Horse Racing: Champions fall at the first hurdle

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Northern BC created first-round drama in the Edinburgh Cup, sponsored by Specsavers of Chandwick Place, with the 2009 finalists beating defending champions Craigentinny.

Craigentinny, four-time winners of the showcase Edinburgh Bowling League event, would normally have been favourites to beat their fellow Division 1 club but a good number of their team, including Darren Smith, Gary Nisbet and Andrew Caldwell, who were on international duty in Wales, were unavailable.

Northern had former Tait Trophy champion David Scott back at the helm having missed the prelim round win over Leith. The match – played home and away over six rinks – went down to the wire before Northern clinched a 7-5 points win.

Northern enjoyed wins on two of their home rinks, skipped by Jim Bathgate and David Scott and these were supported by an away win for Jamie Reid plus a peel for Roy Campbell.

Craigentinny were kept in the picture by an away win for Kevin McFarlane plus a home win for Jamie Frame and a peel for David Brown.

At the Northern, the home rink of Gary Largue, Grant Young, Darren Prentice and Bathgate entered the final end trailing ace skip Ian Paterson 15-12, and faced with shot against.

The home banking erupted however when Bathgate brilliantly fired the opposition’s shot bowl out of the head to hold four shots then he added a fifth with his second delivery to steal a 17-15 victory.

It was a surprise two-point bonus to add to the 17-13 success of Bob Bain, Jim Prentice George Prentice and Scott who had made good space from 10-8 to 15-8 by carding a 3 then a 2 against Jimmy Marshall.

McFarlane brought some respite to Craigentinny by skipping Josh Spalding, Colin Findlay and Tony McLaren to a 23-12 win over Gordon Wilson Jnr having blazed a 16-2 trail over the first eight ends.

Reid was in sparkling form to skip his father Andy, Hugh Hilson and Stan Christie to a commanding 21-10 win over Andy Jeffrey.

Craigentinny’s rink of Ian Duncan, Liam Gordon, Ronnie Hoskin and Frame stormed to a 22-16 victory over Mike Burns.

The spotlight then swung on to Brown who was poised to leave the match finely balanced on a 6-6 result when skipping Daniel Gormley, Scott Duncan and Stuart Betts into a 20-18 lead entering the final end.

But the need for a shot margin decision was ruled out when Campbell tipped the scales by carding a 2 to skip Jim Martin, MJ Burns and Alan Mitchell to a 20-20 peel.

Other Cup results: Willowbrae beat Brunstane; Goldenacre beat Hillside; Summerside beat Liberton; London Road Foundry beat Portobello; Corstorphine beat Whitehouse & Grange; Pilrig beat Postal; West End beat Maitland.