Bowls: Rampant Craigentinny crush nearest challengers

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Craigentinny chalked up their fifth win in a row when the defending champions thrashed arch rivals Tanfield 9-0 in last night’s top-of-the-bill clash in Division 1 of the Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League.

Wins on all four home rinks – skipped by Willie McDonald, Ian Paterson, Kevin McFarlane and Andrew Caldwell – made it an awesome result for the three-in-a-row champions, who need one more title to equal the record six held by Tanfield. “We are thrilled to bits by the margin of the win but a bit surprised as Tanfield represent stiff opposition and seldom come out of a game with no points to show,” said Craigentinny’s chief selector Willie McDonald.

McDonald was the chief executioner as he skipped Daniel Gormley, Scott Duncan and Andrew Jeffrey to a 25-9 win over Graeme McIntosh that included three counts of five to lead 20-6 after 11 ends.

Paterson clashed with a fellow Tait Trophy champion in the shape of Mal Higgenbotham, and he came out well on top to skip Craig McCall, John Shields and David Brown to a 25-11 win that was highlighted by a thundering start which saw him lead 13-0. McFarlane also made an early impression to lead 10-2 after eight ends and he went on to skip Josh Spalding, Gary Nisbet and Gordon Bold to a 20-11 win over Andy Sneddon. Caldwell picked up from 6-7 with a run of 1, 2, 2, 1 to cross 12-7 and remained on top to skip Stuart Betts, Grant McLaren, and Kevin Hunter to a 20-12 win over David Snodgrass.

Tanfield now trail Craigentinny by 13 points after five matches played, but Parkside stayed close enough to keep pressure on the leaders with a 9-0 demolition of mid-table Queensberry. Wins for home skips Paul Veitch, Alex Hurry, Robert Donaldson and Derek Smith kept Parkside within three points of Craigentinny.

Veitch blazed an 11-1 trail over the opening eight ends and then skipped Ian Fleming, Euan Diven and Neil Watson to a 19-6 win over Alan Watson, while Halley Cockburn, Ian Kay, Danny Jackson and Hurry beat Scott Walker, 20-12. Donaldson cashed in on a 10-1 lead to skip Graeme Fraser, Steven Rennie and Willie Watson to a 17-11 win over Brian Pollard, while John Bell, David Moran, Brian Salvona and Smith led 15-2 before edging a 15-14 win over Frank O’Reilly.

Northern scored a 7-2 away win over Wardie with wins for Jamie Reid (21-6), Mike Burns (23-14) and Gordon Wilson Jnr (18-12), while a double at the last saw Ross Wylie triumph 17-15 for Wardie.

Hillside won 5-4 at home to Pilrig by edging the bonus point with a 64-63 aggregate.

EBL Results

Division 1: Craigentinny 9 Tanfield 0; Hillside 5 Pilrig 4; Parkside 9 Queensberry 0; Wardie 2 Northern 7.

Division 2: Blackhall 7 Mayfield 2; Goldenacre 5 Maitland 4; Leith 5 Corstorphine 4; Willowbrae 6 Dean 3.

Division 3: Whitehouse & Grange 3 Summerside 6; Dudley 5 Tramways 4; West End 9 Merchiston 0; LRF 6 Postal 3.