensberry at Pilrig Muir’s opposition in the semi-finals will come from Dean champion Kevin McNab who served up a strong performance to beat Craig Duffus of Willowbrae 21-19 after a battling 26 ends at Wardie.

McNab looked in command with leads of 10-5, 15-8, and 16-10 but Duffus put the outcome into the melting pot with a sizzling fight back to cross 19-18. However, the Dean challenger answered with a brilliant count of 3 to 21.

Tanfield played host to a 21-20 thriller in the Junior Singles with Nicky Brown of Leith slipping from 15-8 up to 20-18 down before getting out of jail with a magic count of 3 to win in 23 ends against Dean Mackintosh of London Road Foundry.

Daniel Gormley expected to have his hands full against Jamie Reid of Northern at Summerside and so it was proving at 11-10 up, however, switching to a longer length of jack triggered a formidable run of 2, (1), 1, 2, 2, 3 to triumph 21-11 in 23 ends.

Josh Spalding – also of Craigentinny and last year’s national finalist – was hard pushed to edge a 21-19 thriller over Ross Nisbet of Summerside at Wardie while it was an easy night for Euan Craig who had a walkover against his Pilrig clubmate Ryan Gow.