Newbridge reign as the WLBA Top Five Singles Champions for a sixth time and their latest triumph came in the shape of a stunning 3-2 victory over title-holders and record 14 times kingpins Kirkliston in a dramatic final played at Middleton Hall.Read More
Wins for Paul Sweeney, James Speirs, and Drew Paterson tipped the scales in an epic battle that went right down to the wire as Newbridge escaped from the jaws of defeat to snatch a title victory that had looked out of their reach.
Kirkliston took to the green against their neighbour village favourites to complete a hat trick of title triumphs having dominated the Top Five scene in 2015 and 2016 and wins for super star duo Neil Speirs and Grant Logan gave them every chance to spark three-in-a-row celebrations. But The Cheesetown Boys failed to deliver that elusive third match win with Calum Logan and Mark Allison unable to dominate against Sweeney and Speirs (James) respectively while Steven Forrest failed to deliver the killer punch from 20-17 up against Paterson. First blood in front of a good sized banking was drawn by Newbridge and the outcome was never really in doubt albeit surprising that Calum Logan failed to strike many blows against 43 year old Paul Sweeney. Sweeney raised eyebrows on the banking as he swept into a 10-0 lead then when closed to 10-5 re-asserted his supremacy with a run of 2, 1,1,1,1 to 16 and went on to score a commanding 21-10 victory.
That outcome was a blow to the chin of the KBC efforts but Grant Logan (cousin) restored confidence within the camp by capturing the scalp of Blair Mackie, albeit there was sweat forming on the brow having been crossed17-16 before hitting 21 with a 4, 1 finish. Neil Speirs became the second KBC big gun to shoot effectively from the hip and having blazed into a 15-1 lead he emerged from his showpiece battle against fellow cap Thomas Mann with a resounding 21-12 victory. It was James Speirs (brother) that squared the final at 2-2 with the 39-year old calling most of the shots to lead 12-4 then stay on strongly to beat Mark Allison, 21-11. The final showdown swung the title focus on the Paterson v Forrest confrontation -both current Hamilton Trophy players with West Lothian – and the main spotlight beamed in on Forrest holding all of the aces with leads of 15-8, 19-14, then 20-17.
Paterson a late sub for Greg Baldry is a former Scottish Triples Champion and the 55 year old stalwart campaigner having done well to stay in contention grabbed the title winning glory with a fabulous 1, 2, 1 finish to win 21-20. Steven must have looked like a banker when he had me in his 13-3 grip and playing like a machine at which stage my one thought was to stay on the green for as long as I could then having pegged him back I managed to nip him on the line a great result for Newbridge.
Goldenacre ladies produced a strong second half performance to capture The Gifted of Stockbridge sponsored Edinburgh Cup at the expense of Carrick Knowe in a hard fought final played at Queensberry BC. The 5-0 points win from the two-rink format suggests one-way traffic however after nine ends of play the score was deadlocked at 2-2 on points and 14-14 on shots.
End 10 signalled a game-changing moment with Goldenacre carding a 4 to cross 9-7 on the rink skipped by Bunty Williamson, and a single on the other for Rita Reid to increase her lead to 10-7. The match score now transformed to read 4-0 and 19 14. Reid raised Goldenacre hopes as she pressed on with counts of 2, 2 to skip Margaret Elder, Wilma McDonald, and Marie Smith to 14-7 against Joan Lorimer, Margaret Kilpatrick, Lorraine Mitchell, and Nicole Clifford.
Williamson still had her work cut out though on the other rink having conceded a 3 to stand peels at 10-10 with Jackie Roy, Ceila Spence, Margaret Paton, and Carrick Knowe club champion Jeanette Hush. Hush and Co edged into a 12-11 lead with a double on end 14 then tense exchanges resulted in the exciting trading of a 3 to retain a 15-14 edge entering the last. The melting pot climax produced sizzling drama in the shape of Williamson skipping Jean Summer, Carol Hogg, and Liz Brown to an 18-15 victory having severely damaged the Carrick Knowe cause with a blistering count of 4. Reid and Co had traded on their seven shot comfort zone to stand 16-9 up after 16 ends and with a major scoreboard lead of 10 shots they were able to declare with one end to play.
Meanwhile, Queensberry also played host to the final of the gents three-rink Penplaid Ltd Edinburgh Plate won by Currie at the 5-2 expense of West End. Colin Anderson added 1, 4, 3 to cross 14-9 then skipped his rink to a 17-13 win over Keith Gellaitry, and Paul Anderson held on from 16-11 to beat Moray Tait, 16-14. Donny Gilbertson kept West End in the picture with an 18-14 win over Dean Fleming having raised temperatures with a run of 3, 2, 2, to lead 18-10.