Edinburgh & Leith’s bowlers made an encouraging start in the East section of the Cities and Counties Championship with victory over Stirling East at Carrick Knowe.
There were wins on five rinks and a narrow defeat on the sixth and the 49 shots banked from a 140-91 victory will be carried into this weekend’s match against Fife County at Thornton.
Victory at home was expected despite last season’s shock 25-shot away defeat.
James Hogg inspired the E&L charge with support coming from the rinks skipped by Robert Marshall, Paul O’Donnell, Mal Higgenbotham and Willie McDonald. Paul Veitch lost by a few shots.
End six was of early significance in E&L’s battle for supremacy with the home support cheering a 10-1 count across the green that accelerated their lead to 39-21 and, just two ends later, there was more to rouse the banking.
End eight started with E&L dominating proceedings with a lead of 23 but that was transformed into a commanding grip of 33 following a 12-2 return sparked by a 4 form Higgenbotham.
With the fuse now well and truly lit E&L created a further explosion on end nine blasting the opposition with an 11-1 score that meant they had rocketed from 9 up (29-20) to 43 up (73-30) in the space of four ends.
E&L dominated the first phase, 50-27, and the second, 50-32, then stalled a little on the third but still managed to win it 40-32.
Hogg made his impact from end 12 onwards skipping Josh Spalding, Robert Donaldson, and Darren Hush from 15-9 to a spectacular 38-12 victory having carded 4, 2, 5, 4 2, (1), 1, 1, 4, (2) to devastate Gary Crosbie.
Marshall is the perfect figure to enthuse E&L support so his opening blitz of 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1 to lead 15-0 after eight ends was inspiring theatre and the legend went on to skip Euan Craig, Gavin Smith and Jamie Gracie to a 23-12 win over Stuart Williamson.
O’Donnell punished his opposition heavily on ends six to nine with a run of 2, 5, 3, 3, to lead 15-3 then went on to skip Steven Pilley, George Kirk and Neil Watson to a 22-12 win over Stuart Hogg.
Higgenbotham finished 3, 3, (3), 2 from 15-15 to win a 23-18 battle with D Couper while McDonald finished 1, 3, 1 (1), from 11-14 to pip C Ross, 16-15. Veitch slipped from 15-10 up to a 22-18 defeat from the always hard to beat Simon Thomson.