Queensberry have stormed into the final of The Specsavers Opticians sponsored Edinburgh Cup with a sensational 12-0 thumping of fellow EBL Division 1 club Northern having triumphed both home and away in their semi final clash.
Whilst Northern was bidding to reach the final for a third time the driving force behind the Queensberry campaign was to reach the glamour stage of the event for the first time and on current Division 1 form lines they were favourites to do so. The first target in the Edinburgh Cup is to win on your three home rinks and it was mission accomplished when the Queensberry rinks skipped by Frank O’Reilly, Alan Watson, and John Kidd delivered clear-cut victories.
O’Reilly set the scene by blazing a 13-5 trail after nine ends but was jolted severely by the loss of a seven on the 10th before recovering with an inspiring run of 1, 3, 4, 4 and skipping Brian Larkin, Stevie Kirkland, Jordan Davidson to a 26-14 win over Jamie Reid. Watson also made a flying start to skip Jimmy Curran, Jamie Anderson, and Peter Lynch into a 12-4 lead after six ends then pressed on to register a 23-11 win over Jim Bathgate.
Kidd made it win number three when skipping Paul Manson, Ryan Gardner, and Mick Imrie Jnr to an 18-12 win over Ian Miller having made the vital break with a 3 and a 4 to lead 14-3 after eight ends. Points are harder to come by on the away leg but Queensberry skips Gordon Preston, Scott Walker, and Brian Pollard surpassed all expectations with a one hundred percent achievement against Northern homers Gordon Wilson Jnr, Alan Mitchell, and Larry Sorrell.
Preston made a brilliant start by carding a super six at the first then he skipped Chris Conway, John Dickson, and Colin Jones into leads of 9-2 and 13-8 before answering late pressure to edge a 14-13 win over Wilson. Walker raced into a healthy 10-2 lead over Mitchell after eight ends but was closed to 10-8 before rallying to skip Peter Dickson, Mick Imrie Snr, and Tam Ebbs to 16-8 then on to a 16-13 win. Pollard made a big mark with counts of 5 and 3 to skip Colin McKenzie, Jim McDougall, and Paul Kirkland into a 12-4 lead after six ends then remained firmly in control to score a commanding 23-12 win over Sorrell. “It was a major bonus to win all three of our games at Northern and I must say the Queensberry camp is thrilled to bits at reaching our first final of The Edinburgh Cup”, reflected spokesman Brian Pollard.
Parkside face a challenging away visit to Hillside in tonight’s Division 1 matches in The Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League and there is extra pressure on the leaders as chief rivals Craigentinny are expected to do well at relegation zoned Summerside. The Parkside form hasn’t been exactly super charged in recent weeks suggesting that their four and a half point lead is vulnerable to a late thrust from Craigentinny, particularly if the two-in-a-row defending champions start to fire on all cylinders. Parkside – twice champions in the past – don’t do panic mode and a tinkering of tonight’s line up is reflected in leads Steven Rennie and Craig Bryce doing a reverse switch of rinks. Rink 1. Alex Hurry, Dave Sherriffs, Danny Jackson, and Robert Donaldson. Rink 2. Graeme Fraser, Ewan Diven, Brian Salvona, and Paul Veitch. Rink 3. Steven Rennie, Davie Moran, Andy Hargan, and Neil Watson. Rink 4. Craig Bryce, Willie Watson, Kevin Boyd, and Derek Smith.
There will be extra needle in the visit of third placed Queensberry to fourth placed Northern as the home side will be thirsting to avenge the drubbing they received in the semi final of The Edinburgh Cup. Graeme Prentice and ace skip Ian Miller are absentees for Northern resulting in Ian MacDonald and Walter Murray being drafted in to a line up that sees Andy Reid promoted to skip. Rink 1. Stevie Raeburn, Walter Murray, George Prentice, and Andy Reid. Rink 2. Grant Young, Ian MacDonald, Darren Prentice, and Jamie Reid. Rink 3. Garry Harrison, Gordon Wilson Snr, Favie Scott, and Gordon Wilson Jnr. Rink 4. Richard Newall, Alan Mitchell, Larry Sorrell, and Jim Bathgate.
Queensberry sit four points adrift of Craigentinny but with the finishing line fast approaching need a good result to keep them in the title race.Rink 1. Colin Jones, Brian Larkin, Jordan Davidson, and Frank O’Reilly. Rink 2. Gordon Preston, Jimmy McDougall, Paul Kirkland, and Brian Pollard. Rink 3. Tam Ebbs, Paul Manson, Mick Imrie Jnr, and John Kidd. Rink 4. Colin McKenzie, Mick Imrie Snr, Alan Watson, and Scott Walker.
The other game is, Leith v Maitland.