In a night of major shocks in Division 1 of The Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League it was Northern that stole the headlines with a stunning 9-0 away victory over solid home form team Hillside in fixture number seven of the 14 match campaign.
It’s a result that shoots Northern up and into third place in the league table and at the halfway stage will be seen by them as strong protection from being sucked into the relegation zone as the season unfolds.
The brilliant result for Northern is rivalled by Maitland’s amazing 6½ -2½ away crushing of record seven times champions and hat trick seeking defending title-holders Craigentinny- a result thought to be a wind up as news reached other clubs. Maitland – promoted this season – entered the Lions Den venue on the back of two 9-0 drubbings and were no doubt fearful of another mauling.
The consolation result of the night for second placed Craigentinny came with the news that leaders Parkside had also slipped up at home albeit the pacesetters scraped a 5-4 win over Queensberry.
The foot of the table clash between Leith and Summerside left both clubs still anchored in the relegation zone with the close 5-4 win for the away club pleasing the clubs immediately above them.
The league table reads; Parkside 44, Craigentinny 37½, Northern 36, Queensberry 33, Maitland 32½, Hillside 29, Summerside 21, Leith 19.
Northern’s whitewash of Hillside in their middle of the table clash was completed when Ian Miller conjured up a magic last end count of 3 to skip Stevie Raeburn, George Prentice, and Andy Reid to an 18-16 win over Gary Muir. Jamie Reid finished 1, 1, 3 to skip Richard Newall, Grant Young, and Darren Prentice to a 17-13 win over BJ Smith while Gordon Wilson Jnr led 14-4 and skipped Garry Harrison, Gordon Wilson Snr, and Davy Scott to a 19-9 win over Colin Bell. Jimmy Bathgate made a flying start to lead 10-1 then skipped Gary Largue, Grant Murray, and Alan Mitchell to an 18-13 win over Colin Hairs.
The shock troops at Craigentinny were the Maitland rinks skipped by Graeme McIntosh, Brian Higgins, and Jim Robertson. McIntosh was ding-dong against Andy Caldwell but tipped the scales with a last bowl flick for a single to skip Mark McIntosh, Alan Sharp, and Gordon Clark to a 15-14 win while Jim Robertson pulled away from 8-7 to skip Falconer Mitchell, Stevie Ritchie, and Gary Stout to a 16-10 win over Willie McDonald.
Brian Higgins tipped the scales with a 1, 1, 1 finish to skip Andy Kellagher, Peter Morris, and Alan Flockhart to a 15-12 win over Andy Jeffrey; however Alan Trotter went down to a 21-11 defeat from Kevin McFarlane but in terms of sharing the match bonus point carded a valuable 5 towards the end.
Parkside expected a tough test from Queenberry and got it and it was wins for the rinks skipped by Paul Veitch and Robert Donaldson that kept the heads of the leaders up. Veitch zipped into a 10-0 lead and preceded to stitch up John Kidd, 26-8 while Donaldson build on a 1, 3, 1, 3 start to beat Brian Pollard, 20-9.
Queensberry made their presence felt with Scott Walker adding 2, 1, 6 to 17-6 then beating Neil Watson, 26-11, while Frank O’Reilly’s powerful run of 3, 1, 2, 2, 1, 4, 2 paved the way for a 20-13 win over Derek Smith. The rink scores at Leith were, Nicky Brown 16 David Snodgrass 12; Craig Ramsay 22 Keith Taylor 12; Gavin Ramsay 16 David Poole 20; Drew Dodds 7 Peter Miller 24.
Edinburgh & Leith bid to clinch a top two place in the East section of The Cities and Counties Championship this weekend but the long time leaders face a testing challenge from a seemingly revived Midlothian at Newbattle tomorrow. Stunned by last weekend’s defeat at home to West Lothian team manager Willie Watson attempts to refresh the E&L line up including recalls for Andy McNab and Brian Pollard in place of Steven Pilley and Willie McDonald. The reshaped rinks read, Rink 1. Stephen Pringle, David Fisher ©, Neil Watson, and Paul Veitch. Rink 2. Kevin Tennant, Andy McNab, John McDermott, and Paul O’Donnell. Rink 3. Euan Craig, Gavin Smith, Colin Hutchison, and Robert Marshall. Rink 4. Daniel Gormley, Gordon Bold, Robert Donaldson, and Mal Higgenbotham. Rink 5. Josh Spalding, Stuart Campbell, Darren Hush, and James Hogg. Rink 6. Alan Trotter, Brian Pollard, Andy Caldwell, and Jamie Gracie.
Midlothian have Neil Linton and ace skip Ronnie Duncan unavailable leading to team manager Drew Pearson recalling Andy Scott and giving faithful servant Colin Cook a seasonal debut while there are also positional changes. Scott Briggs skips in place of Duncan while Lindsay Plenderleith moves up and over to play third to Colin Walker. Rink 1. Scott Reid, Robert Campbell, Lindsay Plenderleith, and Colin Walker. Rink 2. Tom Moffat, Jim Farquhar, Craig Hodge, and David Peacock. Rink 3. Andrew Wilton, Kevin McDougall, Billy Peacock, and Scott Briggs. Rink 4. David Lawrence, Scott Ritchie, David McGlynn, Colin Bonnar. Rink 5. Ryan Yuill, Andy Scott, Tom Russell, and Colin MacFarlane. Rink 6. Colin Cook, Craig More, Daniel McDougall, and Ramsay Blair.
East Lothian will qualify if they don’t lose to West Lothian in the other top clash of the day at Haddington and The Garden County welcome back regulars Derek Oliver, Craig Valentine, Craig Bell, Glenn Blair, and Chris Johnston while stop gap star Alister Kennedy plays on.
West Lothian bring in Connor McKendrick for David Lamb at second to Grant Logan.