Carrick Knowe clinch fifth Top Five title success

Carrick Knowe's Top Five 'champions, from left, Paul O'Donnell, James Hogg, 'Darren Hush, Richard Tough and Colin Mitchell

Carrick Knowe's Top Five 'champions, from left, Paul O'Donnell, James Hogg, 'Darren Hush, Richard Tough and Colin Mitchell

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CARRICK KNOWE have captured the Edinburgh & Leith Top Five Singles title for a record-extending fifth time – doing so at the 4-1 expense of three-times champions Craigentinny in the final at Mayfield.

The latest Carrick Knowe triumph was a particularly memorable one for Darren Hush as his name is now etched on the Ian McFarlane Trophy on all five occasions – starting with the inaugural success achieved in 2000.

Colin Mitchell and Richard Tough also played in the first-ever final of the event – at which stage James Hogg and Paul O’Donnell of this year’s line-up were members of other clubs.

Wins for Tough, Hush, Mitchell and Hogg triggered the latest celebrations in a final that saw Gordon Bold register Craigentinny’s sole success at the expense of O’Donnell.

“We felt we had let the club down when making an early exit in the Top Ten but bouncing back to win the Top Five by beating first-class opposition in the shape of Craigentinny is the perfect response,” said Hush.

Hush made his contribution a telling one with the match score standing at 1-1 before he tipped the scales in the direction of Carrick Knowe with a 21-14 win over Andrew Caldwell. Ding-dong exchanges in the first half of the tie saw Hush nosing a 10-9 lead after 11 ends before a spell that yielded counts of 3, 2, 2, 1 accelerated him into the driving seat at 18-9. And, five ends later, it was all over for Caldwell.

First blood in the final had gone to Carrick Knowe through Tough throwing down the challenge in aggressive fashion as he powered to a 21-14 win over Daniel Gormley in 18 ends, having stunned his opponent with a blitz 4, 2 finish.

Bold brought Craigentinny back into the picture with a commanding 21-10 win over O’Donnell in 19 ends, breaking from 6-7 to 19-7 with an explosive run of 4, 2, 2, 1, 4.

Former Scotland captain Colin Mitchell bagged win No.3 at the 21-19 expense of Kevin Hunter in a 20-end thriller.

Mitchell had made a spectacular start to lead 19-5 after 11 ends but came under immense pressure as Hunter peeled at 19 with an amazing 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, 4 fightback. However, after that eight-end nightmare, he ended the menace with a double to 21.

Hogg led Josh Spalding 9-0 and 13-5 and remained in total command to win 21-11 in 20 ends.