Bowls: City big guns secure slot in singles final

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Two major players on the Edinburgh bowling – Gary Muir of Hillside and Andrew Caldwell of Craigentinny – justified their status as favourites in the District 11 singles with semi-final victories over Kevin McNab of Dean and Malcolm Thom of Portobello.

Muir – runner up in the 2010 national junior singles final – found himself playing second fiddle to McNab in the early stages with the Dean champion calling the tune at 15-8 up.

However a dramatic change of tempo saw Muir scale up his challenge with a virtuoso spell of 2, 2, 3, 3, 1 that put him in charge of events at 19-15 and, three ends later he carded a double to clinch a 21-17 victory in 23 ends.

Caldwell faced an unknown quantity in Thom so, taking no chances, the 2005 national junior singles champion brought his utmost concentration to the challenge at hand resulting in an early 11-3 lead.

Thom strived hard to make an impression but at 18-13 down the dark horse champion of Portobello bowed out to a 2, 1 finish from Caldwell.

Leith challenger Nicky Brown further enhanced his growing reputation with the 21-6 demolition of talented Craigentinny star Daniel Gormley.

A spectacular run of 4, 1, 3, 3, 1 saw him lead 12-2 and he went on to wrap up his commanding victory in 15 ends.

Craigentinny fared better in the other semi-final although Josh Spalding was always hard pressed before clinching a 21-18 win over Euan Craig of Pilrig in 28 ends.

Tanfield’s Alex Thompson, Bill McLachlan, Derek McLean, and Graeme McIntosh made telling space from 6-6 to 17-6 en-route to a 22-10 win over Brunstane in the Fours, while Grant Walker, Jim Melles, George Kirk and Brian Lockhart of Blackhall beat Wardie, 22-13.

A highlight from the District 12 quarter-finals saw 42-year old Halley Cockburn of Parkside come under pressure in the Singles at 20-20 from 19-13 up but conjure up a magic last bowl draw to beat 22-year-old Sean Alexander of Colinton Mains, at Currie.