Elite clubs Parkside and Craigentinny may rule the roost as the top two in Division 1 of The Edinburgh Bowling League but both are nursing serious wounds having been unceremoniously dumped out in the prelim round of the independently run Edinburgh Top Ten Championship.
Carrick Knowe and Tanfield are the headline makers with the former demolishing their Parkside visitors, 8-0, and the latter dishing out a 6-2 defeat to a Craigentinny opposition surprisingly unable to make home advantage count in their favour. Few would argue that the star studded Carrick Knowe vies with Craigentinny as being the number one club in the capital city, so,
It is an added flavour that in the EBL system Carrick Knowe operate some 35 rungs below Parkside having made the big switch from the rival Water of Leith League then sentenced to life in Division 5 their by the democratic will of their new friends. It’s a constitutional price/punishment being exacted for clubs staying loyal to the WOL on the formation of the EBL back in 1996 but is open to ridicule and of questionable wisdom in relation to the founding ethic of promoting the best interest of Bowls in the Capital.
The EBL has been well led and well served by its officials since inception and the hierarchy sussed out the uncompetitive and unbalancing problems in the lower divisions that would flow from failing to amend the constitution but although held in high regard didn’t gain the majority support of the member clubs. Going back to Top Ten business will help the reader appreciate the quality of player currently parading their skills in the lowest echelon of the EBL starting with Paul O’Donnell playing the spearhead figure for Carrick Knowe in the Singles. O’Donnell’s head to head came in the shape of current District 15 champion Alex Hurry and a cracking 23-end encounter went down to the wire before the home support cheered a 21-19 victory. But Hurry had looked the likely winner when accelerating from 9-9 to 15-9 with a run of 1, 3, 2, however O’Donnell turned the tables with a 1, 2, 4, 3, 1 fight back to cross 20-15.
Colin Mitchell skipped Kevin Tennant in the Pairs and carding a super count of 6 to stretch into a 15-6 lead set the home duo up for a 19-9 win over Derek Smith and Paul Veitch. The outcome in the Triples did hang in the balance but a double to 12-9 helped Craig Aitken, Richard Tough, and James Hogg clinch a 12-10 win over Brian Salvona, Kevin Boyd, and Neil Watson. Darren Hush skipped Stephen Pringle, John Priestley, and John Ramsay from 12-3 down to an exciting 15-12 win over Euan Diven, Andy Hargan, Danny Jackson, and Robert Donaldson.
First blood at Craigentinny went to the home side with Andrew Caldwell serving up a strong performance that saw him power to a substantial 21-7 win in 17-ends of Tanfield’s teenage star Liam McKay. But it was shot in the arm that the home team failed to support although Craig McCall, Gordon Bold, and Willie McDonald did lead 13-9 in the Triples before losing 14-13 to Derek McLean, Ian Duffus, and Stuart Campbell. Prior to that though the Tanfield Pair of Alex Thompson and Mal Higgenbotham included a count of seven in a magnificent 28-11 win over Josh Spalding and Kevin McFarlane. Robert White kicked on from 9-8 to skip his Tanfield rink of Graeme Swan, Willie Paul, and Charlie McLaren to a 17-9 win over Daniel Gormley, Scott Duncan, Scott Rogers, and David Brown.
Edinburgh Top Ten – Prelim Round results –
GORGIE MILLS 0 SIGHTHILL 8 HILLSIDE 6 WILLOWBRAE 2 CRAIGENTINNY 2 TANFIELD 6 COLTBRIDGE Scr PILRIG W/O . CORSTORPHINE 7 WHITEHOUSE & GRANGE 1 JUNIPER GREEN 2 DEAN 6 FOUNTAIN 0 SUMMERSIDE 8 GOLDENACRE 2 BLACKHALL 6 CARRICK KNOWE 8 PARKSIDE 0 COLINTON 6 QUEENSBERRY 2 BRUNSTANE 6 BEECHWOOD 2