Maitland beat Blackhall in the prelim round of The Specsavers Opticians-sponsored Edinburgh Cup as the tie went right down to the wire before the 6-6 points deadlock was broken by a 98-89 shot margin in favour of the Division One outfit.
Brian Higgins was instrumental in sparing the blushes of Maitland as he skipped Ross Parker-Knowles, Andi Kellacher and James McFarlane to a 27-11 away win, having made a storming start to lead Bill Batten and Co, 16-1.
The shot margin banked was sizeable and the only success Maitland enjoyed at division three Blackhall where the home side celebrated a 21-8 win for Graeme Walker over Gary Stout and an 18-13 success for Dick Hirst against Jim Robertson.
Blackhall threatened to put the cat among the pigeons when they added an away success at Maitland with their rink of Stewart Brotchie, Peter Brodie, Jim Mellis and Brian Lockhart dishing out a 19-9 defeat to Tam Welsh. Maitland were in a spot of trouble but their E&L star Alan Trotter came to the rescue by skipping Colin Fraser, Ross Barclay and George Trotter (Brother) to a face-saving 25-7 win over Andy Lomax. Maitland needed to win on the remaining rink to stay in the picture and that was in doubt at 10-10 but Ernie Bain picked up with a run of 1, 2, 3, 1 and went on to skip David Armstrong, Craig Angus, and Harry McLaughlin to a 17-13 win over Keith Mellis.
Meanwhile, Division 1 side Northern marched into the first-round proper with a 10-2 win on points over Division 3 leaders Willowbrae who made their only mark with a home win posted by veteran Ian Paterson against Roy Campbell. Derek Lavin was pipped 16-15 by Gary Largue, Darren Prentice, Hugh Hilson and Jamie Reid, while Craig Duffus suffered a 15-10 defeat against Bob Bain, Tam Whitecross, Andy Reid and Gordon Wilson Snr.
Northern held the upper hand on their home rinks with Mike Burns lashing Colin Moffat 23-9, George Prentice beating Donnie Fraser, 22-9, and Gordon Wilson Jnr inflicting 15-11 damage on Ian Pryde. Parkside also represented the Division 1 banner against Division 3 and made their class tell with a 10-2 win over London Road Foundry.