Bowls: Champions Craigentinny off to a flier

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Craigentinny’s strength in depth told as the holders launched their defence of the Alpha Trophies Division 1 title of the Edinburgh Bowling League with a 7-2 away win over Pilrig last night.

Pilrig, last season’s Division 2 champions, were missing several stalwart figures.

“Facing the three-in-a-row champions was a tough task but there were encouraging signs that when at full strength we will do better,” said a spokesman for Pilrig.

Chris Steven was the Pilrig star who skipped Graeme Gow, Aaron Morrison and Mike Wilson to a 16-9 win over Andrew Caldwell having produced a strong finish from 8-7 down. Ian Paterson was the inspirational figure for the visitors though with the former Tait Trophy champion enjoying a run of 4, 1, 3, 3, 1 and later a 5, to skip Craig McCall, John Shields and David Brown to a 22-12 victory over Darren McKenny.

Craigentinny’s Willie McDonald jetted into a 20-3 lead, skipping Daniel Gormley, Scott Duncan and Andrew Jeffrey on an explosive run of 2, 5, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, against Euan Craig before sealing a 22-13 victory.

Kevin McFarlane contributed win number three for Craigentinny having made the difference with a 4 at end 16 to skip Stuart Betts, Josh Spalding and Gordon Bold to a 19-12 success over Scott Rogers.

“We were keen to send out a strong early signal to the rest of the league and I am sure we have achieved that,” said Craigentinny team captain Craig McCall.

It wasn’t a table-topping result however as last season’s runners up, Tanfield, turned in the best of the night with an 8-1 home win over Hillside.

Andrew Sneddon and Graeme McIntosh beat Gary Muir and Colin Bell, 21-6 and 22-7 respectively while a 5 at the last tipped the scales in the 18-13 favour of David Snodgrass over John Simpson. Stuart Campbell was held to a 14-14 peel by BJ Smith.

Queensberry just did enough to edge newly-promoted Wardie 69-66. Frank O’Reilly skipped Chris Conway Jnr, Derek Jempson and John Kidd to a 19-11 win over Scott Walker. Brian Pollard landed a late 1, 2 to skip Colin McKenzie, Donald Lawson, and Jim McDougall to a 19-15 win over Larry Sorrel.

Alan Watson finished like an express train but his run of 4, 2, 1 failed to prevent a 17-16 defeat from Sam Whitton, Peter McKinlay and Stan McBain while Wardie also enjoyed a 23-15 win for Ross Wylie over Tam Ebbs.

Parkside scored an impressive 7-2 away win over Northern.

EBL, Division 1: Northern 2, Parkside 7; Pilrig 2, Craigentinny 7; Queensberry 5, Wardie 4; Tanfield 8, Hillside 1. Division 2: Corstorphine 4, Willowbrae 5; Dean 4, Leith 5; Maitland 4, Blackhall 5; Mayfield 2, Goldenacre 7.