Colinton ‘s early round win over title favourites Carrick Knowe has inspired them to go on and reach the semi final stage of the Edinburgh Top Ten Championship having booked their place in the last four stage with a shot margin victory over Maitland.
In EBL terms Maitland are a Division 1 outfit and Colinton Division 5 but that is a false gap on the evidence of a Top Ten performance that saw the seemingly underdogs turn in great performances in the Singles and Triples. Colinton did have the benefit of home environment advantage so it is to the credit of Maitland that they enjoyed supremacy in the Pairs and Fours but not by enough to avoid a shot margin defeat of 18 over the four disciplines. David Fisher is the spearhead figure for Colinton in the Singles and the E&L Hamilton Trophy captain delivered the goods with an inspired brand of play to score a commanding 21-13 victory over his Scottish Counties team colleague Alan Trotter. The early signs for a home win was disappointing with Trotter making the stronger start to lead 10-6 however Fisher changed that landscape over the next ten ends to lead 20-11 having stunned his opponents progress by carding 2, 1, (1), 1, 1, 4, 1, 3, (1), 1. A trading of singles saw Fisher bag the points after a 21-end battle.
Maitland were kept in the picture by Steve Ritchie and Gary Stout in the Pairs having made a tremendous start to race into a 12-3 lead over Brian Davies and Cammy Cairns after six ends. All still looked well at 17-11 up after 12-ends but there was much sweat forming on the brows at 17-16 playing the last, however the away camp cheered a winning single to 18-16. The unfolding drama in the Fours also favoured Maitland with their rink of Ross Noble, Jim Robertson, Alan Sharp, and Alan Flockhart building up a 12-5 lead after nine ends against Euan Gibson, Greg Milne, Alan MacDonald, and Gary MacDonald.
The resistance from Colinton was isolated in the shape of successive singles to 7 then later with a 4 at the 15th and a 3 at the 17th but Maitland bagged the points with a comfortable 20-14 win. The game-changing result came in the Triples and it made hero figures of Colinton trio Brian McRae, Greg Smith, and Ross Byers who served up a scintillating performance to crush Mark McIntosh, Brian Higgins, and Graeme McIntosh. The scale of their 21-4, that included a run of 1, 2, 6, 1, 2, 2, 2 1, 1, 1 from 1-2 to 20-2, can be measured against the quality of the opposition – The District 14 champions soon to be hunting the National title at Ayr Northfield.
Bainfield’s 8-0 win at home to Seafield was far from straightforward with Craig Paterson storming back from 13-2 down to beat ally McKenna 21-14 in the Singles while Graeme Fergus and Steven Pilley carded two at the last to steal 20-19 win in the Pairs.
Hillside beat Corstorphine on shots while Slateford beat Currie, 6-2.
Bellsburn’s first round defeat in the WLBA Top Ten was a real dampener having reached the national semi final stage earlier this year however the magic touch may be emerging in the Top Five as this weeks entry into the second round was fairy-tale stuff.
Buchan Park – a stuffy team – had home advantage and jumped into a 2-0 lead with former gold medal star Kenny Logan winning the opening battle 21-14 against Scott Middlemiss then Billy Irvine adding the 21-15 scalp of Eddie Caulfield. Home spirits were high with talented Under 25 star Steven Fleming leading Alan Murphy 9-3 but the former WL Cricketer dug in as they say then followed through with an immensely strong finish to win 21-12. Barry Sword – the former Dean star – was next in line for Buchan Park but the sea-change in favour of Bellsburn continued with Fund Investment Director Craig Yeaman making all the right choices to bank a 21-14 victory. The final countdown focused on David Ledgerwood for the home side and former teenage star Raymond Watson returning to the limelight after a long absence from the sport. It was the glory days all over again for Watson as he clinched the match victory with a 21-14 scoreline.
Neighbour club Linlithgow are defending the title in the club’s 150th Anniversary Year and they survived a 3-2 thriller at Bridgeness and were joined in round two by other top dogs in the shape of Kirkliston who marched on with a 5-0 win at home to Armadale.
Other results – Pumpherston 4 Winchburgh 1; Whitburn 3 Uphall Station 2; Philpstoun 2 Harrysmuir 3; Kinneil 2 Bathgate 3; East Calder 3 Oakbank 2; Watson Memorial 3 Mid Calder 2; Broxburn 5 Middleton Hall 0; Blackburn 3 Springgrove 2; Harthill 4 Seafield 1; Letham 2 Deans 3; Glenmavis 2 Newbridge 3; Ratho 3 Queensferry 2; Bo’ness 3 West Calder 2.