E&L weather the storm to beat Stirling

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Edinburgh & Leith are back in business after battling both the elements and a competitive Stirling County East team to beat the visitors 124-112 in the Scottish Cities & Counties bowls match at Bainfield.

Bad weather delayed the start by 40 minutes and when the 
decision to go ahead was taken it was based on the unique 
situation of the six-rink game being split evenly over the two Bainfield greens.

E&L team manager Willie Watson said: “This was a must-win fixture for us so I asked the team for a big performance.

“The first 12 ends were fought out on a tightrope and it was certainly a tough battle for us to lead by a single shot but by the end of the 16th we had found the accelerator and motored into a comfort zone of 18 up.”

Wins on four rinks, skipped by Paul O’Donnell, Mal Higgenbotham, Robert Marshall and James Hogg were all hard earned and enough to cover the narrow setbacks suffered by Willie McDonald and team 
captain Colin Hutchison.

The phase scoring paints an accurate picture of two teams slugging it out, with E&L doing enough to capture the first end, 39-31, and the second, 42-36, then restricting Stirling East to a 45-43 gain on the third.

O’Donnell served up a treat for the home support as he added 3, 2, 1, 2 from 8-6 to 16-6 then skipped Neil Watson, Craig Paterson and Paul Veitch to a 27-15 win over Craig Ross.

Higgenbotham seized an 18-4 lead after ten ends then, having skipped Craig McCall, George Kirk and Robert Donaldson to 23-7 suffered an alarming 2, 3, (1), 2, 2, 5 collapse to finish only 24-21 up on Stuart Williamson.

Marshall was 16-10 down 
after 14 ends but turned the 
corner with 2, 5, (2), 2, 1, (1), 1 to skip Alan Trotter, Brian Stoddart and John McDermott to a 21-19 win over Gary Hutchison.

Hogg was up against it in a low-scoring scrap at 12-8 down after 17 ends but turned the tide with a surge of 3, 1, 3 to skip Stephen Pringle, David Fisher and Alex Hurry to a 15-13 win over Simon Thomson.

McDonald and his rink of Daniel Gormley, Alan Brown and Jamie Gracie were pipped 23-21 by Stuart Hogg while Andrew Caldwell, Derek Smith Darren Hush and Hutchison lost 21-16 to Derek Logie.