Bowls: Craig Duffus secures spot it final

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Willowbrae’s Craig Duffus came through an epic semi-final Singles battle to clinch his place in finals day of the Buyrite Bathrooms-sponsored Knockout Championships of The Edinburgh Bowling League to be played at Summerside on Saturday, September 5.

Duffus went head-to-head as the marginal underdog against Maitland star Alan Trotter at Queensberry, but immediately rewrote the script by exploding into an 11-1 lead before standing in sight of the winning line at 17-7.

Trotter brought himself some light relief with a three to 10, then answered the menacing loss of a double with a strong 2, 3, 1, 1, 1, 2 fightback that powered him into a 20-19 lead; but a thrilling climax on end 22 saw Duffus escape his nightmare scenario with a winning double to 21.

The other semi-final – being staged at Tanfield – also produced drama, with Hamilton Trophy team captain David Fisher of Colinton pulling out all the stops the beat Mark Hewitt of Whitehouse & Grange 21-15.

Fisher was reminded that he had a fight on his hands with the score deadlocked at 10-10 after 13 ends, but enjoyed a 3, (1), 2, 1 spell to hold the aces at 16-11, then produced a resolute finish to win in 20-ends.

Stephen Pringle of Carrick Knowe was the senior figure in the last four of the Under-25 Singles and the junior cap is still in with a shout for the title, but he only just avoided defeat to Andrew Tregoning of Pilrig.

Pringle was down 18-8, but counted at four of the next five ends, yet still looked destined for the sidelines at 20-13 down. However, he stormed to 21 with a whirlwind run of 4, 3, 1.

The other semi-final featured two of the Capital’s emerging teenage stars in Mark McIntosh of Maitland and Craig Mackintosh of London Road Foundry and they served up a cracking 24-end encounter.

Macintosh led 9-5 after nine ends, but then the pendulum swung to McIntosh, who accelerated to 17-9 with a run of 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, and that proved to be the game-changer, albeit McIntosh had to conjure up a 2, 1 finish to clinch a 21-16 victory.

Other results: Pairs; Carrick Knowe 16. Craigentinny 8; Bainfield 15. Hillside 14. Triples; Whitehouse & Grange 17. Merchiston 9; Hillside 23. Coltbridge 3. Fours: Corstorphine 21, Bainfield 6; Northern 18, Tanfield 9.