Carrick Knowe make their debut in the Specsavers of Shandwick Place and North Bridge sponsored Edinburgh Cup this summer and the top flight migrants from the rival Water of Leith League face a prelim round corker following the draw made at the recent Edinburgh Bowling League Sportsman Dinner.
A capacity sell out crowd of 317 cheered all of the 30 clubs that the Specsavers representative pulled one by one out of the hat but there was a special buzz when newcomers Carrick Knowe were paired with Maitland. Maitland will open the 2015 season on a high having gained promotion to Division 1 having reached the highest echelon of the EBL as runners up to Leith in Division 2 suggesting they will be a tough test for Carrick Knowe.
Carrick Knowe arrive in their new environment as champions of the WOL League and with valid all round claims of rivalling EBL giants Craigentinny for the No1 spot as the capital city’s top club. “The Edinburgh Cup is the flagship knockout event of the EBL so we hope to write ourselves into the history of it at our first attempt but we are going to be there to be shot at this season and life will tough starting with Maitland”, said high profile Carrick Knowe star Colin Mitchell. The WOL loss is a massive gain to the EBL with major capital talents at Carrick Knowe in the shape of Mitchell, James Hogg and Paul O’Donnell being of international status, Darren Hush, Richard Tough, Craig Aitken, and Graham Pringle all with national title success in their CV’s, plus Hamilton Trophy level players in Johnny Priestley and Kevin Tennant.
Craigentinny won’t be trembling in their boots but the holder’s and record six times winners of The Edinburgh Cup will respect the challenge to their authority in the EBL posed by Carrick Knowe arriving on the scene albeit belatedly having sat on the sidelines since the 1996 formation. The cup holder’s will going for ‘three-in-a-row, and a fourth success in five years, and will be confident of prelim-round survival having been drawn against Willowbrae of Division 2. Bainfield and Colinton have also switched from the WOL League to The EBL and their opposition in the Cup comes in the shape of LRF and Parkside, respectively. The full draw, in sequence, reads, Tanfield v Wardie; Lutton Place v Leith, Goldenacre v Hillside; Jessfield v Dean; Bainfield v London Road Foundry; Maitland v Carrick Knowe; Pilrig v Summerside; Postal v Mayfield; Whitehouse &Grange v Blackhall; Portobello v Queensberry; Dudley v West End; Colinton v Parkside; Craigentinny v Willowbrae; Northern v Liberton. First round- Brunstane v Corstorphine.
The EBL have introduced a new 3 rink event in the shape of an Edinburgh Plate restricted to clubs in Divisions 3, 4, 5 and sponsor Neil Nisbet of Penplaid Ltd launched the draw by pulling Merchiston out of the hat followed by Division 4 champions Brunstane. The rest of the 1st round games read, Braid v Jessfield; Carrick Knowe v Liberton; Dean v Blackhall; Tramways v Bainfield; Portobello v Dudley; London Road Foundry v Whitehouse & Grange; Colinton v Trinity.
LRF will defend the Edinburgh Ladies Cup and sponsor Roddy Watson of The Gifted Shop’ in Raeburn Place managed to gift them with a bye into the 1st round where they play Summerside. The prelim round draw came out as follows,West End v Goldenacre; Willowbrae v Brunstane; Maitland v Corstorphine; Liberton v Tanfield; Bainfield v Parkside; Hillside v Craigentinny.
EBL President Martin Watt of Summerside made the special presentation of A Quaich to Alistair Wilkie who has retired after 14 years of outstanding service as Treasurer and organiser of the Sportsmans Dinners; and also congratulated MC Stuart McFarlane of Craigentinny on his election to President of Bowls Scotland.