History had to made on Monday night as the race to be crowned the inaugural champions of the Edinburgh Bowling Leagues groundbreaking Ladies Evening League reached an exciting climax – and the great honour fell to Hillside BC.
The Hillside club has a long and distinguished history going back to 1870 but the unfolding drama and nervous tension leading up to being confirmed as the first Champions of the LEL probably matched anything from the past.
The ninth and final round of fixtures of the 10-member league produced a three-horse race between Hillside, Brunstane and Willowbrae.
And as the results came buzzing down the mobile line of EBL secretary Robert White, he quickly adjusted the final league table then flashed out the message by multi text that the top three positions were: Hillside 30½, Brunstane 30 and Willowbrae 28.
“When the news broke there were squeals of delight from our busy clubhouse at Hillside and it is a really fantastic feeling to have captured the title by the tightest of margins,” said spokeswoman Violet Winton.
Hillside thought they had blown their chance of title glory when the home rink of Janis Aitchison, Evelyn Lockwood, Cathy Ward and skip June Woodall suffered a 14-8 defeat to Carol Munro, Anne Kennedy, Eileen Davis and Fiona Birrell of Tanfield. “We were quite happy with ourselves at 8-8 however our roof caved in with the loss of 2, 1, 1, 2 without reply,” said Woodall.
But heroes were emerging on the Hillside away rink at Tanfield with Jean Lavin inspiring Violet Winton, Betty Chisholm and Jean Clements to a 21-12 win over Chloe Thomson, Jackie Brydon, Diane Lothian and Margo Wood.
Lavin and Co carded what proved to a title-clinching double on the last end as it secured the bonus point for a 29-26 aggregate without which the title would have gone to Brunstane.
Brunstane also slipped up at home with the rink of Barbara Murray, Jeanette Scott, May Pinkney and Irene Bannon losing 19-11 to Sylvia Napier (skip) of Willowbrae.
But they were kept in the picture by the superb 22-9 away win of Jessie Ramage, Helen Spence, Sandra Gibson and Barbara Young over Harriet Munro.