Bowls: Goldenacre take Leith down with them and save Hillside

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Hillside didn’t cast a bowl in last night’s climax to Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League but the great survivors escaped relegation thanks to Goldenacre holding Leith to a 4½-4½ share of the points.

Leith needed a 6-3 result or better to stay in the top league but the already doomed Goldenacre belied their foot-of-the table position with a strong performance on two rinks to take Leith down with them.

Leith were leading 5-4 when play was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions last week so had every incentive to push on from that position but needed to hit the ground running and didn’t on away territory with only a few ends to complete.

The rinks skipped by Robert Wood and Drew Dodds did pick up from winning positions to bank 4 points for the visitors but Craig Ramsay and Adam Davidson lost more ground to Malky Thomson and Jim Hutchison.

“It could be interpreted that we were batting for Hillside but we just set out to play an honest game of bowls,” said a Goldenacre spokesman.

Leith accepted their demise sportingly but felt too sick to put up a spokesman in contrast to the mood at Hillside where the clubhouse was a cauldron of excitement and elation.

“I was down at Goldenacre watching our fate develop,” said their spokesman John Newall, “and I feel the major moment came when Craig Ramsay held five shots before Malky Thomson killed the lot with a great last-bowl draw.”

It was the first end of resumed play and instead of being crossed 15-13 the single meant Bill Lee, Andrew Mackay, Neil Carr and Thomson went 14-10 up. The home rink rubbed salt in the Ramsay wounds by adding 4 and 1 to 19 before clinching a 19-13 victory.

Hutchison (Jim) resumed at 13-10 up and immediately knocked the optimism out of Leith with hefty counts of 3 and 4 that saw him skip Stewart Brown, Laurence Robertson and Mark Hogg to a 20-11 win over Adam Davidson.

Meanwhile, Robert Wood was producing great stuff for Leith as he kicked on from 13-7 up to skip Duncan Davidson, George Fitzgerald and Archie Davidson to a 19-9 win over Nicky Brown. Drew Dodds was vulnerable at 10-8 up on his resumption but answered the pressure to skip Bob Scott, Jim Sim and Ally Mackay to a 16-11 win over home icon Colin Hutchison.

Meanwhile, the climax to Division 2 saw Mayfield being sentenced to the drop at 9-0 down away to Corstorphine when play resumed but the visitors battled to an eventual 6-3 defeat that saw them stay up and Summerside go down. Dudley also go down while a thrilling promotion battle finished Pilrig 72½, Wardie 72, Willowbrae 71½, Corstorphine 69.