Tanfield tan Pilrig in EBL Alpha Trophies

Mal Higgenbotham was a big winner for Tanfield

Mal Higgenbotham was a big winner for Tanfield

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There is a stark contrast to the early campaign fortunes of Tanfield and Pilrig in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League with the two promoted clubs at opposite ends of the table.

This week’s third round of matches pitched the two clubs against each other at Pilrig, and the outcome was a 9-0 triumph for Tanfield.

The result kept Pilrig anchored on the bottom rung with a miserable tally of two points that puts them 16½ points adrift of a Tanfield team that occupy second position.

Parkside are the early pacesetters with the defending champions turning in a strong home performance that resulted in a 7-2 defeat of last season’s runners-up Queensberry.

The champions of 2007, 2012, and 2015 sit four points clear of Tanfield and have opened up a gap of 6½ points between them and record seven times champions Craigentinny.

Craigentinny will be less than pleased by a 5-4 win at home to Maitland and the sleeping giants of the EBL seem to have lost the killer instinct and replaced it with a self handicapping policy.

Maitland showed themselves to be tough nuts to crack last season and although presently sitting third from bottom they have collected 13½ points with Queensberry, and Hillside.

Hillside normally rely on strong home form to stave off the threat of relegation and the yo-yo club of Division 1 did themselves a favour with a 7-2 win over Northern that gives them a five-point advantage over the clubs which sit second from bottom.

Andy McNab was the high-flyer in Tanfield’s clean sweep over Pilrig and soared from 2-2 to 24-2 as he skipped Graham Mitchell, Alex Thompson and Derek McLean to a 26-6 defeat of Mark Wilson.

Mal Higgenbotham crushed Darren McKenny 28-10 and Robert White beat Graeme Gow, 16-11. But it took a 2, 1, 1 finish for Stuart Campbell to escape to a 16-14 win over Euan Craig.

Wins for Andrew Jeffrey, 33-7 over Brian Higgins, and Daniel Gormley, 25-8 over Graeme McIntosh, earned Craigentinny the bonus point over Maitland (84-51).

But Maitland eclipsed two of the home team stars with Alan Trotter skipping Allan Small, Ross Barclay and Jim Robertson to a 20-13 win over Willie McDonald, and Gary Stout kicking on from 10-11 to inflict a 16-13 wound on Andy 
Caldwell.

It is difficult to come to terms with one of Edinburgh’s top clubs parading their skills in Division 4 of the EBL but Carrick Knowe were punished for not joining up for several years, as were other former Water of Leith loyalists Bainfield, Colinton, Sighthill, and Gorgie Mills.

Carrick Knowe were at home to Bainfield and won 6-3; Colinton edged a 5-4 away win over Dean while, in Division 5, Sighthill derailed Tramways 9-0 and Gorgie Mills beat Trinity 6-3.