Craigentinny have two cracks in the EBL Knockout Championships

Willie Wood has won his 26th club championship at Gifford
Willie Wood has won his 26th club championship at Gifford
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Craigentinny host today’s climax of the Victor Paris Knockout Championships of the Edinburgh Bowling League with 11 clubs chasing six titles.

The host club is the only one with two bites of the cherry with Euan Gray carrying in the Junior Singles and the high profile partnership of Gordon Bold and Willie McDonald entertaining high hopes in the Pairs.

Gray is bidding to follow on from the two wins of his clubmate Danny Gormley but the hat-trick challenge is rivalled by Andrew Tregoning of Tanfield who is aiming to emulate the inaugural triumph of David Snodgrass in 1998.

Craigentinny are yet to win the Pairs and that provides strong incentive for Bold and McDonald against Graeme McAdam and Jamie Gracie of Slateford.

The clash in the Men’s Singles proper sees Colin Hutchison of Goldenacre against Hillside stalwart Colin Bell. Hutchison captured this crown in 2004.

Juniper Green bid for a first knockout title with Bob Lawson, Jimmy Keegan, and Danny Conway contesting the Triples but it will be no easy task against Fraser Milligan, Ross MacGuire, and Malcolm Weir of Whitehouse & Grange.

Sighthill are also on a first-time mission and their chance of making a winning impression comes in the Fours where the rink of Scott Moodie, Luke Corbett, Ross Noble, and Scott Lyle play Mick Murray, Derek Jempson, Steven Kirkland, and Gavin Ramsay of Queensberry.

Carrick Knowe have done immensely well since joining the EBL from The Water of Leith League with wins in the Singles, Junior Singles, Pairs, and Fours and now they attempt to add the Seniors Fours. However, their rink of Rab Hush, Dennis Rose, Ian Combe, and Alan MacIntyre face champions Leith, represented by Kenny Ettinger, Willie Gilbertson, Peter Rodger, and George Wood.

n Currie defeated Brunstane in the final of the Penplaid Ltd Edinburgh Plate winning 6-0 across three rinks to complete an impressive defence of the EBL silverware.

The rinks were skipped by Neil Fisher, Ian Braid, and Dean Fleming at neutral venue Craigentinny.

Braid laid the foundation for victory with a solid start of 5, 1, 4 (10-0) then a later run of 1, 6, 3 fired him into a 23-5 lead after 11 ends and he skipped Paul Fleming, Bill Beatson and Andy McCormick to a 27-15 win over Martin Lewis, Eddie Manson, Keith Young, and Jamie Gunn.

Fisher raised the stakes with a 6 to skip Alex Neill, Derek Docherty, and John Anderson into a 15-6 lead after eight ends then went on to clinch a 27-11 win over Adam Lawrence, Brian Gosman, Davy Pinkney, and John Marshall.

Fleming was much harder pressed in his match but rose to the challenge at 8-8 after 10 ends to skip Allan Buchan, Andy Melville, and Stewart Inglis to a 19-10 win over Dennis Ward, Alex Hay, Alan McKenzie, and Bobby Clark.

n Mike Forde of Kinneil BC in Bo’ness is the 2018 champion of the coveted Weslo Seniors Open having captured the Over 60s crown in West Lothian with two commanding victories in the final day at Glenmavis BC in Bathgate.

Wins over Alister Wilson of Linlithgow and 2015 champion Stuart Smith of Ratho were both achieved by the score of 21-11.

Wilson bounced back as he progressed through a field of 25 champions to capture the West Lothian Seniors Champion of Champions title at Winchburgh, defeating Josie Johnston of Bridgeness 21-11.

n Deans BC is the centre of attraction this weekend with the Livingston club hosting and sponsoring the Champion of Champions, the final event of the 2018 WLBA Majors.

The field is 29 current champions strong and includes world stage figures Neil Speirs of Kirkliston and George Sneddon of Broxburn and also the youngest ever Scottish and British Isles champion in Frazer Muirhead of Uphall Station (1981) plus record five-times C of C Ewan Shearer of Linlithgow.

The session times today are 10am, noon, 2pm, and 4pm while the play tomorrow features the quarter-finals at 11am, the semi-finals at 1.30pm and the final at 4pm.

n The climax to the Andrew McKellar Inter County Top Five Singles at Sighthill tomorrow features champions Tranent of East Lothian against Broad Street of West Fife; and Newbridge of West Lothian against Chirnside of Borders.

n David McGill can still turn on the style having skipped fellow veterans JP Hamilton, and George Gray to title triumph in the Stenton Seniors Open Triples.

n Willie Wood has won his 26th club championship at Gifford, defeating Ronnie Skea 21-13.