Craigentinny delivered a 9-0 win at home to bottom outfit Leith in Division 1 of The Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League and the two–in-a-row defending champions are now breathing down the necks of leaders Parkside.
Parkside saw their lead whittled down to three-and-a-half points, having failed to make home advantage count to anywhere near the maximum in a 5-4 win over a stuffy Northern opposition.
With a clash of the top two on the immediate horizon the destination of the title will be further influenced by that outcome and with five games to play third-placed Queensberry could force themselves into the picture. Queensberry continue to impress and their 6½-2½ win at home to Hillside puts them within five points of Craigentinny whom they visit in a tough run-in that finishes at home to Parkside.
Maitland can be pleased with their upward move from Division 2 having been exciting early leaders before dropping back, however, in relegation zone fears they sit comfortably in mid table after beating Summerside 7-2.
Summerside occupy the relegation zone some five points ahead of fellow strugglers Leith but are nine-and-a-half points adrift of sixth-placed Hillside who have eight-and-a-half points to make up on fifth-placed Northern.
Northern did real damage to the Parkside title cause carding four valuable away points with wins on the rinks skipped by Jim Bathgate and Gordon Wilson Jnr inflicting unexpected pain on home stars Robert Donaldson and Paul Veitch.
Bathgate carded a magnificent seven on end six to skip Richard Newall, Alan Mitchell and Larry Sorrell into a 12-3 lead then kept Donaldson in his slipstream to win 20-13.
Wilson Jnr included a blitz run of 1, 1, 4, 2, 5 to skip Garry Harrison, Gordon Wilson Snr and David Scott into a 14-2 lead and traded within that comfort zone to beat Veitch, 19-12.
Neil Watson kept the Parkside heads up by whizzing into an 18-7 lead then skipping Craig Bryce, Davie Moran and Andy Hargan to a bonus point influencing 29-11 win over Jamie Reid. Derek Smith added home win number two by skipping Steven Rennie, Kevin Boyd and Willie Watson into a 9-1 lead then on to a 14-11 success over Ian Miller.
The Craigentinny reputation as being strong finishers in the EBL was enhanced by their skips Andy Caldwell, Kevin McFarlane, Andy Jeffrey and Willie McDonald delivering a clean sweep win over Leith.
Their rink scores were: A Caldwell 23, Craig Ramsay 11; K McFarlane 20, Gavin Ramsay 10; W McDonald 17, Ian Ramsay 11; A Jeffrey 19, Drew Dodds 13.
Queensberry wins on the rinks skipped by Frank O’Reilly, Scott Walker and John Kidd were all low-margin allowing Hillside to grab a share of the bonus point from Colin Bell’s win over Brian Pollard. The rink scores were: F O’Reilly 18, BJ Smith 15; S Walker 15, Colin Hairs 12; J Kidd 12, Gary Muir 12; B Pollard 8, Colin Bell 17.
Maitland kept Summerside trapped in the relegation zone with wins on the rinks skipped by Brian Higgins, Jim Robertson and Alan Trotter but visiting sip Paul Jeromson beat Graeme McIntosh. Rink scores: B Higgins 25, Peter Miller 11; J Robertson 19, Keith Taylor 12; A Trotter 20, David Poole 13; G McIntosh 15, Paul Jeromson 19.