Dark Horse contenders Maitland continue to sustain their strong challenge to capture the Division 1 title of the Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League and with three games to play lead the field with a 2½ point gap between them and hotshot favourites Craigentinny.Read More
Craigentinny remain driven by the ambition of extending their record number of title wins from seven to eight and being used to the pressures of tight finishes represent a dangerous threat to Maitland’s dream of capturing the coveted Division 1 for the first time. With both teams returning from away visits to lower order clubs, Pilrig and Northern respectively, with impressive 7-2 wins the top of the table position after 11 of the 14 match campaign played reads, Maitland 66½, Craigentinny 64.
Parkside were expected to be in the frame entering the run to the line but the defending champions crashed to a 7-2 defeat away to Tanfield and although retaining third place they are now 11 points adrift of the leaders. Tanfield occupy the comfort zone of fourth place just 1½ points behind Parkside and having been promoted along with Pilrig that contrasts remarkably with the 33 point gap between the two with the latter isolated on the bottom rung. Hillside are strong at home and their 6-3 win over Queensberry keeps them clear of the relegation zone with 51 points to the 42½ of Northern, 41½ of Queensberry, and 21 of Pilrig.
Alan Trotter emerged a hero figure for Maitland at Pilrig as the prominent E&L Hamilton Trophy player looked to be on a hiding at 15-6 down after 10 ends to Darren McKenny. But Trotter sparked a revival with a stride lengthening run of 2, 1, 1, to 10 then conceded a single before galloping to a 18-16 win by skipping George Trotter, Gary Clark and Jim Robertson to a 2, 5, 1 finish. Graeme McIntosh and his front three of Andi Kellacher, Graham Duff, and Mark McIntosh came close to emulating the Higgins ‘escape to victory’ but his 1, 1, 1, 3, 1 dash to the finishing line just fell short in a 13-12 defeat from Andrew Tregonning. No if or buts from Gary Stout however as skipped Brian Taylor, Stuart Clark, and Andy McKay from 5-6 to a 21-11 win over Euan Craig while Falconer Mitchell, Steven Ritchie, Alan Sharp and Brian Higgins blazed a 16-6 trail and beat Darren McCardle, 17-12.
Craigentinny did live a bit dangerously at Northern with Iain Paterson trailing 18-9 before escaping from jail with the help of mighty counts of 5 at ends 14 and 17 as he skipped Darren Smith, Malky Milne, and Gary Nisbet to a 20-19 win over Jamie Reid. And it took a 3,2 finish for Andy Caldwell to skip Josh Spalding, Liam Betts, and Scott Rogers to a 20-15 win over James Barr. The other rink scores were, Andy Reid 13 Daniel Gormley 27; Gordon Wilson Jnr 17 Andrew Jeffrey 13. Hillside v Queensberry: Dougie Robinson 15 Jordan Davidson 15; BJ Smith 19 John Kidd 10; Kevin Moncur 16 Brian Pollard 17; Colin Bell 17 Frank O’Reilly 12. Tanfield v Parkside: Robert White 16 Paul Veitch 21; David Snodgrass 18 Neil Watson 16; Stuart Campbell 21 Robert Donaldson 8; Liam McKay 17 Kevin Boyd 12.