Craigentinny strengthen their grip on EBL Division 1 title race

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Craigentinny dropped two points at home to relegation-zoned Hillside but their 7-2 win has strengthened the defending champions’ grip on their Division 1 title in the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League.

On a rain-swept night, no team did better than the eight-times winners, who came off the green to the news that their chief rivals Parkside had crashed to a shock 5-4 defeat at home to bottom outfit Postal.

Craigentinny were hard pushed to get over the line in two of their winning rinks but former Tait Trophy champion Ian Paterson was untroubled as he powered Josh Spalding, Darren Smith and David Brown to a 23-13 win over BJ Smith. Andy Jeffrey was forced to conjure up a magic count of 2 at the last to skip Craig McCall, Gary Nisbet and Gary Muir to a 16-15 win over Brian Irving.

Willie McDonald answered pressure at 12-11 with a 2, 2, 2, (1), finish to skip Kevin Hunter, Stuart Betts, and Gordon Bold to an 18-12 win over Colin Bell but Daniel Gormley found no escape route in a 16-14 defeat by Peter Brown.

Brunstane suffered their first major setback as the top-flight new boys suffered a crushing 8-1 defeat at home to Northern – a result that pushes them down to fourth place. The win saw Northern leapfrog their opponents into third spot. Six-times winners Tanfield are flirting with the relegation zone after sharing the points 4½-4½ at home to Maitland.

After eight games played, the Division 1 table reads: Craigentinny 57; Parkside 43; Northern 41; Brunstane 38; Maitland 36½; Tanfield 31½; Hillside 22; Postal 19.

In Division 4, Bainfield are under new team management in the shape veteran member Willie Dyet.

The former giants of the Water of Leith League are having to fight their way to the top echelon of the EBL and currently hold the driving seat in Division 4 thanks to a resounding 9-0 win at home to Liberton. WOL migrants fill the top three positions with last season’s Division 5 champions Sighthill sitting four points adrift in second place, and one ahead of Gorgie Mills. The two clubs clashed this week with Sightill cashing in on home green advantage to win 7-2. Merchiston lost 6-3 at foot of the table Ardmillan and the early leaders remain in touch but now occupy fourth place.