Danny McKENDRICK of Bainfield stole the show in last night’s last-16 play in the E&L Junior Singles for the James Fleming Trophy with a thrilling 21-19 victory over title favourite Josh Spalding of Craigentinny.
The clash at Merchiston turned into a hard-fought battle that raged for 25 ends. The score was deadlocked at 10-10 after 14 ends but 20-year old McKendrick then stole a march to 17 with a run of 1, 3, 3.
Seventeen-year-old Spalding, who was last year’s national runner up, answered with a 1, 1, 2, 3 reply to get back on level terms, but McKendrick moved to 20 with a decent count of 3 then survived a burnt-end destroyer and the loss of two singles to clinch the winning shot.
“It was only when I got back to Bainfield that Paul O’Donnell explained the significance and reputation of the guy I had just beat so it made me feel 10 foot tall,” said McKendrick.
O’Donnell said: “Dean’s win was unexpected and it gives Bainfield a sort of lift as the club is reeling at the shock passing of Ian Brown (aged 54) on Wednesday and just recently Paul Rintoul died at the age of 38”
“Ian was a Top Ten player for us and Paul an ex-club champion and both players were playing a part in Dean’s development as a bowler”.
McKendrick will next play Dean McNeil of Balerno, who produced a 2, 1 finish to clinch a 21-12 win over Dean Thomson of Gorgie Mills at Pilrig.
Neil Watson carried the Parkside banner to the title in 2010 and this most polished of performers continues to shine, having picked up from 5-5 to score a commanding 21-9 win over Mike Imrie of Queensberry at Maitland.
Ross Neil was another Bainfield hope, having earlier eliminated defending champion Euan Craig of Pilrig. However, it wasn’t to be his night and he made a 21-9 exit to Sean Alexander of Colinton Mains at Niddrie.
Scott Noble, runner-up in the 2010 final, carried the Pilrig banner forward with a 21-12 win over Euan Martin of Gorgie Mills at Northern, having cashed in on a 7-0 lead.
Stuart Hogarth of Sighthill came under growing pressure from 19-10 to 19-16 but answered that challenge with two singles to beat Andrew Tregoning of Pilrig 21-16 at Parkside.
Kerr McKail is a strong player in the Summerside camp and he advanced his title claims with a 21-12 win over Steven Rennie of Parkside at Portobello.
Daniel Gormley is seen along with Watson and Noble as a frontline challenger for the title and the young Craigentinny star thrilled the banking at Postal with a brilliant trail for 3 to clinch a 21-15 win over Ross Noble of Sighthill.
1st 16s: Beechwood 3, Balerno 1; Carrick Knowe 5, Currie 0; Colinton 0, Sighthill 5; Juniper Green 4, Slateford 1; Bainfield v Gorgie Mills (not played)
2nd 16s: Balerno 3, Beechwood 2; Currie 3, Carrick Knowe 2; Sighthill 5, Colinton 0; Slateford 4, Juniper Green 1; Gorgie Mills v Bainfield (not played).