Bowls: Craigentinny set the pace in Alpha Trophies

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Craigentinny’s ambition to capture the Division 1 title of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League for a record extending ninth time is off to an awesome start with their tally of 30 points from a possible 36 belying their reputation as slow starters.

This week’s 7-2 win away to Maitland represents a strong form-line against a team that sits third in the league and are particularly challenging to beat on their local turf.

Maitland did come close to snatching the bonus point for the match aggregate but Craigentinny edged it 59-56 to add to wins for the rinks skipped by Andy Jeffrey, Danny Gormley and Willie McDonald.

Maitland’s sting on their table-topping visitors was inflicted by Gary Stout who pressed on from 11-8 to skip Ryan Taylor, Stuart Clark and Steve Ritchie to an 18-9 win over Josh Spalding, Darren Smith, Kevin McFarlane and Davie Brown.

Parkside are very much in the picture some points adrift of the defending champions having paid the price of dropping four when surprised on their recent visit to newly promoted Brunstane.

Brunstane came up in second place and are doing well to sit in fourth, however, Postal, promoted as Division 2 champions, are struggling to get points on the board and face a tough time in their battle for survival.

Hillside have become a bit of a yo-yo club between the top two divisions and the loss of star figure Gary Muir to Craigentinny could prove costly with the popular team of BJ Smith and Co already six points adrift in second bottom place.

Andy Jeffrey was the key man for Craigentinny skipping his rink into a 17-5 lead then holding on to beat Graeme McIntosh, 17-11 while Gormley battled on from 12-11 to beat Brian Higgins, 20-16; McDonald came from 10-6 down to beat Alan Trotter, 13-11.

Northern managed to bag two points at home to Parkside with John Urquhart converting an 18-12 lead into a 20-18 win over Bob Ramsay, but the visitors came good with Paul Veitch beating Gordon Wilson Jnr, 
24-10, Neil Watson beating Jamie Reid, 12-8, and Robert Donaldson beating Ian Miller, 18-14.

Postal lost 5-4 at home to Tanfield but doubled their points tally to eight while Brunstane didn’t leave Hillside empty handed, losing 7-2.

Queensberry’s 5-4 win away over Willowbrae keeps them top of Division 2 but only by a point from Summerside who beat visitors Wardie, 8-1.

Carrick Knowe look back in business, winning 9-0 at home to Blackhall in Division 3 where they now sit one point adrift of Corstorphine who held on to top spot with a 5-4 win at home to Dudley.