The pairing of defending champions Carrick Knowe and record six times title winners Craigentinny in the first round proper of The Specsavers sponsored Edinburgh Cup sparked a tumultuous response from a passionate audience of bowlers attending the Annual Sportsman’s Dinner of The Edinburgh Bowling League.
The draw for the 20th playing of the EBL’s showcase knockout club event, conducted by president Brian Jempson, saw the temperature of the packed-to-capacity Bainfield venue rise towards boiling point as the first ten clubs out of the hat didn’t include top guns such as Tanfield, Parkside, Slateford, Sighthill, Craigentinny, and Carrick Knowe.
Having all escaped the prelim round the 260 punters knew some first round crackers were in prospect so there was an expectant hush of bated breaths, then an explosion of frenzied noise when Carrick Knowe popped out followed by Craigentinny.
“It would have made for a perfect final but the luck of the draw is just that, and you can tell from the reaction that The Edinburgh Cup is on the lips of the bowlers right from the start of the event,” reflected EBL secretary Robert White.
The top note of the draw had just been preceded by the pairing of former cup winners Queensberry/Leith and Mayfield/Tanfield, also former great Water of Leith rivals Bainfield and Sighthill while the debut season of Water of Leith giants Slateford pitches them against Corstorphine.
In the preliminary round, it’s Willowbrae v Summerside, Hillside v Northern, Dudley v Wardie, Queensberry v Leith, and Maitland v Blackhall.
In the first round, it’s Mayfield v Tanfield, Bainfield v Sighthill. Carrick Knowe v Craigentinny, Parkside v Postal, and Slateford v Corstorphine.
Meanwhile, the dream of West Lothian IBC men of winning the Scottish Cup was dashed by a crushing 8-2 points defeat at the hands of Falkirk in their quarter-final played at East Kilbride.
Calum Logan spared the blushes of a complete whitewash by skipping his rink of Connor McKendrick, Blair Mackie and Des Hagart to a 20-12 win over Gary Flynn.