Maitland have emerged the early pacesetters in Division 1 of The Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League with this weeks 7-2 away win over Summerside building on the clubs opening 8-1 home win over Hillside.
the result on opposition soil is a timely boost of morale to a club promoted in second place from Division 2 and it was delivered by wins from the rinks skipped by Alan Trotter, Brian Higgins, and Graeme McIntosh. Trotter set the scene by skipping George Trotter, Ian Watson, and Ross Noble to a stunning 27-8 win over Jim Currie Higgins zipped from 7-5 to 19 with counts of 2, 2, 1, 5, 2 and skipped Peter Morris Andy Kellagher, and Jim Robertson to a 28-12 win over Keith Taylor. McIntosh beat David Snodgrass, 18-13.
Summerside were left licking their wounds in the wake of a damaging home defeat as with eyes focused on keeping clear of the relegation zone the fixture was on their must win list however lack of an early season sharpness saw icon figure David Poole the only winning skip – defeating Alan Flockhart, 22-15. Queensberry failed to build solidly on their opening 8-1 home win over Leith but did manage to take two points away from a Hillside opposition driven by the need to improve on their drubbing at Maitland. It was a desperately close call however with last end victory for BJ Smith and a very narrow win for Colin Bell supported by peels on the rinks skipped by Colin Hairs, and Gary Muir just keeping the visitors at bay. Scores: BJ Smith 14 Brian pollard 13; Colin Bell 18 John Kidd 16; Colin Hairs 16 Frank O’Reilly 16; Gary Muir 15 Scott Walker 15.
Parkside are good travellers and last seasons runners-up suggested they will once again be major title contenders with wins on the rinks skipped by Neil Watson (19-8), Robert Donaldson (17-13), and Derek Smith (12-11) earning them a 7-2 win over Northern. Gordon Wilson saved the whitewash with a 15-14 win over Paul Veitch.
Craigentinny are the hat trick seeking defending champions but the strong title favourites lived up to their ‘slow starters’ reputation at Leith and were hard pushed to edge a 5-4 victory over last season’s Division 2 champions. Wins on the home rinks skipped by Gavin Ramsay and Craig Ramsay gave the holders a bloody nose but they away win was rescued by the success of Kevin McFarlane and Andy Jeffrey. McFarlane emerged the hero figure as he skipped Josh Spalding, Davy Brown, and Scott Rogers into a 15-8 lead after 10 ends then exploded to 30 with a blitz run of 1, 2, 6, 3, 2, 1 and finished a 30-9 winner over Robert Sloan. Jeffrey answered rising pressure at 17-13 up with a 2, 2 finish to skip Grant McLaren, Stuart Betts, and Gordon Bold to a 21-13 win over Robert Wood. Gavin Ramsay cheered up the home support as he cashed in on a 9- 1 lead to skip Mike McBriearty, Davy Morris, and Drew Dodds to a 25-9 win over Andy Caldwell while Craig Ramsay led 8-0 en route to a 17-8 win over Willie McDonald.
Division 1 League Table: Maitland 15, Parkside 14, Craigentinny 11, Queensberry 10, Hillside 8, Northern 5, Leith 5, Summerside 4.
Ace player Billy Mellors in the Singles is the spearhead figure for West Barns when the champions of East Lothian launch their bid for The Co-operative Funeralcare sponsored Inter County Top Ten title with a prelim visit to Carnoustie West End on Sunday.
West Barns carried the East Lothian banner into the 2008 final and were semi finalists last season so the experienced campaigners tackle the champions of Angus with high expectations of mounting another serious challenge for the top honour. The rest of the line up reads, Pairs, Kevin Thomson and Scott Kennedy; Triples, Ian Knox, Gary Landells, and Alister Kennedy; Fours, Dougie Kennedy, Billy cormack, Scott Thorburn, and Calum Gordon.
Bellsburn are first time County champions carrying the West Lothian banner and face a tough prelim round test with the long journey to face Wigtownshire challengers Stranraer West End.
Meanwhile East Lothian’s opening match in the Cities and Counties Championship for The Andrew Hamilton Trophy saw them suffer an agonising single shot defeat (115-114) from Borders at Melrose. The EL line up was decimated by late call-offs and unavailable players; but put up an admirable show with wins for Ian Bell (+13), Craig Valentine (+10), and John McCrorie (+4), just failing to cover the defeat of Brian Young (-16), Stephen Cochrane (-10), and Derek Oliver (-2).