The presence of bowls legend David McGill of Braid in last night’s first-round action of the E&L Tait Trophy brings an extra dimension of nostalgia and glamour to the event but also drama with the 1976 national singles champion surviving a 21-20 thriller.
McGill – champion 11 times at Braid and five times at Sighthill – clashed with John Rafferty of Merchiston at Gorgie Mills and trailed most of the way until adding three singles to cross 19-18.
Rafferty hit back with a 2 to 20 and was poised to capture the scalp of the five times Tait champion but McGill showed he still has a sting in his tail with two superb draws to reach Monday night’s second round.
McGill is joined in the next round by a fellow legend of the Tait in the shape of Carrick Knowe champion Colin Mitchell who was in rampant form to beat Russell Gray of Dudley 21-6 in 14 ends at Parkside.
Portobello witnessed a cracking encounter with David Fisher of Colinton dashing into a 13-5 lead but then coming under intense pressure at 17-16 before finishing 1, 2, (3), 1 to beat Gavin Smith of Pilrig, 21-20.
Selected other results: Tam Ebbs (Queensberry) 21 George Wallace (Coltbridge) 11; Ian Sommerville (Tipperlinn) 21 Neal Rooney (Postal) 18; John Carlin (Lutton Place) 21 Jamie Gunn (Corstorphine) 13; Kevin Jamieson (Gorgie Mills) 21 Davy Scott (Niddrie) 15; Grant McAdam (Juniper Green) 21 Neil Carr (Goldenacre|) 12.