Bowls: Craigentinny open up an 11-point gap

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CHAMPIONS Craigentinny defeated Parkside 7-2 to open a gap of 11 points at the top of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League Division 1 as the campaign reaches the halfway stage.

Parkside – three times champions – held on to second place in the table of eight but only have two points in hand over Brunstane who continued their resurgence with a shock 7-2 away win over six times champions Tanfield.

Brunstane – who started life of as a Division 5 club and were promoted to this year’s top echelon by virtue of finishing second in their 2016 Division 2 campaign – were expected to be canon fodder for the big guns of Division 1 but have shown no signs yet of being sucked towards the relegation trap door.

In contrast, Postal came up as Division 2 champions but they have found it difficult to cope with their first experience of the giddy heights. However, their hopeless looking position at the foot of the table hasn’t killed their enthusiasm.

This week’s 6-3 win at home to fellow strugglers Hillside was Postal’s first celebration in seven and has probably come much too late to retain their Division 1 status. The result has more significance as a danger signal to the prospects of their visitors also heading for the drop.

Tanfield won’t be at all happy sitting in the bottom three but there will be smiles at Northern as a result of their much-needed 7-2 win at home to a competitive Maitland team.

After seven games played the Division 1 table reads: Craigentinny 50; Parkside 39; Brunstane 37; Northern 33; Maitland 32; Tanfield 27; Hillside 20; Postal 14.

A highlight at Craigentinny saw the holders denied a 9-0 clean-sweep by Bob Ramsay of Parkside producing a 3, 1, 1 finish to snatch a 16-15 win over Craig McCall, Gary Nisbet, Gary Muir and Andy Jeffrey.

The home wins were: Danny Gormley 23, Neil Watson 10; Willie McDonald 22, Robert Donaldson 15; Ian Paterson 16, Paul Veitch 9.

Gordon Wilson fired up the Northern effort as he blazed into leads of 11-0 and 22-4 then skipped Garry Harrison, Grant Young and Gordon Wilson Snr to a 26-5 win over Maitland ace Alan Trotter. The other scores were: Ian Miller 19, Gary Stout 13; Jamie Reid 16, Graeme McIntosh 12; James Barr 11, Brian Higgins 23.

Carrick Knowe tightened their grip on the Division 3 title with a 9-0 win at home to Whitehouse & Grange; Richard Tough finishing 2, 2, 1 to clinch a 20-17 win over Malcolm Weir. Other Scores: Colin Mitchell 28, Callum Weir 10; James Hogg 32, John Holburn 8; Paul O’Donnell 27, Fraser Milligan 10.