Bowls: Craigentinny gear up for title crack

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The Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League launches its 17th season of competition tomorrow night, with more than 1000 enthusiasts set to parade their skills across 37 venues in the capital.

The major interest of the opening night’s play in the league system is focused on EBL giants Craigentinny, who are eyeing the crown for a record-breaking seventh time.

“It will be easier said than done as Division 1 is a cut-throat battlefield to compete in,” said spokesman Grant McLaren

“We face a tough test in our opening match as we are away to Queensberry and we crashed to an early 7-2 defeat in last seasons equivalent fixture.”

Craigentinny travel with the confidence of a near full-strength team. Craig McCall – who leads for Edinburgh & Leith in The Hamilton Trophy – is an enforced absentee and his place is covered by Bill Leslie, who steps up from the 2nd Sixteens to play second, with Scott Rogers moved to lead.

One upside for the title holders is the return of Ian Paterson from his foreign travels of last season and the past Tait Trophy champion plays third to Kevin McFarlane with Josh Spalding and Stuart Betts forming the front end.

Willie McDonald skips Kevin Hunter, Scott Duncan and Davy Brown, while Darren Smith, Grant McLaren and Daniel Gormley Jnr are the front three for Andrew Caldwell. Andy Jeffrey skips Rogers, Leslie and Gordon Bold.