EBL: Craigentinny back on top after Maitland slip

Andy Caldwell performed well for Craigentinny

Andy Caldwell performed well for Craigentinny

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Craigentinny have regained the leadership of Division 1 of The Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League with their latest 7-2 victory at home to Tanfield good enough to punish the shock 5-4 defeat suffered by Maitland at home to Hillside.

Hillside tend to be stronger at home than away but they produced the goods on this occasion with winning performances served up on the rinks skipped by Colin Bell and Alan Trotter while BJ Smith looked a winner until ending up with a peel.

Gary Stout was the skip who managed to steal that valuable peel point for Maitland while the other three were a result of Graeme McIntosh powering to a 15-shot win over Colin Hairs that also secured the bonus point with its influence on the 73-64 match aggregate.

Craigentinny are still struggling to find the consistency of firing on all four cylinders and a less-than-convincing performance against mid-table Tanfield suggests the record seven-times champions are living dangerously.

Andy Caldwell put in a strong performance to beat Liam McKay while Andrew Jeffrey answered questions at 11-10 to hold off Stuart Campbell. Scott Rogers faced immense last-end pressure before seeing off Mal Higgenbotham.

There was no escape route, though, for Daniel Gormley, who lost out to Robert White.

Parkside saw their defence of the title suffer an unexpected blow in a 5-4 defeat at home by a Northern team fighting to stay clear of the scrap developing in the relegation zone.

Gordon Wilson Jnr emerged the hero figure for the visitors as his ten-shot win over Paul Veitch saw Northern also capture the bonus point while Jamie Reid held off a late challenge to edge a single-shot win over Robert Donaldson.

Parksides’s bid to retain the title was kept alive by a last-end double that saw Neil Watson snatch a single-shot win over James Barr as it added to the four-shot victory contributed by Andy Hargan at the expense of Ian Millar.

Last season’s runners-up Queensberry are in troubled waters this campaign but a 6-3 win at home to bottom team Pilrig keeps them in touch with basement rivals Northern. Wins delivered by skips John Kidd, Brian Pollard and Jordan Davidson boosted Queensberry morale.

Pilrig’s survival prospects look doomed. However, they did wound Queensberry with Darren McKenny’s 15-shot win over Frank O’Reilly robbing the home team of the bonus point.

League standings after nine of 14 games: Craigentinny 54; Maitland 53½; Parkside 48½; Hillside 41; Tanfield 40; Northern 35½; Queensberry 34½; Pilrig 17.