Carrick Knowe star Darren Hush gave the Edinburgh fans something to shout about by skipping his rink to a great win in the first round of the Fours on day three of the Bowls Scotland National Championships at Ayr Northfield.
Hush made a brilliant start as he skipped his front three of Andy Beath, Keith Elder and Kevin Tennant into a 15-1 lead after six ends having hit Barrhead with a blitz run of 3, 1, 3, (1), 6, 2.
“My front-end were both making their debut at this level so it was uplifting that they coped so well with a demanding occasion. When we carded a super six to set up a 12-shot lead the confidence level of the rink went sky high,” reflected Hush.
The rink powered into an even more commanding lead at 21-2 up after 11 ends and went on to clinch an impressive 24-7 victory.
“We have to live the dream while we can,” said Hush. “James Hogg and I did just that in 2008 and we went on to capture the pairs crown.”
The mood in the Carrick Knowe camp, and that of the Edinburgh support, was in direct contrast to that of the earlier unexpected demise of their challenge in the Pairs where Graham Pringle and James Hogg nose dived to an 18-10 defeat.
It was Gerry Gallagher and Tom Wilson of Barr & Stroud (Glasgow) that inflicted the pain of defeat with the game-changing phase coming with the carding of 4 and 2 to bring Carrick Knowe under 8-17 pressure.
“The truth is that we were never at the races having failed to conquer the challenges of a rink that we found on the tricky side,” reflected Pringle.
There was a triumph in the Pairs for the Pilrig partnership of Graeme Gow and Darren McKenny in the shape of a 19-9 win over Motherwell, having accelerated from 11-8 to 19-8 with a run of 5, 2, 1.
McKenny has completed the course and distance in the past having skipped Chris Steven to the title glory in 2012.
East Lothian suffered a major blow with their 2015 title winning hero partnership of Jim Bonner and his son-in-law Brian Young of Tranent looking good at 20-16 up but taken into an extra-end by Eddie Bain and Jim Cameron of Polmuir who edged the 21-20 nailbiter.
And more bad news for the Lothian’s saw ace partnership John Stevenson and Ronnie Duncan of Bonnyrigg left frustrated by an extra-end defeat from Spittalmyre who finished 1, 2, 1 to snatch a 12-11 victory.
The West Lothian son-father partnership of Jack and Alan Murphy were also banished to the sidelines with the Bellsburn duo making a 17-13 exit to Crosshouse.
The first-round play in the ladies’ Fours saw the Jessfield rink of Cathy Drummond, Isabella McDonald, Janice Pelosi and Susan Bauld hold their nerve in a tight finish, carding a single at the last to clinch a 14-12 win over Dunblane.
But the Juniper Green rink crashed out to a 27-5 defeat from Abbeyview.
There was great pain for East Lothian in the ladies’ Pairs with four times national champions Leanne and Lauren Baillie making an early exit, the sisters from Cockenzie & Port Seton losing 19-10 to Hannah Smith and Claire Johnston of Auchinleck.
Edinburgh lost both challengers with Balerno bowing out to three times champions Sandra Steven and Kirsteen McLelland of Uphall Station, and Wardie 16-13 to Kippen; Newbattle beat Greenfaulds, 19-10.
The final day’s play in the Seniors Championships saw Angela Uttley of Glenmavis (Bathgate) exit in the semi-final of the Singles while an interesting champion in the Gents Singles was George Adrian of Dreghorn – who back in 1976 lost to David McGill (Sighthill) in the final of the Singles proper.