Bowls: Craigentinny slam Tanfield to go clear at the top of EBL

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Craigentinny powered to a spectacular 9-0 away win over Tanfield in last night’s catch-up fixture in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League and it should prove to be a significant result in their chase to capture the title for a fourth time in a row.

“That’s two 9-0 scores in a row for us. Our efforts are also driven by the ambition to equal Tanfield’s record as six times champions,” said Craigentinny spokesman Craig McCall.

Chief rivals Parkside were also engaged last night and, faced with a tough assignment away to Queensberry, the best the joint leaders could achieve was a 5-4 victory that saw them surrender the lead in the title race to Craigentinny with two fixtures left.

Parkside have the opportunity to haul themselves back into the title race tomorrow night however when they have home advantage over Craigentinny.

“We have slipped four points behind however a home win over Craigentinny isn’t beyond us and we will be trying our utmost to take the title outcome right down to the wire,” said a spokesman for Parkside.

Tanfield are having a horrendous season and the giants of the top division have slipped to third from bottom and dangerously close to the relegation zone presently occupied by Wardie and Hillside.

“We are at a loss to explain our loss of form as we remain an exceptionally strong team on paper however I have to say we do have sweat on our brow going into our two final fixtures,” said Robert White for Tanfield.

The fates do appear to be conspiring against Tanfield as they might well have banked four valuable points from last night’s match but Craigentinny put the rinks skipped by Graeme McIntosh and Robert White to the sword in a thrilling climax.

Craigentinny’s win on all four rinks was delivered by skips Willie McDonald, Kevin 
McFarlane, Andy Jeffrey and Andrew Caldwell.

McDonald still had it all to do at 9-8 up after nine ends but let rip with a searing finishing run of 3, 4, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1 to skip Daniel Gormley, Scott Duncan and Gary Nesbit to a 22-8 win over David Snodgrass.

McFarlane zipped into a 9-1 lead after six ends then stretched to 13-3 before trading on the cushion to skip Stuart Betts, Jamie Frame and Gordon Bold to an 18-10 win over Mal Higgenbotham.

Jeffrey came under immense pressure at 18-17 before 
edging a single at the last to skip Craig McCall, John Shields and 
David Brown to a 19-17 win over McIntosh.

Caldwell looked likely to fall when trailing White 15-11 but conjured up a magic 1, 2, 2 finish to skip Darren Smith, Grant McLaren and Kevin Hunter to a 16-15 victory.

Meanwhile, Queensberry were doing Craigentinny a massive favour by taking four points off a Parkside team that managed to bank the bonus point from the wins contributed by Derek Smith and Alex Hurry.

Smith skipped John Bell, David Moran and Brian Salvona to an 18-9 win over Frank O’Reilly while Hurry skipped Halley Cockburn, Andy Haragan and Danny Jackson to a 24-15 win over Brian Pollard.

Scott Walker included a mighty 5 at the fifth to lead 8-1 then skipped Brian Larkin, John Dickson and Paul Kirkland to a 17-12 win over Robert Donaldson. John Kidd also carded a mighty 5 at the last to skip Michael Imrie, David Kirkland and Alan Watson to an 
18-16 win over Paul Veitch.

Summerside sledge hammered Whitehouse & Grange 9-0 and an incredible 106–57 on shots in Division 3 while the Division results were: Mayfield 6, Blackhall 3; Maitland 6, Goldenacre 3; Dean 2, Willowbrae 7. Corstorphine v Leith was rained off.