West End win Top Ten on their 150th anniversary

West End were outsiders against Queensberry
West End were outsiders against Queensberry
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West End bowling club have iced the cake of their 150th anniversary celebrations by capturing the Edinburgh Top Ten title with a 6-2 points win over Queensberry.

Victories in the Singles, Pairs and Fours in the final played at Mayfield BC triggered a shock success.

“We lost to Bainfield in the final of the 1982 Top Ten but have never been in the hunt for a high-profile title since so to achieve this level of success in such a landmark year for the club is taking us into dreamland,” said spokesman Graham Hockaday.

West End came into the final as a fourth-placed team in Division 2 of the Edinburgh Bowling League, facing the fourth-placed club in Division 1.

Donnie Gilbertson played a hero’s role for West End in the Singles with the spearhead figure exploding from the blocks to race into a 13-2 lead over highly-rated opponent Tam Ebbs.

Ebbs did raise hopes in the Queensberry camp with a fight back to nine and was still in touching distance of Gilbertson at 11-15 but the leader answered the growing menace with a run of 2, 1, 2 to 20 then, on end 21, held the single shot he needed for victory.

But Ebbs raised the match temperature with an excellent take-out that rewarded him with a double to 13 then he added another double then a single to 16 before Gilbertson carded the winning single on end 24.

The picture across the green at that stage wasn’t too bleak for Queensberry as they were going great guns in the Triples with their trio of Alan Watson, Paul Kirkland and John Kidd having Keith Gellaitry, Grant Pagan and Peter Gibb on toast at 19-5 up after 12 ends.

But West End were beginning to get the upper hand in the Fours with their rink of Callum Gilbertson, Hockaday, Murray Baillie and Mark Church benefiting from a spell that stretched them into a 15-8 lead after 13 ends.

That group pushed on to deliver an 18-11 win over Chris Conway, Mike Imrie, Colin Jones and Frank O’Reilly.

Meanwhile, the West End partnership of Ray Dorans and Moray Tait had been tested at 12-9 up from a lead of 10-2 but answered with a 1, 4 that put them in a 17-9 comfort zone over Jordan Davidson and Brian Pollard, and they converted that into a handsome 21-11 victory.

With three wins in the bag for West End the outcome in the Triples was academic but a 19-9 consolation for a Queensberry side that accepted their defeat in good grace.

West End will now proudly carry the Edinburgh banner into the 2015 Scottish Inter County Championship.