The excitement of Carrick Knowe’s debut season in The Edinburgh Bowling League was dampened by the No1club in the rival Water of Leith League being dumped in Division 5 so its no great surprise that they walked away with the Penplaid Ltd sponsored Plate Cup restricted to Divisions 3, 4, and 5.
Having captured the Division 5 honours with 107 points from 13 wins out of 15 their task in the final of the Plate was to see off the challenge from a London Road Foundry opposition wounded by the relegation blues having won only five of their 14 games in Division 3.LRF have several stars within their ranks but it did look a case of ‘mission impossible’ against a Carrick Knowe line up headed at skip by top flight names in the shape of Colin Mitchell, James Hogg, and Darren Hush.
The head to head was played at Summerside and it turned out to be one-way-traffic with Carrick Knowe celebrating double-figure triumph on all three rinks, and a final scoreline of 73-29. Hogg – a full cap and national champion in the Pairs and Fours – was drawn against double Tait Trophy champion and national singles finalist Scott Mackintosh but showed no mercy and deadly killer instinct in a runaway 19 shot victory. Launching the final with a mighty five on end one inspired Hogg to skip Chris Crawford, Trevor Matheson, and former Hamilton Tropy stalwart Johnny Priestely into a commanding 20-4 lead after 12-ends.
And there was no way back in a 25-6 defeat for Mackintosh and his front three of Craig Macintosh (son), Ronnie Bell, and Graeme Todd Jnr. Hush – a national Pairs champion and like Hogg a Hamilton Trophy star with E&L – led by example in his role of team captain having made a blitz start of 3, 1, 6, 2 en route to skipping Stephen Pringle (Hamilton Trophy), Colin Tough, and John Ramsay into a 16-2 lead.
The LRF rink of George Kyle, Alan Winton Jnr, Dean Macintosh, and Jim McCaskell produced a bold 6, 3 fight back to 11-16 but only managed one further single as Hush roared to a 25-12 victory. Mitchell – a five times Tait Trophy champion and Commonwealth Games internationalist – carded a super six at end nine to skip Andy Beath, Cameron Tennant, and Kevin Tennant into a 14-2 lead then onto 21-5 after 14-ends.
The LRF rink of Gordon Hastings, Alec Syme, Alan Winton Snr, and David Kyle showed token resistance with a 4, 2 reply but crashed to a 23-11 defeat. “Upsets are not uncommon in bowls so our focus was to treat LRF with respect and endeavour to play to a level of skill and sportsmanship that was worthy of the rich Carrick Knowe tradition”, said Hush later.