The final of the Edinburgh Top Ten bowls championship played in excellent conditions at Willowbrae was the cracking encounter it promised to be, with the battle of the giants won by Craigentinny at the expense of defending champions Carrick Knowe.
Carrick Knowe made their mark with a big win in the Pairs but Craigentinny had their measure in the other disciplines with successes in the Singles, Triples and Fours to triumph 6-2.
“This is a fantastic result for us as it gives us a crack at the national title next season and it also ices our cake having already captured the Edinburgh and Leith Top Five Singles, the Edinburgh Bowls League Edinburgh Cup and the Division 1 of the EBL,” said Craigentinny president Kenny Watling.
The first sign of which way the wind was going to blow would come in the Singles with the battle between the clubs’ leading figures Colin Mitchell, 38, of Carrick Knowe, facing 25-year-old Andrew Caldwell.
Caldwell raced into a 7-1 lead but Mitchell showed his mettle with a fight-back to cross 8-7.
The next end was to prove crucial with Mitchell again holding shot, however, Caldwell produced a brilliant “chap and lie” conversion that yielded him 3 shots to 10 – and also allowed him to revert to a longer jack in contrast to his opponent’s short mat tactic.
Caldwell then turned up the heat with the sizzling addition of 1, 1, 1, 1, 2 to 16 and having gained occupation of the driving seat, he remained in control to triumph 21-12 in 21 ends.
So first blood, importantly, to Craigentinny, however, Carrick Knowe were flying in the Pairs and having opened with a spectacular count of 6, the partnership of Kevin Tennant and Darren Hush went on to crush Daniel Gormley and Willie McDonald 25-10.
Mid-final was a good time for Carrick Knowe as the holders were feeling that their top man, James Hogg, would deliver the points in the Triples having skipped Graham Pringle and Craig Aitken into a healthy 12-4 lead.
But, meanwhile, E&L’s find of the season, Ian Paterson, was flying and in the process of skipping his Craigentinny rink of Craig McCall, John Shields and David Brown to victory – and a commanding one at that as he converted a 12-4 lead into a 25-12 win over Andy Beath, Stephen Pringle, Ian McKenna and Richard Tough.
Then a mighty sting in the tail saw Darren Smith, Gordon Bold and Kevin McFarlane produce a grandstand finish of 1, 1, 4, 2, 1, to pip – and shock – Hogg 13-12 in the Triples.