Edinburgh & Leith’s Hamilton Trophy campaign begins in the worse possible fashion

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Edinburgh & Leith’s Hamilton Trophy campaign has begun in the worse possible fashion with two defeats.

E&L were defeated at Midlothian and then any hopes if an immediate fight back were dashed by a shock loss at home to Stirling County East, losing 111-107 at Colinton.

There were pre-match concerns voiced by the E&L management that a rain-swept Colinton surface was unplayable however the opposition didn’t agree and the Umpire ruled in favour of playing.

E&L manager Graham Pringle was frustrated as his team were outscored 44-31 in the opening seven-end phase.

It is probably no coincidence that a spell of sunshine perked up the E&L team to such an extent that a strong united effort across the six rinks saw them power to a 48-24 supremacy on the second phase.

They now had momentum and entered the final straight ahead by 79-68, but the heavens opened up once again and the return to heavy conditions caused the home team to falter - in dramatic style.

The visitors picked up the stronger stride and it swept them to a match winning 43-28 capture of the third phase and crossed the winning line with a 9-2 count on the final ends.

E&L’s Paul Veitch dropping a single, Paul O’Donnell a double, Darren Hush a four, and John McDermott a double – all four skips faced with heads that had built up against them.

“The league table after two fixtures doesn’t make good reading for us and there are still big challenges ahead of plus I have availability concerns for our next match but the squad still have ambition and we all want to deliver for E&L,” said Pringle.

E&L lost four of the six rinks but the most worrying blot was the 26-13 punishment suffered by the Four of Graham Eddington, Steven Pilley, Craig Paterson and Paul O’Donnell. They were in touch at 12-11 down after 13 ends but a 14-2 collapse saw them lose to Stuart Williamson.

Richard Tough and his front-three of Daniel Gormley, John Priestley and Jamie Gracie faced a drubbing at 14-3 down after nine ends but recovered well in a 19-15 defeat.

Darren Hush and his rink of Liam McKay, Tam Ebbs and Darren McKenny had their noses in front at 18-17 but lost 21-18 to Stuart Hogg while John Ramsay, Gordon Wilson, Neil Watson and James Hogg were edged out 16-14 by Martin McCauley.

Paul Veitch skipped Stephen Pringle, Gordon Bold and Alan Brown to a 22-12 win over Craig Ross while Kevin Tennant, David Fisher, Robert Donaldson and John McDermott beat Simon Thomson, 25-17.