David Poole’s stunning singles victory for Summerside over Pilrig’s man of the moment, Darren McKenny, in last night’s Edinburgh Top Ten bowls clash wasn’t enough to ensure an upset against the Division 1 club.
Pilrig faced the prospect of crashing out against their Division 3 opponents but escaped to a shot margin victory after a superb last-bowl delivery from Gavin Smith saw him skip the rink to a 15-14 win on the away leg. They are now into the third round.
Smith’s draw for a match-winning second shot was made possible by on-song Pilrig player Chris Steven, who, playing third, crashed the jack into the ditch for a hold of one when 14-13 down playing the last.
The twin Steven/Smith counter-punch was a massive blow to Summerside as a peel would have given them the 5-3 scalp of Pilrig who eventually finished 4-4 on points and clinched the match with a superior aggregate of 75 to 58.
Poole – a former Pilrig icon and three-times club champion in his times there – had failed to beat McKenny in two previous clashes and it didn’t shape up as third-time lucky when trailing his opponent, 15-12.
But the 55-year-old loves to flirt with the headlines and he made his bid for this one with a spectacular 2, 2, 2, 2, 1 finish to triumph 21-15 in 22 ends.
“Darren is on the top of his form having just won the national pairs title so this was a good one for me to win,” said Poole.
And there was some good news for Summerside on the away leg with their triple of Norrie Chalmers Paul Jeromson and Mark Robertson racing into a 13-4 lead then holding on to bank an 18-14 win over District champions Graeme Hislop, Keith Mitchell and Scott Noble. But there was a catastrophic development in the pairs with Pilrig duo Graeme Gow and Euan Craig dishing out a 31-5 thumping to the luckless Mark Wilson and Martin Watt.
Meanwhile, back at Summerside, the home rink of Kerr McKail, Jim Currie, Peter Miller and Keith Taylor were raising the pulse rates with a count of four to go 13-12 up on Gavin Rogers, Darren McCardle, Chris Steven and Gavin Smith with three ends to play.