Stephen Pringle has iced the cake of Carrick Knowe’s debut season in The Edinburgh Bowling League with the 22-year old Junior Cap capturing the Under 25 Singles title in the finals of The Buyrite Bathrooms sponsored Knockout Championships played at Summerside.
Pringle’s strong second half performance to beat 18-year old Mark McIntosh of Maitland, 21-12 in 23-ends completed a Carrick Knowe EBL hat-trick with the former Water of Leith No1’s having already bagged the Division 5 title and Knockout Plate Cup. McIntosh made an encouraging start to lead 4-0 but the talented teenager faced a 9-5 deficit just five ends later having added a single between suffering the loss of 2, 2, 3, 2 as the battle for supremacy swung in Pringle’s favour. The next five ends were fought out on a tightrope that produced single’s to the tune of 3-2 in favour of Pringle then the trading of a double saw him stay in the driving seat with the master scoreboard showing 14-9 in his favour after 15-ends.
“I was having problems catching the run of the rink going in one direction and Stephen was punishing me for that but otherwise I felt I was holding my own with him”, McIntosh was to say later. Pringle was concentrating on long jack lengths and kept his opponent stretched with a crisp run of 1, 1, 2, 1, 1 that brought the title glory into sharp focus at 20-9 however it was three ends later before he carded the winning single. “I was happy with my form but with eight singles on my card that tells you that Mark made me battle hard to get them and to be crowned Junior Champion of the EBL at my first attempt is just a great feeling”, reflected Pringle.
Meanwhile the final of the Pairs raised the prospect of Carrick Knowe celebrating a championships double but another Water of Leith migrant club in the shape of Bainfield denied that situation with Stuart Clark and Brian Stoddart their hero figures. National champions Graham Pringle (Fours) and James Hogg (Pairs & Fours) represented the Carrick Knowe banner and were the formbook favourites however with peels called at 8-8 after 11-ends it became evident that a melting pot situation had developed. Bainfield led 11-9 entering the 16th and penultimate end where Carrick Knowe carded a sizzling double that made it peels playing the last and that set the scene for a gamble that failed to pay off for Pringle and Hogg. Pringle – father of the just crowned Junior Champion – elected to take the mat for a walk up the green then encouraged by the shortness of the jack length elected to try and ditch it with his opening bowl, hoping for a spectacular title clincher. That’s a glorious climax if it comes off but a miss transfers the psychological advantage to the opposition and in this case that is what happened resulting in the match-winning single being recorded by Bainfield. “We counted at ten of the seventeen ends so the result was right but it was a tough tussle and hard earned. Stuart was outstanding for me at lead and overall it’s just great that Bainfield have made a title winning impression in its EBL debut season”, reflected Stoddart.