Craigentinny cut gap at top as EBL race hots up

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Parkside continue to lead Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League but the gap between them and two-in-a-row defending champions Craigentinny is fast diminishing.

Despite Parkside once holding a six-and-a-half points lead, this week’s 5-4 win at Hillside allowed Craigentinny to move to within half a point.

Craigentinny ramped up the pressure with a thumping 9-0 victory at relegation-zoned Summerside. Now, with three fixtures to go, the destination of the title is in the melting pot.

Parkside dropped points to the Hillside rinks skipped by Colin Hairs and Gary Muir but wins for Neil Watson and Paul Veitch earned the bonus point.

Watson and his front three of Steven Rennie, Davie Moran and Andy Hargan raced into a 12-0 lead and blitzed Colin Bell 23-8.

Veitch came under pressure at 15-13 up playing the last but carded a 4 to skip Graham Fraser, Ewan Diven, and Brian Salvona to a 19-13 win over Hillside’s BJ Smith. Hairs dealt a 25-15 blow to Parkside’s Robert Donaldson while Muir damaged the title cause of the visitors with a 16-15 win over Derek Smith.

Craigentinny’s clean-sweep over Summerside was delivered by skips Andrew Caldwell, Daniel Gormley, Andy Jeffrey and Kevin McFarlane.

Caldwell won 11 of the 17 ends and picked up from 5-3 down to skip Ian Duncan, Stuart Betts and Davie Brown to a 19-8 win over Davie Poole. Gormley was tested at 8-3 down after six ends but only dropped two more shots as he skipped David Torrance, Scott Duncan and Scott Rogers to a 19-10 win over Norrie Chalmers.

Jeffrey rattled on from 7-8 to skip Craig McCall, Josh Spalding and Gordon Bold to a 19-11 win over Keith Taylor while McFarlane and his rink of Kevin Hunter, Malky Milne and Gary Nisbet led 16-9 and beat Peter Miller 17-12.

Queensberry were impressive 7-2 away winners over Northern.

Scores (Northern first): G Wilson Jnr 12, F O’Reilly 13; J Reid 4, J Kidd 24; J Bathgate 14, S Walker 24; A Reid 18, B Pollard 10.

Maitland have done enough to secure their top-flight status but the early leaders lost their latest match 7-2 away to Leith.

Scores (Leith first): N Brown 22, G McIntosh 17; G Ramsay 22, J Robertson 10; D Dodds 16, A Trotter 13; C Ramsay 17, B Higgins 19.

EBL Standings:

Parkside 66; Craigentinny 65.5; Queensberry 59.5; Northern 52; Maitland 51.5; Hillside 45.5; Leith 29, Summerside 27.