Defeat at the hands of Midlothian on away territory at Newbattle was not the best of starts to Edinburgh & Leiths campaign in the East section of the Hamilton Trophy but debut team manager Graham Pringle will take some encouraging positives from a 14 shot setback (121-107).Read More
Especially as his first experience of a Scottish Counties championship battle was being plunged into a nightmare scenario of his team receiving a 53-22 battering from a Midlothian opposition that that was almost completely dominant over the opening seven ends. The overhead sky was bright and sunny but the E&L support could only see dark clouds on the too near for comfort horizon with the complete destruction of the managers expectations of a strong performance looking in dire jeopardy. The first phase scoreboards spelling out the signs of a developing disaster across the six rinks as follows; Paul Veitch 1 Ronnie Duncan 12; James Hogg 2 Colin Bonner 9; Richard Tough 6 Colin Walker 13; Darren Hush 2 Daniel McDougall 9; John McDermott 4 David Peacock 9; Paul ODonnell 7 Scott Briggs 1.
Pringle reached for his magic wand and found it to be in good working order in the shape of an emerging silver lining that came in the shape of an inspiring fight back that saw E&L capture the remaining two phases with scores of 44-33 and 41-35. We were caught cold by a strong Midlothian team that hit the ground running and by the time our guys warmed up to the task ahead there was a mountain to climb and although just falling short of conquering it we showed great skills, courage and spirit in rising to the challenge, reflected Pringle.
Veitch and his rink of Stephen Pringle, Gordon Bold, and Alan Brown typified the E&L fight back having zipped from 10-1 down to cross into an 18-14 lead with the momentum including an exciting run of 1, 3, (1), 2, 1, 3, 3, 2, 2. An incredible win was in their grasp at 21-19 up playing the last but the end result was a 21-21 peel with Duncan skipping Neil Murray, Kevin McDougall, and Willie Rankin to a double.
Hogg remained against the collar but skipped Lewis Betts, Gordon Wilson Jnr, and Neil Watson to a big 3, 4 finish in a 23-17 defeat from Jack Macnab, Ryan Yuill, David McGlynn, and Bonner. Tough and his front-three of Daniel Gormley, John Priestley, and Jamie Gracie never quite got to grips with their opponents and suffered a 26-15 defeat from Neil Linton, Lindsay Plenderleith, John Stevenson, and Walker. Hush and his rink of Liam McKay, Tam Ebbs, and John Ramsay were restricted to counts at eight of the 21 ends so didnt have much to shout about but damage limitation tactics helped in a an 18-14 defeat from Mark Thorburn, Arron Clinkscales, Ramsay Blair, and Danny McDougall.
McDermott benefited from a purple patch spell of 2, 4, 2, 1 to skip Kevin Tennant, David Fisher, and Rab Donaldson into an 18-16 lead but then slipped to a 22-19 defeat from Tom Moffat, Neil Gibson, Craig Hodge, and Peacock. ODonnell won 15 of his 21 ends but was restricted to hard earned single on 11 of them as he skipped Graham Eddington, Steven Pilley, and Craig Paterson to a morale boosting 21-11 win over Andrew Wilton, Steven Robertson, Colin Macfarlane, and Briggs. It is always good to get off to a winning start against one of the section favourites, said Midlothian manager Drew Pearson.