Edinburgh & Leith bowlers crashed 137-105 to East Lothian at Port Seton in the Scottish Cities and Counties Championship and now face a tough challenge to finish in one of the top-two qualifying places from the East section.
Both teams had already suffered one defeat so the stakes were high, but East Lothian looked the stronger of the two on paper and delivered on that promise with winning performances on four of the six rinks.
Wins on the home rinks skipped by Steven Morgan, Billy Mellors, Brian Young and Alister Kennedy made life uncomfortable for all but the two visiting rinks skipped by Paul Veitch and Willie McDonald.
Pre-match drama saw James Hogg become a late call-off due to work commitments and E&L team manager Willie Watson covered the absence of the ace skip by switching and promoting Paul Veitch away from third with Paul O’Donnell, to form a back-end with his Parkside colleague Alex Hurry.
Gordon Bold was introduced at second in the rink skipped by his Craigentinny colleague Willie McDonald, with seasoned campaigner Alan Brown shifted to play third to O’Donnell.
E&L lead 23-16, but were four shots adrift and end 11 was the game changer as East Lothian accelerated into a 69-55 lead with an 11-1 count across the green. The phase analysis shows East Lothian controlling E&L’s good start to edge the first seven ends 40-39, then dictating a stronger pace to dominate the second 46-28, and capturing the third 51-38.
Veitch and his rink of Stephen Pringle, David Fisher and Hurry were in brilliant form to eclipse Grant Thomson, David Skedd, Willie Wood and Alex Marshall, 29-19.
McDonald and his rink of Danie Gormley, Gordon Bold and Jamie Gracie finished 1, 3, 3, (3), 1 to edge a 19-18 win over Stewart Thomson, Jamie Gordon, Colin Glen and Derek Oliver. Morgan led the EL charge having included a run of 1, 1, 3, 6 to lead 24-7 as he skipped Ronald Branley, Dougie Berwick and Craig Valentine to a 29-12 win over Andrew Caldwell, Derek Smith, Darren Hush and Colin Hutchison.
Mellors served up an outstanding display against the team he captained last year to skip Matt Osbourne, C McLeod and John McCrorie, to a 26-13 win over Craig McCall, George Kirk, Robert Donaldson and Mal Higgenbotham.
Young lead 17-9 then the team captain skipped Ken McCrorie, Scott Logan and Jamie Higgins to a 27-19 win over Neil Watson, Craig Paterson, Alan Brown and O’Donnell. Kennedy skipped Calum Johnston, Ross Irvine and brother Scott to an 18-13 win over Alan Trotter, Brian Stoddart and John McDermott.