Colin Hairs makes history with first EBL back-to-back singles win

Colin Hairs, second left, with David Poole, second right, EBL president Robert Donaldson, far right, and a representative from sponsors ABT Machine Tools. Below, Brunstane Senoir Fours.
Colin Hairs, second left, with David Poole, second right, EBL president Robert Donaldson, far right, and a representative from sponsors ABT Machine Tools. Below, Brunstane Senoir Fours.
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Colin Hairs has written himself into the record books of the Edinburgh Bowling League as the first back-to-back winner of the Singles after beating Summerside challenger David Poole.

The finals of the ABT Machine Tools Knockout Championships were hosted by Parkside.

“I was conscious of the chance I had to create a special bit of EBL history, but my main focus had to be concentrating on coping with the challenge of an experienced campaigner whose fighting spirit and will to win is legend,” explained Hairs, who is 39.

Poole, 57, and formerly of Pilrig, and St Andrews Steel Works, carded a single at the opening end and added two more plus a count of three at end six to set up a 6-3 lead over the defending champion.

End seven was significant with Hairs punishing a wayward build up from Poole with a fairly easy count of three that kept him in touch, then singles were exchanged to leave the score at 7-7 after nine ends.

Poole lost a single that he answered with a double to get his nose back in front at 9-8, at which stage the contest looked as if it would go right down to the wire.

So it just seemed to be part of the ding-dong exchanges that had been a feature up to that point when on end 12 Hairs carded a three that crossed him into an 11-9 lead.

It what proved to be a significant move, Hairs decided to introduce a short length jack on end 13 and justified that change of tactic by delivering a noser with his opening bowl and built on that to force Poole into attempting an aggressive drive that missed its target resulting in four going onto the card for Hairs.

The dramatic change of complexion inspired Hairs to dominate the next head and the reward of another full-house count of four stretched him into a commanding 19-9 lead.

Hairs now had Poole at his mercy and he went on to deliver the killer punch with a double to 21 – winning 15 ends.

“I am over the moon with this title triumph for Hillside and myself and my grandstand finish of 3, 4, 4, 2 is dreamland stuff,” he said.

“Davy’s form didn’t do him justice and he probably paid the price for sticking to a straight hand that hung out whilst I opted to play the swinging hand in both directions,” reflected Hairs.

The finals produced another first in the shape of Craigmillar Park breaking their duck in the knockouts by capturing the Pairs title with Les Sinclair and Walter Vassie carding a single at the last to edge a 12-11 thriller over Jim Connor and Willie Stoddart of Corstorphine.

And in terms of historical status Brunstane upset the odds in the Seniors Fours with the rink of Alex Hunter, Jim Crombie, Allan McKenzie and David Pinkney leading all the way to score a 17-8 victory over Ray Morrell, Tam Strachan, Alec Stevenson and George Ganson of Tanfield.