Colin Hairs bids for back-to-back titles

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Parkside hosts the ABT Machine Tools Knockout Championships finals tomorrow as the Edinburgh Bowling League season draws to a climax.

Ten clubs will be involved, with six titles up for grabs.

The singles final will be contested by the reputable duo of Colin Hairs of Hillside and David Poole of Summerside.

Hairs is the defending champion and the 38-year old is bidding to become the first to win the title in back-to-back seasons while 57-year-old Poole is a stalwart figure of the sport and a past captain of Edinburgh & Leith.

In the junior singles, Paul Archibald of Willowbrae faces West End’s Murray Baillie. Archibald is a dark-horse contender on a great run and bidding to prevent another 150th Anniversary celebration in the West End camp.

Baillie was a star figure for E&L in their Scottish Under 25 League Cup triumph and reached this final with the scalp of defending champion Josh Spalding in the semi finals.

Jim Connor of Corstorphine, who won the pairs title last season with Jamie Gunn, will be led by a new skip in the shape of stalwart figure Willie Stoddart in this year’s final. The duo come up against Craigmillar Park pair Les Sinclair and Walter Vassie.

Willowbrae have enjoyed one previous title success in the triples (2010) and fresh opportunity knocks for their trio of Richard Dall, Richard Dimelow and Pat Dall when they face Eric Brown, Brian Combe and Alan Nichol of Wardie, the 2009 champions.

Willowbare will have another shot at glory in the fours, with their rink of Colin Moffatt, James Smith, Stuart Pendrich and Scott Whigham facing the Leith quartet of Mike McBrierty, Graham Ward, Eddie Thompson and Drew Dodds.

Leith were last year’s champions and it is a return visit to the final for McBrierty and Ward.

Tanfield were inaugural champions (1998) in the seniors fours but haven’t visited that winners’ enclosure since. The rink of Raymond Morrell, Tam Strachan, Alex Stevenson and George Ganson have a chance to end the drought when they contest this weekend’s final.

Brunstane provide the opposition and are hoping that the rink of Alec Hunter, Jim Crombie, Allan McKenzie and David Pinkney can etch the club’s name on the silverware for the first time.

There is a big build-up to the Knockout Finals with the Ladies final of the Gifted Shop of Raeburn Place-sponsored Edinburgh Cup getting under way at 10.30am and featuring the host club against London Road Foundry.