Last night’s climax to the race for the Division 1 title of the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League was an absolute thriller that went down to the wire, before Parkside captured the crown at the expense of three-in-a-row defending champions Craigentinny.
Parkside came into the 14th and final round of fixtures holding a one-point advantage that was vulnerable because rock-solid Craigentinny were at home to Hillside, while the leaders were away to Wardie.
Both opponents were relegation zoned and favourites for the drop, and that sad ending came to pass with the big guns each dishing out a 7-2 bashing that sparked the title celebrations in a jubilant Parkside camp.
“We won this title in 2007 so knew we had the mentality to deliver a result under pressure and the players, officials and support are just over the moon that Parkside have ruled the roost in 2012,” said spokesman Robert Donaldson.
“We think it is a well earned accolade as we won 13 of our 14 games and that includes home and away wins over five-time champions Craigentinny and six-time champions Tanfield, who are seen as the two big time clubs in Division 1”.
Craig McCall, the president and team captain of Craigentinny, accepted the club’s failure to make it four titles in a row with good sporting grace.
He said: “At one stage of the campaign this title looked to be in the bag for us but we let it slip from our grasp and full credit to Parkside who were resolute in their pursuit of us and, having beaten us twice, deserve their success.”
Parkside’s team performance at Wardie was immense, with wins for the rinks skipped by Alex Hurry, Derek Smith and Paul Veitch bagging the title-winning points, while the defeat of Donaldson was only by a single shot.
Hurry’s win was vital and a real cracker as the former Edinburgh Open champion was 15-6 adrift before launching a 3, (1), 2, 3, 4 (1) fightback to skip Halley Cockburn, Andy Hargan and Danny Jackson to an 18-17 win over John Duncan.
Smith recovered from 6-0 down to cross 13-6 but was back under pressure at 16-15 before skipping John Bell, David Moran and Brian Salvona to a 20-16 win over Larry Sorrell.
Veitch provided the major inspiration as he skipped Ian Fleming, Ewan Diven and Neil Watson to a 28-10 win over Dave King while Graeme Fraser, Willie Watson, Bob Ramsay and Donaldson lost an 18-17 battle to Ross Wylie.
Craigentinny were hard-pressed in their quest for a 9-0 result against Hillside and were denied by the opposition rink of Jimmy Nisbet, Peter Brown Stevie McManus and BJ Smith, who pushed on from 13-5 to beat Andy Jeffrey 15-11.
Willie McDonald delivered a good 18-11 win over Brian Irving but the other two home wins were skin-of-the-teeth affairs with Kevin McFarlane edging Colin Hairs 19-18 and Andy Caldwell finishing 4, 1 to pip Gary Muir 15-14.
Pilrig beat Tanfield 7-2 away and Northern scored a 7-2 home win over Queensberry.
League table: Parkside 93, Craigentinny 92, Pilrig 62, Northern 60, Tanfield 54, Queensberry 52, Hillside 48, Wardie 43.