Craigentinny take the lead in EBL title race

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Craigentinny’s lead in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League is just half a point but the pendulum has swung towards them capturing the title for a record-extending eighth time.

Surprise package Maitland remain in the title race with two matches left.

The game-changing result for Craigentinny was this week’s 9-0 home thumping of bottom team Pilrig as it measured up well against the 6-3 win Maitland managed at home to Tanfield.

However, a visit to Queensberry and a home match against defending champions Parkside represents a tough run-in for Craigentinny.

It wasn’t all straightforward for Craigentinny against Pilrig as Andy Caldwell was on the ropes at 11-5 down before bouncing back to skip Josh Spalding, Lewis Betts and Scott Rogers to a 22-12 win over Alan Tregonning.

And it was tough battle to the line from 6-7 down for Andrew Jeffrey, who pulled out all the stops to skip Craig McCall, Brian Leslie and Gordon Bold to a 13-10 win over Euan Craig.

No such pressures on David Brown, however, who having whizzed into a 20-4 lead, skipped David Torrance, Malky Milne and Gary Nisbet to a 22-9 win over Brian Inglis.

Daniel Gormley carded a mighty 5 on the first end and went on to skip Kevin Hunter, Ian Duncan and Willie McDonald into a 23-8 lead then a 24-15 win over Darren McCardle.

Maitland were damaged by the 20-14 defeat of Gary Stout at the hands of Tanfield’s Graham Mitchell, Graeme Swan, Derek McLean and David Snodgrass while Graeme McIntosh was held to a 12-12 peel by Robert White.

Brian Higgins did deliver for the title challengers, skipping Billy Clark, Falconer Mitchell and Alan Sharp from 10-2 to a 26-12 win over Liam McKay while George Trotter, Ross Barclay, Jim Robertson, and Alan Trotter added a 19-8 win over Stuart Campbell.

Parkside were good value for a 7-2 home win over Hillside while top-flight safety didn’t materialise for Queensberry although a 5-4 win at home to Northern keeps their hopes alive.

The Division table with two games to play reads: Craigentinny 73, Maitland 72½, Parkside 62½, Tanfield 57, Hillside 53, Northern 46½, Queensberry 46½, Pilrig 21.