Carrick Knowe lose out in Inter County Top Five

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CARRICK KNOWE BC fell at the final hurdle in their bid to be crowned Inter County Top Five Singles champions.

The Capital outfit lost out to winners Dumfries at Sighthill after beating Linlithgow in the semi-finals.

The last-four encounter with the West Lothian champions, who were without internationalist Gary Smith and County cap Gary Orr, was secured 3-0, wins delivered by Richard Tough, Graham Pringle and James Hogg while Colin Mitchell and Darren Hush were not required to finish.

Tough was the first to make life difficult for Linlithgow as he exploded into an 8-0 lead with counts of 4, 1, 3 then rocketed to 20-4 before finally taking the 21-11 scalp of Stevie Fleming in 17 ends.

Pringle found his task more challenging, having trailed 7-2 before finding better line and length to cross 12-8. He was back under pressure at 15-12 down but stormed to a 21-16 win with a whirlwind finish of 1, 3, (1), 2, 2 against Scott Murphy.

Hogg found himself under even heavier early pressure in the shape of a 10-1 deficit after seven ends but pulled his socks up to square at 13-13 then pushed on strongly to wrap up a 21-16 win in 23 ends against David Alexander.

At this stage, Mitchell was leading 17-16 and Hush trailing 16-18.

The final started badly for Carrick Knowe and the first to suffer a setback was Scotland cap Hogg, who was very much in touch at 9-9 but but only managed two singles as he collapsed to a 21-11 defeat in 18 ends against fellow cap Martin Rice.

Pringle was next to fall also as the result of weak finish, having collapsed to a 21-12 defeat in 20 ends from 8-9 down to A Jess.

Meanwhile, there was a chance for Hush to arrest the Carrick Knowe slide. He slipped from 9-9 to 9-16 then raised hopes with a sterling figh back to 18-19 but conceded a double on end 23 to suffer a 21-18 defeat by W Rice.

That ended the Carrick Knowe dream at which stage Tough led 17-12 and Mitchell was in close proximity at 16-18.