EBL: Champions Craigentinny stunned by Hillside

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Hillside have put the cat among the pigeons in Division 1 of The Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League with a sensational 7-2 away win at Craigentinny that appears a fatal blow to the prospects of the two-in-row defending champions celebrating a record-extending eighth title success.

Parkside are the major benefactors with the long-time leaders stretching their vulnerable half-point lead over Craigentinny to seven-and-a-half thanks to a 9-0 massacre of relegation-doomed Leith.

But the race for the title remains a three-horse race with Queensberry in the hunt after a sizzling 9-0 hammering of bottom team Summerside that noses them in front of Craigentinny. Queensberry have their fate in their own hands as, with just two games to play, they face the awesome task of beating Craigentinny away then Parkside at home.

Hillside’s shock win at Craigentinny was achieved on the rinks skipped by BJ Smith, Colin Hairs, and Gary Muir.

Smith signalled an upset was developing on his rink with an early run of 1, 2, 1, 3, 5 to lead 13-4 and he traded well on that nine-shot margin to skip Kenny Logan, John Newall and Alan Tough to a 19-11 win over David Torrance, Grant McLaren, Scott Rogers and Daniel Gormley.

Hairs was 13-4 down after six ends but staged a miracle recovery to skip John Simpson, Keith MacPherson and Kevin Moncur to a 19-14 win over Kevin Hunter, Malky Milne, Gary Nisbet and David Brown.

Muir conceded a six to trail 
17-12 but stunned the home camp with a 5, 2, 3 fightback to skip Malky Thom, John Reynolds and Brian Irving to a 22-17 win over Ian Duncan, Stuart Betts, Josh Spalding and Andy Caldwell. Craigentinny did bank two valuable points with Andy Jeffrey skipping Craig McCall, Lewis Betts and Gordon Bold to a 20-8 win over Stevie Laidlaw, Brian Muir, Peter Brown and Colin Bell.

Parkside, meanwhile, blitzed Leith on the rinks skipped by Neil Watson, Paul Veitch, Robert Donaldson and Derek Smith.

Watson included a magnificent count of seven as he skipped Steven Rennie, David Moran and Andy Hargan to 28-6 win over Gavin Ramsay while Graham Fraser, Ewan Diven, Brian Salvona and Veitch kicked on from 11-11 to beat Nicky Brown 24-12.

Other scores: Donaldson 19 Drew Dodds 11; Smith 16 Craig Ramsay 12.

The highlight win at Queensberry was the home rink of Colin McKenzie, Mick Imrie Snr, Alan Watson and Scott Walker coming from 12-0 down to clinch a 22-20 win over Keith Taylor.

Other scores: John kidd 21, Paul Jeromson 9; Brian Pollard 24, Martin Watt 12; Frank O’Reilly 20, Peter Millar 11.

Standings: Parkside 75, Queensberry 68.5, Craigentinny 67.5, Maitland 60.5, Hillside 52.5, Northern 52, Leith 29, Summerside 27.