Craigentinny find top gear to reach pole in EBL

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Craigentinny hope this week’s 9-0 win over Queensberry is the launchpad that inspires them towards a record-extending eighth title triumph in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League.

It has taken until their sixth fixture for the giants of the EBL to fire on all four cylinders and the victory propelled Craigentinny into pole position from third place helped, it has to be said, by the 6-3 setback suffered by Parkside at Maitland that has left the champions sharing second place with their victors, both just a half point behind Craigentinny.

Queensberry were runners up to Parkside last season so even with home advantage the clean sweep achieved by Craigentinny is a tremendous boost for a club that last reigned supreme in 2014. “This result is just what the doctor ordered to stimulate our recovery from a lean-ish spell. But there are no soft touches in Division 1 and it was dramatic last-end counts that tipped the scales on two of our four winning rinks,” said Stuart Betts.

Andy Jeffrey skipped Craig McCall, Stuart Betts and Gordon Bold to an 11-3 lead over Andy Clyne, Brian Larkin, Jordon Davidson and Frank O’Reilly but the comfort zone was transformed into a danger zone as the visitors fought back to cross 13-12.

The tension-filled climax saw Jeffrey card a double on the last end to snatch a 14-13 victory.

The home rink of Kevin Hunter, Gary Nisbet, Willie McDonald and Daniel Gormley also faced testing pressure at 14-13 ahead entering the last, and also answered the question by finishing on a double to beat Chris Conway, Jim McDougall, Gavin Ramsay and Brian Pollard.

Scott Rogers looked to be in heeps of trouble at 9-2 down to Ryan Lynch, David Wright, Alan Watson and Scott Walker but included two counts of five to skip Darren Smith, Lewis Betts and Kevin McFarlane to an 18-12 win.

Andy Caldwell was the only high flyer, rocketing into a 17-0 lead en route to skipping Josh Spalding, Ian Paterson and David Brown to a 20-13 win over Paul Manson, Paul Dickson, Mick Imrie Jnr and John Kidd.

It seems a case of rough justice that Queensberry tumbled from fourth place to seventh in the table of eight.

The chief highlight of Maitland’s commendable win over Parkside was Brian Higgins’ 3, 1, 1, finish to skip Peter Morris, Steven Ritchie and Alan Sharp to a 21-19 win over Paul Veitch.

The other rink scores were: Graeme McIntosh 18, Robert Donaldson 17; Gordon Clark 14, Kevin Boyd 12; Alan Trotter 15, Neil Watson 21. Other Results: Tanfield 6½, Hillside 2½; Pilrig 4, Northern 5.