E&L put selection drama to one side with victory

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A pre-match compromise by the under-siege management committee of The Edinburgh & Leith Bowling Association was rewarded with delivering an 120-113 victory over Fife County at Cupar in the third fixture of the Hamilton Trophy.

A serious group tete-a-tete resulted in the players persuading their officials to revert largely to the original shape of the line-up they had rejected when presented to them by then manager Graham Pringle, who resigned as a consequence.

It is then a credit to the mental toughness of the players that they coped with the controversial build-up to take the spoils.

Wins on the rinks skipped by Paul O’Donnell, James Hogg, Paul Veitch and team captain David Fisher propelled E&L to victory.

The opening exchanges were competitive, but in terms of generating self-confidence it was encouraging to E&L that they edged the first seven-end phase 41-37.

The uplift in mood was reflected by a strong middle phase performance that was driven by O’Donnell (10-3), Hogg (12-5), Veitch (9-3) as the main contributors to a 48-33 domination of the home opposition.

Fife did put up a better show in the final phase, but it was mostly down to the 12-2 punishment of John McDermott that they squeezed the margin of the E&L match victory with a 43-31 fightback.

O’Donnell and his rink of Graham Eddington, Tam Ebbs and Craig Paterson broke free with a telling run of 2, 3, 1, 1 to 17 then looked to have chucked it when crossed 18-17 by the loss of 2, 1, 1, 4 to Robert Page. They responded though with O’Donnell and Co storming to a 27-18 win with a whirlwind finish of 4, 1, 4, 1.

Hogg skipped John Ramsay, Gordon Wilson Jnr and Neil Watson to beat Alan Pearson, 24-15. Veitch battled on from 14-10 to beat Raymond White, 19-17, while Fisher finished 1, 1, 1 to pip David Comrie, 23-22.

Darren Hush and his front-three of Liam McKay, Andy McNab and Stephen Pringle were outgunned 23-13 by Bruce Doig, while McDermott lost 18-14 having led Scott Bone 13-6.