Carrick Knowe are kings of the Scottish Inter County Top Ten, the Edinburgh champions doing the capital city proud by capturing the Dechmont Forklift Trucks sponsored crown with two regal performances in the final days play at Lanarkshire venue Eddlewood Bowling Club.
Their excellent 6-2 win on points over Wellington Park of Renfrewshire in the semi final was capped by a superb effort across the four disciplines to beat Northern of Bon Accord by a handsome 21 shots after a 4-4 share of the points in the final. Whilst the final outcome could well have been an 8-0 triumph for Carrick Knowe the on fire Edinburgh champions were just piped at the post with last end drama in the Singles and Triples tipping the scales in favour of a competitive opposition. The winning performances that triggered the title winning salute and tremendous roar of appreciation from the crowded banking were delivered in the Fours and the Pairs under skips Darren Hush and Colin Mitchell, respectively.
Carrick Knowe had failed to carry the Edinburgh banner further than the semi final stage on two previous Final Day skirmishes so to parade their skills in triumphant fashion at the third time of asking sparked scenes of fantastic emotion. “This Trophy is the Holy Grail of club dreams on the Scottish scene and to have the Carrick Knowe name inscribed on it as 2017 champions ranks as the most major achievement in the history of the club and a great moment in time for the players”, reflected iconic figure Colin Mitchell.
Veteran figure Alan Poole – winner of the Scottish Junior Singles title away back in 1985 – added “playing a part in this fabulous achievement means I am bowing out on a monumental high for me and Carrick Knowe”.
Carrick Knowe is the fourth club to bring the Inter County Top Ten title back to the capital with their success following in the footsteps of Craigentinny in 1986, Gorgie Mills in 1990, and Slateford in 1996 and 1997.
The Carrick Knowe mettle was subject of an instant test with their Triple of Alan Poole, Graham Pringle, and James Hogg, 6 shot victims of a brilliant ‘chap ‘n lie’ from opposing skip Kevin Harper on their first end. They then fell 12-3 behind after five ends sending out a strong signal of ‘Game On’ across the green.
Spearhead figure Richard Tough put up an impressively bold show in the Singles and his battling qualities from 17-11 down were inspirational in a damage limiting 21-20 defeat. Tough’s fight back of 2, 1, 3, (1), 3 then saw him lay for game at 20-18, however his equally high quality opponent, Ross Stewart, burnt the jack then snatched victory with a 1, 2 counterpunch.
Darren Hush had gone through the campaign undefeated in the Fours and an encouraging start in the final saw him skip Stephen Pringle, John Priestley, and Paul O’Donnell into a 10-2 lead that they converted into a commanding 21-9 win over Steven Thomson.
Meanwhile a volcanic change to the landscape in the Triples saw Hogg skip his trio to a landslide run of 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2,1 that swept them into a 13-12 lead before suffering a 15-14 defeat that cost two points but the minimum threat on the shot margin count. Hogg had risen to the occasion on the penultimate end when faced with a count of 4 against him he planked the jack into the ditch for a spectacular one shot conversion to go 14-13 up.
The Pairs was last to finish and having battled well to stand 7-7 after nine ends then advancing to 10-8 the partnership of Kevin Tennant and Colin Mitchell sparkled under the spotlight with a run of 2, 3, 2 , 2 to beat Jim Shea and Neil McIntosh, 19-8. End 14 provided a highlight of major significance with Mitchell – a legend figure of the Tait Trophy – producing a brilliant spring of the jack that converted one against into a hold of two then added a third to go 15-8 up. “It was magic moment for me as I felt that given the state of affairs across the green that Carrick Knowe were now in a commanding position to go on and win the title” reflected the former Scotland captain.
So the potential 8-0 win had been reduced to a 4-4 share with the superior shot margin of 74 to 53 (a plus of 21) the deciding factor is hailing Carrick Knowe the Dechmont Forklift Trucks Inter County Top Ten Champions of Scotland.
Semi Finals Scores – Carrick Knowe 6 Wellington Park 2. ( Singles 21-15; Pairs 9-26; Triples 19-12; Fours 18-9).Northern 4 (69) Campbeltown of Argyll & Bute 4 (60). (Singles 21-11; Pairs 18-21; Triples 12-17; Fours 18-11).