Parkside ace Robert Donaldson eyes ABT trophy

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Robert Donaldson, the president of the Edinburgh Bowling League, may have his hands full come the presentation ceremony of the Knockout Championships sponsored by ABT Machine Tools Ltd.

Donaldson, who will be presenting the singles trophy, moved closer to his goal of winning it last night.

The 39-year-old Parkside ace reached the last eight after producing yet another grandstand finish – his third in a row – to edge a 21-20 thriller against prolific Seafield champion Ally McKenna at Northern.

It was an enthralling 24-end battle that saw McKenna wipe out a 7-0 deficit to lead 12-10 then emerge from a ding-dong set of exchanges to have Donaldson at his mercy, 20-18 up.

But Donaldson – who had bounced back from 10-18 to win his prelim round 21-19 then edge a 21-20 nail-biter in the first round – performed another escape to victory in hitting 21 with a thrilling 1, 2 finish.

More drama saw Joe Blair carry the Corstorphine banner forward despite facing an exit at 17-7 down to Alan Mitchell of Northern at Pilrig.

At 18-15 Mitchell held three shots for the game only to be denied by a raking drive from Blair that blitzed the head and earned him a single shot reward to 16.

Blair took great heart from that game-saver and added a double to peel at 18-18; but Mitchell again looked the real deal with a 2 to 20. However there was a sting in Blair’s tail, and he delivered in the shape of a match-winning 3 to 21.

Gavin Ramsay of Leith faced a stiff challenge at 8-2 down to Craigentinny talent Daniel Gormley at Lutton Place but levelled at 9-9 then battled on to lead 15-10 and completed the transformation with a run of 3, 2, 1 to 21.

Colin Hairs of Hillside – a finalist in the 2000 Edinburgh Open at Balgreen – led all the way up to 17-15 against George McNab of Dean at Seafield then was peeled at 17 and answered the menace with a full house count of 4 to 21.

David Poole of Summerside is still good value for money and turned up trumps with a run of 3, 2, 1 to beat Calum Love of Craigmillar Park 21-7 in 17-ends.

Jim Robertson of Maitland bounced off the canvas at 14-4 down to cross Max Scott of Ferranti 16-15 then added 1, 1, 2 to 20 before clinching a 21-16 victory in 24 ends at Tramways, while Jim Melles of Blackhall beat David Wright of Wardie 21-12 at Trinity.