Alex Hurry Jnr is the toast of Parkside having given the club members a cheer leading role in the final stages of the Scottish Championships at Ayr Northfield later next month, where the 37 year old will be the District 15 spearhead figure in the Singles.
Hurry – a former winner of The Edinburgh Open – produced a strong performance in Tuesday nights finals at Balerno taking 17 ends to book his passage to Ayr at the 21-10 expense of West End king pin Keith Gellaitry. It’s the second time Hurry has given Parkside a shout in the blue riband trophy of the national championships and he put up a prominent show in his 2004 visit losing 21-17 in the semi finals to eventual winner Paul Foster.
Parkside have of course previous experience of reaching the winners enclosure with Robert Donaldson capturing the junior Singles title back in 1998. Hurry’s win over 49-year old Gellaitry was signalled in the early stages by a flying start of 1, 4, (1), 2, 2, 1, 1 to lead 11-1 but West End’s 150th Anniversary champion rallied boldly to 8 with a promising run of 4, 1, 2.
Gellaitry then lost ground to trail 15-8 but a hold of 3 at the next looked promising until his overbold effort to add a fourth was punished cruelly by a slice on the jack that gifted Hurry a 2 to 17. It is to Gellaitry’s credit that he recovered from that blow to card a couple of singles to 10 but Hurry was always in command of the overall show and proceeded to hit 21 with a 2, 2 finish.
“My dad won the Scottish Triples title in 1990 with Willie Dyet and Tattie Marshall for Gorgie Mills and that in tandem with him and my 5 month son Declan being present at my games serves as my inspiration and drives my ambition to win the Singles title”, said Hurry.
Gellaitry said “ It has been a great thrill to carry the West End banner into the district final but a player of Alex’s quality can’t be given a head start and his tactical ploy of employing various jack and mat lengths was a winning strategy – I hope he goes all the way”.
Stephen Pringle’s potential as a star of the future was highlighted some years ago by the late Alec Ross and the career of 21 year old from Carrick Knowe continues to blossom with his second junior Singles title at District level. Pringle – a regular in the E&L Hamilton Trophy team – found himself under testing pressure at 9-5 down to Robert Ewing of Gorgie Mills but answered with an explosive eight end run to 17 then clinched a 21-10 victory with a 3, 1 finish.
Carrick Knowe were a strong fancy in the Pairs where Graham Pringle (father) and James Hogg faced Dean Thomson and Davy Greig of Gorgie Mills; but were never quite at the races and trailed all the way in a 17-11 defeat.
But Gorgie Mills were back in the runners up enclosure with their Triple of Scott Purvis, Archie Priestley, and Keven Jamieson blowing a 9-1 lead to suffer an 18-9 defeat from Liam Randall, Dale Randall, and Ross Thomson of Mayfield.
Bainfield triumphed in the Fours with Craig Paterson skipping Stuart Clark, David McNair, and Steven Pilley to a commanding 19-6 win over the Sighthill rink of Ross Moodie, Les Ronaldson, Graeme Eddington, and Stuart Isbister.
Midlothian have left it late in the day to show the strong form expected from them in the opening matches of the Cities and Counties Championship but have put the cat amongst the pigeons with their 11 shot defeat (126-115) of joint section leaders East Lothian at Gorebridge. It is a result that puts Midlothian in fifth place going into this weekends final East section match but a sizeable win over joint leaders Edinburgh & Leith on home territory at Newbattle would give them a glimmer of hope of finishing in the top two.
The league table after six games reading, E&L 8 (+85), East Lothian 8 (+34); West Lothian 6 (+27), Fife County 6 (+19), Midlothian 6 (+18), Stirling East 6 (-28), West Fife 4 (-71), Borders 4 (-84).
Wins on the rinks skipped by Colin Walker, Ronnie Duncan, and David Peacock tipped the scales in favour of the home team who battle hard to cover the defeat of Ramsay Blair, Colin McFarlane, and Colin Bonnar. Midlothian failed to get the measure of their great rivals on the first and third phases being outgunned 45-40 and 46-30 by their high flying neighbours however the final outcome was dictated by the home sides explosive 56-24 supremacy on the middle phase.
Walker was the inspirational force in chief with the team captain lifting spirits across the green as he skipped Scott Reid, Lindsay Plenderleith, and Scott Briggs on a spectacular six end run of 6, 2, 2, 3, 1, 2 against Alister Kennedy. It was an acceleration that thrust Walker from 7-6 to 23-6 and the rink went on to post a resounding 29-13 victory. Duncan was much harder pushed but put in the stronger finish from 12-11 to skip Andrew Wilston, Kevin McDougall, and Billy Peacock to an 18-12 win over Ian Bell. Peacock (David) whizzed into a 9-0 lead and skipped Tom Moffat, Jim Farquhar, and Craig Hodge to a 25-20 win over John McCrorie. The other rink results were, Ramsay Blair 21 Stevie Cochrane 25; Colin MacFarlane 19 Billy Mellors 23; Colin Bonnar 14 Scott Kennedy 22.