Bowls: Pilrig ease drop jitters with victory

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Pilrig played third-top side Queensberry last night in a catch-up fixture in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League and they moved away from the immediate relegation zone with a 7-2 home win.

“We have moved up from sixth position to fifth by leapfrogging Tanfield who were also in action and we hear they have suffered a surprise 5-4 defeat at home to Northern,” said Pilrig spokesman Euan Craig.

The catch-up fixtures are now complete and Monday night’s results saw defending champions Craigentinny only manage a 5-4 home win over second from bottom Wardie while 
current title rivals Parkside 
inflicted 7-2 pain on Hillside.

With ten of the 14 matches in the campaign completed Parkside, with 67 points, have moved two points clear of Craigentinny (65) with Queensberry (46) showing up well in third place but only one point ahead of Northern (46).

Pilrig – Division 1 champions in 1998 and 2008 – had Gavin Smith, Scott Noble and Euan Craig to thank for the victory as they skipped their respective rinks to wins plus a bonus point for the home side.

Smith didn’t shape up as hero material at 9-1 down after six ends to Alan Watson but a 
single at the next allowed him to introduce a short mat and that sparked a spectacular fightback that saw him skip Ryan Gow, Arran Morrison and Chris Steven to a 25-10 victory.

Noble suffered the dramatic 
loss of a 7 on his final end but having skipped John Craig, Paul Barclay and Gavin 
Rogers into a handsome 20-11 lead his rink survived that late rally from Brian Pollard.

Craig looked bound to come a cropper at 13-6 down after 13 ends against Frank O’Reilly’s rink but revived his fortunes with a mighty count of 5 then added three singles to skip 
Andrew Tregoning, Jim McKenny and Darren McArdle to a dramatic 14-13 win.

Darren McKenny was poised to make it a clean sweep for Pilrig when leading 14-13 playing the last but was denied by Scott Walker who carded a double to skip Brian Larkin, John Dickson and Tam Ebbs to a 15-14 win.

Meanwhile, Monday’s play in the Matt Purdie Trophy for Seniors saw West Lothian score an impressive 60-47 away win over Midlothian at Gilmerton Private.

George Sneddon made the major contribution in the 24-8 win over Walter Gilroy’s side.

Tommy Turnbull added a second success for WL with a 13-11 win over Alan Craig.

Gordon Logan – who has succeeded Sneddon as the Team manager of Scotland – was pipped 15-14 by Frank Gray while the rink skipped by 
Kenny Ferguson lost 13-9 to David McLeod.