Colin Hutchison wins Victor Paris Knockout Singles Championships

Glenn King
Glenn King
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Colin Hutchison reigns as Singles kingpin of the Victor Paris Knockout Championships of the Edinburgh Bowling League for a second time with the Goldenacre ace turning up trumps at the expense of Hillside stalwart Colin Bell.

The finals, played in front of a large enthusiastic crowd at Craigentinny, saw Hutchison emulate his capture of the 2004 crown having sparked his 2018 coronation ceremony with a magic count of 3 on end 21 to clinch a 21-17 victory.

Billy Mellors

Billy Mellors

Bell had made the early running to lead 8-4 and was still holding supremacy at 14-10 after 14 ends, however, Hutchison has the classier pedigree and paraded his tried and tested skills in admirable fashion over the next four ends.

Hutchison, who is head of development at Scottish Athletics, zipped to 18 with a powerful acceleration of 1, 3, 2, 2 then came under intense pressure as Bell closed to 17 but answered the menace with his grandstand finish of that 3.

The honours in the Junior Singles were claimed by Andrew Tregoning of Tanfield who produced a tremendous effort to capture the title with a 21-16 win over host-club challenger Euan Gray,

It was still all to play for after 11 ends with the score standing 10-10 but incisive counts of 3 and 4 saw Tregoning break that deadlock to 17 then stay strongly focused to clinch victory after a hard fought 21 ends.

Criaigentinny did have two bites at the title cherry, however, and the local supporters raised a winning cheer in the Pairs with ace duo Gordon Bold and Willie McDonald hitting some high spots in their 19-16 triumph over Graeme McAdam and Jamie Gracie of Slateford.

Slateford looked good at 11-3 up but were jolted by the abrupt loss of 4, 4 to become menaced at 11-11 but they answered that pressure with counts of 3, 2 to once again look good at 16-11 up with three ends to play. End 15 produced the big game-changing moment in the shape of super count of 6 that received wild acclaim from the Craigentinny support as it crossed into a 17-16 lead. Then they edged singles on the next two ends to clinch a dramatic victory.

Whitehouse & Grange dominated the Triples with the trio of Fraser Milligan, Steve Kirk and Malcolm Weir including the magnificent count of a 7 as they stormed to a 20-6 win over Bob Lawson, Jimmy Coates and Danny Conway of Juniper Green.

Sighthill built up a 10-3 lead in the Fours their rink of Scott Moodie, Luke Corbett, Ross Noble, and Scott Lyell continued to dictate the pace in their delivery of a 19-10 win over Mick Murray, Derek Jempson, Steven Kirkland and Gavin Ramsay of Queensberry.

Leith did come close to a successful defence of the Seniors Fours title, however, the battle honours went to Carrick Knowe by the narrowest of margins with Alan McIntyre skipping Rab Hush, Dennis Rose and Ian Comble to a 13-12 win over Kenny Ettinger, Willie Gilbertson, Peter Rodger and George Wood.

Tranent’s capture of the Andrew D Mackellar Inter County Top Five Singles Crown is a successful defence of the title by the East Lothian champions who followed up a 3-2 semi-final win over Broad Street of West Fife with a similar narrow-margin victory over Border champs Chirnside in the final day’s play at Sighthill.

John McCrorie gave Tranent an inspiring start to the final with a 21-16 win then the 21-12 defeat of Matt Osborne was answered by a 21-15 win for Dave Whitson. The 21-19 defeat of Adam Martin set up a knife-edged 2-2 climax enabling Kevin Jones to become the hero figure with his 21-18 win over Graeme Forsyth.

Billy Mellors of Haddington is basking in the limelight of being hailed the East Lothian Champion of Champions with the high profile national figure defeating Liam Gallagher of Dunbar, 21-13, in the final to etch his name on the coveted silverware for the first time.

George Cowan Snr captured the club championship crown at East Linton came at the expense of holder Grant Thomson in the final and his victory represents a record-breaking tenth title triumph.

West Calder star Glenn King climaxed his outdoor season on a glorious high having been in sparkling form to capture the coveted, host-club-sponsored, WLBA Champion of Champions crown played over five rounds at Deans BC in Livingston.

King, aged 35, the No. 13 seed in the recent West Lothian Masters, and enjoying the impressive profile of County Singles Champion in 2017 and finalist in the 2012 WLM, signposted the richness of his talents by producing five top-quality performances.

Wins over fellow club champions Steven Jenkins (Bankton Mains), Norrie McGilivray (Oakbank), Brian Saunders (Bathgate), Greg Baldry (East Calder), and George Sneddon (Broxburn) were acclaimed by a hugely appreciative banking with King’s name and that of West Calder being etched on the coveted Burnside Trophy (1977) for the first time.

The final pitched King against world stage legend and 1991 national champion Sneddon, aged 68, and the outcome of a 26-end masterclass from both players resulted in King clinching a thrilling 21-17 victory.