Carrick KNOWE, last year’s Edinburgh Top Ten bowls runners-up, are back in the frame once more as serious title contenders having proved too strong for a good Parkside team in their semi-final.
Wins in the Singles, Pairs, and Triples at Mayfield tipped the scales 6-2 in their favour against opposition that made their only winning impression in the Fours – but had their moments in the others.
The Carrick Knowe camp is already on a high having captured the Water of Leith 1st Sixteens League title and will come into the Top Ten final against Postal at Maitland on Saturday, August 24 as strong favourites.
Colin Mitchell is leading the line in the Singles but the team has a strong backbone with players of national-title status like Darren Hush, James Hogg, Graham Pringle and Richard Tough plus Paul O’Donnell and Stephen Pringle all involved. Kevin Tennant, Andy Blair and Johnny Priestley are all also capable of good performances.
Mitchell had exploded into a 17-6 lead from 6-6 to have Parkside’s Halley Cockburn at his mercy yet ended being pulled back to 19-16. There was more still to come with Cockburn bang in the picture at 19-20 and holding two shots for the game before 23rd-end drama saw Mitchell conjure up a last-bowl draw to clinch a 21-19 victory.
The value of Mitchell’s win can be measured against the outcome in the Triples where the Parkside rink of Craig Bryce, Willie Watson, Brian Salvona and Derek Smith were intent on inflicting serious damage on their opposition. Smith included a mighty five in a seven-end purple patch run that saw him skip his rink into a 15-3 lead over Stephen Pringle, Andy Blair, Darren Hush and Richard Tough. However, damage limitation from Tough saw Parkside forced to settle for a 21-14 win.
The final outcome in the Pairs was hanging in the balance after 12 ends with Kevin Tennant and Paul O’Donnell edging an 11-10 lead before finishing strongly to beat Gareth Edwards and Neil Watson 19-12.
Parkside also showed great menace in the Triples with Ian Fleming, Danny Jackson and Robert Donaldson holding five shots at 13-8 down but lose a single to a James Hogg conversion.
It was the penultimate end and Hogg went on to card a single at the last to skip Graham Pringle and Johnny Priestley to a 15-11 win.