Tanfield draw on return to EBL top flight

Tanfield made an encouraging return to the top flight of the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League with the six times champions battling to a 4½-4½ share of the points in a tough opening encounter away to Queensberry.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 5:30 am

Queensberry were last season’s Division 1 shock troops pushing eventual champions Parkside all the way to finish in a best ever second place so, with home advantage, they would have hoped to achieve a winning start against an opposition promoted from Division 2.

But Tanfield had gained promotion as clear cut champions of the lower division and, backed up by a proud history, the one time five-in-a row giants of Division 1 are itching to signal that their injured pride was only temporary.

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer and our next test is against record holding seven times champions Craigentinny so the fixture list is giving us a hot welcome back to Division 1 but the Tanfield camp is encouraged by a strong show at Queensberry,” reflected spokesman Robert White.

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‘Wee Bob’ himself made a major contribution not least in the shape of producing a spectacular 3, 5 finish to steal a half share of the bonus point as the outcome of a match aggregate score of 67-67.

White was also instrumental in bagging two win points, and in inspirational fashion, as he skipped Stuart McKean, Peter Findlay and Charlie McLaren into an 11-2 lead then responded to intense pressure at 14-12 to beat Ryan Gardner, Mike Imrie Snr, Allan Watson and Scott Walker, 22-12.

Andy McNab was also a hero for the visitors with the former champion of Dean staging a bold recovery from 7-13 to skip James Smith, Alex Thompson and Derek McLean to a 16-14 win over Paul Manson, Paul Dickson, Mick Imrie Jnr and John Kidd.

Queensberry had started like a house on fire across the green and none more so than Frank O’Reilly who blazed an 11-1 trail after five ends and although dampened down from 17-8 onwards held on to skip Gavin Ramsay, Brian Larkin and Jordan Davidson to a 19-16 win over Neil Hunter, Graeme Swan, Liam McKay and David Snodgrass.

Brian Pollard added win number two for the home side, and must have thought that his majestic 4, 5 finish was sure to be a bonus point clincher, as he skipped Paul Kirkland, Jim McDougall and Tam Ebbs to a 22-13 triumph over Calum Munro, Willie Paul, Ian Duffus and Stuart Campbell.