Sighthill have been crowned the Edinburgh & Leith Top Five Singles champions for the first time having raised their game in the final to score a surprise 3-1 win over Slateford in their confrontation at Wardie.Read More
Slateford came into the final as firm favourites to add to their 2010 title triumph but found themselves forced to play second fiddle to a fired up opposition determined to etch the Sighthill name on the coveted Ian McFarlane Trophy (2000).
Wins for Graeme Eddington, Stuart Isbister, and Ross Moody delivered the 2016 title to a Sighthill camp already on a magic carpet high as a club, having run away with the Division 5 title in their debut season in the Edinburgh Bowling League. Whilst the names of the hero three will live on in the already rich folklore of Sighthill the mists of time may cover up the vast psychological contribution made by Gary Connelly who succeeded in keeping legend figure Robert Marshall out of the picture.
Marshall (52) is the acknowledged Singles supremo in the Capital City having captured the club championship title at Slateford no less than 20 times and is a five times Tait Trophy winner, a record that promotes the perception of 1-0 to Slateford. Connelly didn’t win but he didn’t lose either having produced a heroic effort that kept Marshall on the green until the time came that the result of their head to head was no longer a significant contributor to the destination of the title. The banking at large were writing Connelly off when the script unfolded true to expectations with Marshall zipping into a 13-4 lead after 11-ends however a change of landscape and some 12- ends later the outcome was still unsettled. Marshall had come under intense pressure with Connelly closing to within a single shot at 17-16; the Slateford ace answered that menace with a 3 to 20 on end 23; but the tie remained unfinished as other outcomes had resulted in Sighthill clinching a 3-1 victory.
The honour of triggering the title salute fell to Ross Moody who had gained a 14-8 edge over former Edinburgh Open champion Andrew Ramsay then when challenged at 19-18 hit 21 with a double on the 23rd end. Sighthill had started the final with a bang in the shape of Graeme Eddington powering to a 21-5 win over Davy Ross in a super-quick 13-ends having blitzed his opponent 14-4 over the first nine ends. Stuart Isbister also rocked Slateford back onto their heels with a whirlwind start to lead Gordon Ramsay, 12-3, after 10-ends, then storming to a 21-12 win in 19-ends. Slateford gained some respite with Graham McAdam battling on well from 15-14 up to capture the unexpected, 21-18, scalp of Sighthill icon figure John McDermott. At 2-1 down it was all to play for with Robert Marshall and Andrew Ramsay still in with winning prospects. “Robert (Marshall) is the Slateford talisman so to keep him tied down was an inspiring tactical victory for us and it is great that we got over the line to become the E&L Top Five Champions”, reflected John McDermott for Sighthill.