Craigentinny captured the Specsavers-sponsored Edinburgh Cup for a record-extending seventh time with the much-coveted silverware the prize for defeating Northern in the final.
The six-rink battle for supremacy in one of the ‘majors’ of the Edinburgh Bowling League was played at neutral venue Queensberry and an epic encounter produced a 6-6 share of the points. However, the scales of victory were tipped by a 111-87 shot aggregate in favour of Craigentinny.
Northern wins on the rinks skipped by James Barr, Jamie Reid and Mike Burns threw down the gauntlet to Craigentinny but their combined shot margin failed to cover losses suffered by John Urquhart, Gordon Wilson Jnr and Roy Campbell.
Craigentinny were stunned by the respective defeat of skips Andy Jeffrey, Willie McDonald and Kevin McFarlane but avoided the knockout blow thanks to the heavy counterpunching efforts of Andrew Caldwell, Ian Paterson and Daniel Gormley.
The first real blow of the final was landed by Caldwell as, having skipped Gavin Rogers, Liam Gordo, and Josh Spalding into leads of 8-1 and 24-5, he went on to inflict 31-12 punishment on Alan Ross, Walter Murray, Andy Reid and John Urquhart.
Northern made it 2-2 on points with Barr skipping Craig Snodgrass, James Watson and Jim Bathgate into a 15-3 lead but trimmed back to a much less menacing 18-15 win over Grant McLaren, Ronnie Douglas, Gary Muir and Jeffrey. Jamie Reid edged Northern into a 4-2 points lead having set the final alight by skipping Jim McKenna, Alan Mitchell and Darren Prentice to a finishing run of 2, 1, 1, 1, 2 that transformed 9-15 down into a thrilling 16-15 win over Kevin Hunter, Kenny Watling, Gordon Bold and McDonald. Northern increased their points lead to 6-2 with Mike Burns finishing on a double to skip Jim Martin, Bobby Lee and George Prentice to a dramatic 12-10 win over Graeme Cook, Stuart McFarlane, Craig McCall and McFarlane.
However, despite having lost on three of the first four rinks to finish, the Craigentinny morale remained high as the shot aggregate at that stage was 13 shots in their favour. What they needed, though, was points – all four that were still up for grabs.
Paterson was in the driving seat having skipped Bill Leslie, Malky Milne, and David Brown into leads of 12-2 and 16-8 and the former Tait Trophy champion went on to deliver an 18-13 win over Garry Harrison, Larry Sorrell, Gordon Wilson Snr and Gordon Wilson Jnr.
The pressure was now on Gormely to make it 6-6 on points and, inspired by a sizzling count of six to cross 16-12, he powered on to skip Scott Duncan, Alex Noble and Darren Smith to a 22-16 win over Kenny Lawrence, Dave Smith, Grant Young and Roy Campbell.
It was Northern’s third defeat in the final of the competition while Craigentinny were ppearing in the final for a tenth time.