Kirkliston bring the Inter County Top Five Singles title back home

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Kirkliston signed off the end of their 2016 outdoor season by capturing the Andrew D Mackellar Inter County Top Five Singles Championship played at Sighthill.

The design and birth of The Top Five Singles format originated from within the Kirkliston club in 1977.

The West Lothian champions faced Edinburgh & Leith campaigners Carrick Knowe.

The line-up produced head-to-head confrontations in Raymond Logan v Paul O’Donnell; Steven Forrest v Richard Tough; Mark Allison v James Hogg; Grant Logan v Colin Mitchell, and Neil Speirs v Darren Hush.

Kirkliston emerged the 3-2 winners but it was a nailbiter from start to finish.

Carrick Knowe claimed first blood with O’Donnell winning 21-10, the former Edinburgh Open champion making strong headway to lead the 1998 national champion 18-8, then claiming his scalp in 16 ends.

Kirkliston were brought into the picture by Forrest, with the Scotland cap answering the challenge of a 13-12 deficit with a spectacular run of 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1 to score a vital 21-13 win in 25 ends over recently crowned EBL champion Richard Tough.

Mark Allison moved Kirkliston into a 2-1 lead with the recent WL Master finalist adding 4, 2 to lead Hogg 18-11, then going on to beat the prominent internationalist 21-18 in 21 ends.

Carrick Knowe kept their challenge alive with their icon figure Colin Mitchell edging a 21-20 thriller in 25 ends over fellow cap Logan, the five-times Tait Trophy champion battling back from 18-14 down to nip the four-times WL Master on the line.

The final spotlight focused on multi-successful gold medalist Neil Speirs against the national Pairs title winner Darren Hush and it went right down to the wire.

Speirs looked in trouble at 19-17 down, but treated the entire banking to a grandstand finish of 1, 2, 1 that swept him over the line to clinch game and title with a 21-19 win in 25 ends.