Bowls: Edinburgh & Leith enjoy an away to day to remember

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Edinburgh & LEITH produced an excellent team bowling performance, on challenging away territory, to beat Stirling County East by 43 shots (134-91) at Stenhousemuir in the East section of the Cities & Counties Championship for the Andrew Hamilton Trophy.

“I am greatly encouraged by the team spirit we show and the most important sign of all is that a sense of self-belief is returning to the E&L camp so that augurs well for the challenges that still lie ahead,” said team manager Willie Watson.

Watson entered this third fixture of the seven-match campaign without the services of team captain Billy Mellors but any concerns about the absence of such a major figure disappeared with E&L making a great 16-1 start on the first end.

Paul O’Donnell was the E&L magician with the 26-year old from Bainfield conjuring up a sensational count of 6 when pulling a spectacular ‘take-out’ strike conversion out of the hat.

E&L celebrated winning performances on the rinks skipped by, O’Donnell, Willie McDonald, Robert Marshall and Mally Higgenbotham while James Hogg and Colin Hutchison suffered single figure defeats.

The phase scoring paints a picture of delight for the E&L team boss with the visitors dominating all three by capturing the first, 48-31, the second 41-28 and the third 54-32. McDonald made a flying start to skip Andrew Caldwell, Alan Brown, and Jamie Gracie into an incredible 21-3 lead after 15-ends then finishing like a train added 3, 1 and 3 to triumph 28-6 over Stuart Williamson.

O’Donnell advanced his early score to 10-0 after four ends then included a purple patch spell off 4, 2, 4, 4 as he skipped Neil Watson, Ian Paterson, and Paul Veitch to a 32-12 win over opposition icon figure Simon Thomson.

Marshall was asked questions at 12-5 down and found the right answers with a battling display that included two late counts of 4 to skip Alan Trotter, Brian Stoddart, and John McDermott to a 23-18 win over Colin Ross.

Higgenbotham made progress from 6-6 to 12-6 then was always doing enough to skip Craig McCall, Gordon Bold, and Robert Donaldson to a 17-13 win over Gary Crosbie.

Hogg and his rink of Scott Noble, Russell Wilson, and Darren Hush were poised to tip the scales with counts of 4, 1 to stand peels at 19-19 playing the last but they were touched off by a great last-bowl draw from opposition skip Stuart Hogg.

Hutchison and his front-three of Stuart Campbell, Gavin Smith, and Andrew Sneddon lost ground from 7-7 to 8-14 and slipped to a 22-15 defeat from Steven Glen.