Week 5 of 14 in Division 1 of The Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League resulted in significant changes to the pecking order including new leaders in the shape of twice champions Parkside hitting the front and early leaders Maitland dropping back to third place.
Parkside’s good 7-2 away win over Leith was a bad outcome at home for last season’s Division 2 champions who have sunk to the foot of the table being leapfrogged by Summerside’s encouraging 7-2 victory at home to Queensberry. Queensberry have dropped one place down to fourth however that is on shot margin as they share the same points mark as third placed Maitland whose bubble was burst in a 9-0 mauling away at Northern.
Northern are still flirting with the dreaded relegation zone but have created some comfort space ahead of the bottom two and are now in touch with Hillside just two points above them in fifth place. Hillside are strong at home and proved that once again by giving defending champions Craigentinny a 6-3 bloody nose that toppled the record seven times title-winners from the top spot. The action at Leith saw the struggling home side encouraged by a winning performance from Gavin Ramsay who skipped Michael McBrierty, Dave Morris, and Ian Ramsay (father) to a 21-11 win over Neil Watson. A winning outcome for the home rink did look doubtful at 8-1 down however Ramsay and Co exploded to 17 with an eight end blitz run of 1, 3, 2, 1, 1, 4, 2, 2.
Parkside though held the upper-hand in their rinks skipped by Derek Smith, Robert Donaldson, and Paul Veitch. Smith still had it all to do with a 9-7 edge after 11-ends but zipped to a 23-7 win over Drew Dodds by skipping Brandon Maywood, Ian Fleming, and Willie Watson to a finishing run of 1, 2, 5, 2, 3, 1. Donaldson made a great 3, 5 start then remained in top gear to skip Steven Rennie, Dave Sherriffs, and Danny Jackson to a 23-12 win over Robert Sloan while Graham Fraser, Alan Hargan, Brian Salvona and Paul Veitch beat Craig Ramsay 16-11.
Hillside had the measure of Craigentinny on the their rinks skipped by Gary Muir, BJ Smith, and Colin Bell but were frustrated at losing the bonus point in dramatic circumstances to a 61-62 aggregate. Smith lost a costly 4 at his last end but BJ had come from 12-5 down to skip Malky Thom, Kenny Logan, and Peter Brown on a run of 3, 1, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1 to cross 20-13 then beat Kevin McFarlane, 20-17. Muir conceded a double on his last end but otherwise had a good game to skip John Reynolds, Steven McManus, and Brian Irving to a 14-10 win over Willie McDonald.. Bell held two shots on his last end but had to settle for a single as he skipped Brian Muir, Keith McPherson, and John Simpson to a 14-12 win over Andrew Caldwell while the key result for the visitors was Andy Jeffrey’s 23-13 win over Colin Hairs.
Summerside moved off the bottom rung with wins on the rinks skipped by Keith Taylor, David Snodgrass, and Peter Miller doing damage to the Queensberry cause. The rink scores were, K Taylor 20 Frank O’Reilly 7; D Snodgrass 20 Brian Pollard 10; P Miller 24 John Kidd 17; David Poole 14 Scott Walker 20.
Northern’s clean-sweep result over previously high-flying Maitland was in fact a close call with the rink scores reading, Jamie Reid 17 Alan Trotter 10; Gordon Wilson Jnr 18 Brian Higgins 13; Larry Sorrell 17 Alan Flockhart 16; Ian Miller 14 Graeme McIntosh 13.
The league table reads, Parkside 30; Craigentinny 29; Maitland 26; Queensberry 26; Hillside 23; Northern 21; Summerside 13; Leith 12.
Midlothian’s disappointing six shot defeat (120-114) at home to West Fife at Danderhall is their third in four matches and probably kills off the pre-campaign expectations that they could finish in the top two of the East section of The Cities and Counties Championship. The team optimistically managed by Drew Pearson could still have a big say in who does finish in the top two as the run in programme includes Midlothian at home to current pace-setters Edinburgh & Leith, and East Lothian. Midlothian finished with three rinks up against West Fife but wins on the rinks skipped by Colin McFarlane, Ramsay Blair, and Colin Bonnar just failed to cover the setbacks suffered by David Peacock, Colin Walker, and Ronnie Duncan. McFarlane’s contribution was immense and included counts of 5, 4, and 6 as he skipped Robert Campbell, Andy Buerle, and David Lawrence to a 26-12 win over Jim McGuire. Blair produced a stirring fight back from 14-2 down to skip Ryan Yuill, Scott Reid, and Billy Peacock to a 23-18 win over Alan Kennedy while Andy Wilton, Scott Ritchie, David McGlynn, and Bonnar recovered from 10-17 to pip Kenny Bald, 21-20. Bud Midlothian suffered major damage on the rink skipped by Ronnie Duncan who suffered a 30-11 drubbing from Paul Brown while Colin Walker lost 19-15 to Craig Watson, and David Peacock 21-18 to Rab McFarlane.
East Lothian have sustained their section bid for a finishing place in the top two of The Cities and Counties Championship with a battling 10 shot win (120-110) away to Stirling County East at Larbert and with three wins from four sit joint top with Edinburgh & Leith. Wins on the rinks skipped by Derek Oliver, and John McCrorie plus a peel for Billy Mellors tipped the scales in favour of a ‘Garden County’ team that was put under pressure with setbacks suffered by Craig Valentine, Ian Bell, and Scott Kennedy. Oliver set the scene by skipping Adam Martin, Gordon Baillie, and Ross Marwick to a 21-11 win over Stuart Hogg while McCrorie stormed to a 26-17 victory from 14-11 down to Simon Thomson. The other rink scores were, Darren Couper 26 Billy Mellors 26; Gary Crosbie 21 Craig Valentine 21; Stuart Williamson 16 Ian Bell 14; Stuart Lusk 19 Scott Kennedy 18.