Craigentinny – the holders and record seven times Division 1 champions of the Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League launched their 2015 campaign on Wednesday night, and are celebrating a 6-3 win at home to Northern.
“We have the reputation of being slow starters and on that basis I am not troubled by losing three points at home as our competitive spirit and skill levels across our four rinks were all encouraging”, said recently appointed team manager Andrew Caldwell. It is a marathon and not a sprint as the saying goes and over the course of a 14 match campaign there is an expectancy within EBL circles that the star studded Craigentinny squad will deliver an eighth title.
It was wins for the rinks skipped by Andrew Caldwell and Andrew Jeffrey plus a peel for Kevin McFarlane that got Craigentinny off to their winning start however the heavy defeat of Willie McDonald does give cause for concern Caldwell held 7 shots on his opening end but lost a single to a great killer draw by Jamie Reid however boosted by a brilliant take-out for 6 at end five he went on to skip Darren Smith, Grant McLaren, and Daniel Gormley into a 17-1 lead after seven. Caldwell went on to win 24-8 but win number two was more knife-edged as it took a double at the last for Jeffrey and his front-three of Craig McCall, Stuatt Betts, and Gordon Bold to clinch a 17-14 battle with Larry Sorrell. Kevin McFarlane was given pelters in the clubhouse for an overbold last bowl delivery that promoted Northern in for a single shot that gave Ian Miller a 14-14 peel and a precious away point. Northern increased their points tally to 3 with Wilson Jnr and his rink of Garry Harison, Darren Prentice, and Davy Scott cashing in on a 10-3 lead to punish McDonald. 23-9.
Tanfield and Pilrig are the traditional archrivals of Craigentinny but the respective six times and twice champions have fallen out of the top league and are spending time this season parading their skills in Division 2.
Parkside- champions in 2007 and 2012 – have emerged as strong title contenders in recent seasons and in the opinion of spokesman Robert Donaldson their opening 7-2 win at home to Summerside is a strong start to their campaign.
Queensberry and newly promoted Maitland are clubs that usually depend on fortress like results at home to keep them clear of the dreaded relegation zone so both are thrilled by 8-1 wins over Leith and Hillside respectively.
Parkside were denied a 9-0 clean sweep by Summerside star Keith Taylor who carded a double at the last end to skip Neil Nisbet, Mark Fyfe, and Paul Jeromson to an 18-17 win over Craig Bryce, David Moran, Danny Jackson, and Robert Donaldson. Wins for Paul Veitch, Derek Smith, and Alex Hurry saw Veitch add 1,1, 3 to lead 12-2 then skip Steven Rennie. Davy Craig Jnr, and Brian Salvona to an 18-8 win over Kerr McKail; Smith cross from 13-14 to beat David Poole, 19-14; and Hurry hold on from 12-9 to beat Jim Currie, 16-11.
Queensberry v Leith. Frank 0’Reilly 23 Gavin Ramsay 11; Brian Pollard 14 Drew Dodds 13; John Kidd 18 Robert Wood 12; Scott Walker 14 Craig Ramsay 14 Maitland v Hillside. Alan Trotter 16 Peter brown 8; Alan Flockhart 31 BJ Smith 13; Graeme Mcintosh 15 Gary Muir 8; Brian Higgins 15 Colin Hairs 15.
Division 2. Wardie 2 Pilrig 7; Mayfield 2 West End 7; Postal 7 Goldenacre 2; Tanfield 9 Willowbrae 0. Division 3. Whitehouse & Grange 7 Brunstane 2; Corstorphine 7 LRF 2; Dean 2 Dudley 7; Blackhall 4 Ardmillan 5. Division 4. Liberton 7 Tramways 2; Coltbridge 0 Merchiston 9; Seafield 5 Jessfield 4. Division 5. Bainfield 5 Carrick Knowe 4; Colinton 9 Braid 0; Trinity 5 Portobello 4.