Edinburgh & Leiths failure to beat a struggling Borders team on home soil at Craigentinny ended any prospects that the 2013 national champions had of reaching the knockout stage of the 2017 Hamilton Trophy.Read More
Hopes that E&L had put their own campaign setbacks behind them when inflicting a first defeat on 2016 champions East Lothian were crushed by an 18 shot defeat (134-116) from an always to be respected Border team recording only their second win in five.
E&Ls own record in the eight team section now also reads two wins out of five and that leaves them languishing in an embarrassing sixth place and with just two games to play some six and four points off the pace being set by Midlothian and East Lothian respectively. Wins on two rinks skipped by Jamie Gracie and James Hogg was the best E&L could muster with John McDermott salvaging a peel; but Paul ODonnell, Richard Tough, and team captain David Fisher all lost.
Given their home environment advantage the loss of the first seven-end phase, 44-39, and the second, 54-31, reflects a confidence damaging start to the match and it wasnt until the third and final phase that E&L showed improved form to capture it 46-36.
One positive highlight on the opening phase was James Hogg making a strong 13-4 contribution however a downside was David Fisher being guddled 4-12 then a similar punishment was inflicted upon Richard Tough in an overall second phase gubbing.
Jamie Gracie perked up the flagging spirits of the home side with an 11-2 tally-ho effort but his fellow skips were unable to rally to his trumpet call. Fisher and his crew of Lewis Betts, John Priestley, and Gordon Bold only netted counts at 8 of the 21 ends and losses that included a 6 a 5 and two 4s saw them sink to a heavy 33-16 defeat from Ross Nicol.
Tough and his front three Liam McKay, Andy McNab, and Stephen Pringle were being well chewed up at 16-3 down and only bit back at 8 of their 21 ends in a 23-13 defeat from Steve Richardson. O’Donnell had Steven Pilley, Tam Ebbs, and Craig Paterson in touch at 19-17 down with two ends to play but had to settle for a 24-19 defeat from Stuart Bebington.
McDermott collapsed from 12-10 up to 22-12 down with alarming losses of 3, 1, 4, 4 but rallied well to skip Kevin Tennant, Ross Noble, and Robert Donaldson to a 22-22 share with Ian Crawford. Gracie zipped from 7-11 down to skip Euan Craig, John Kidd, and Alan Brown to a 23-15 win over Graeme Forsyth while Hogg led 12-3 then skipped Gordon Wilson, Ross Byers, and Neil Watson to a 23-17 win over Stuart White.