Edinburgh champs Carick Knowe into Top Ten semi-final

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Edinburgh champions Carrick Know shrugged off an early setback against Tarves to qualify for the final day’s play of the Inter County Top Ten.

Tarves, of Aberdeen and Kincardine, had shown they were something special with away wins over Buckhaven (Fife) and New Abbey (The Stewartry) so represented a real danger on home soil.

“It was an adventure we all looked forward to,” said Colin Mitchell “and it turned out to be a great experience although their green was heavier than what best suited our type of game.”

First blood went to Tarves and it was a mighty wound they inflicted on their visitors who were put under tremendous pressure when spearhead figure Paul O’Donnell was put to the sword in a 21-6 savaging by Andrew Duncan.

It was an opening outcome that shook Carrick Knowe but a counter charge was led, inspiringly, by Mitchell, a former captain of Scotland.

Mitchell and his lead, Kevin Tennant, were asked questions at 9-8 up in the Pairs; but responded with a swashbuckling run of 3, 1, 2, 1 that spurred them on to a 16-10 win.

The trio of Craig Aitken, Graham Pringle and James Hogg were also being tested at 8-7 up in the Triples but thrilled their travelling support with a count of 6 and, two ends later, added a mighty 5 to set up a 19-10 victory.

Carrick Knowe still needed a third win to clinch a place in the semi-finals and it was duly delivered by Alan Poole, Tom Matheson, John Ramsay and Darren Hush in the Fours.

Hush and his rink were reduced to silence at 12-10 down after 12 ends but a mighty roar on end 13 hailed the fantastic count of a full house 8 then, a follow on carding of 4, accelerated them into a 22-12 lead, and on their way to a 23-18 win.

Elsewhere, there was a disappointing outcome at East Linton where the champions of East Lothian suffered a 6-2 defeat from far travelled Campbeltown of Argyll & Bute.

Spearhead figure Graham Bell made an encouraging start in the Singles to lead 9-4 but came under testing pressure at 9-9 then, in a ding-dong battle, tied at 15-15, and 17-17 before slipping to a 21-17 defeat from A Johnston.

A catastrophic start in the Pairs saw Colin Murdoch and George D Cowan put through the mangle to be crushed 17-3 after 12 ends and they found no way back in an 18-10 defeat while a similar fate for the Triple of Derek McCue, Keith Fender and Grant Fender saw them trail 12-0 and lose 25-13.

The only consolation for the home team was Steven Kerr skipping George Cowan Jnr, Terry Sawangsuk and Mike Newlands to a 13-11 win in the Fours.

The results elsewhere were@ Lesmahagow (Lanarkshire ) 2, Wellington Park (Renfrewshire) 6; Northern (Bon Accord) 6, Stranraer (Wigtownshire) 2.