Kirkliston signed off the end of their competitive 2016 outdoor season by capturing a mainstream national honour in the shape of the Andrew D Mackellar Inter County Top Five Singles Championship played at Edinburgh venue Sighthill.Read More
The design and birth of The Top Five Singles format originated from within the Kirkliston club in 1977 so, as with its older brother The Top Ten (1975), it is always a source of great pride when The Cheesetown Boys emerge the king pins in the national arenas of both events.
The final at Sighthill pitched the West Lothian champions against their Edinburgh & Leith counterparts in the shape of mighty capital campaigners Carrick Knowe so the extra dimension of local rivalry set the scene for an epic encounter.The line up produced juicy head to head confrontations in the shape of Raymond Logan v Paul O’Donnell; Steven Forrest v Richard Tough; Mark Allison v James Hogg; Grant Logan v Colin Mitchell; and Neil Speirs v Darren Hush.
Kirkliston emerged the 3-2 winners from a melting pot situation that sizzled from start to finish and with temperatures reaching fever pitch the climax was a cauldron of excited anticipation in both camps. Carrick Knowe claimed first blood with Paul O’Donnell delivering at the 21-10 expense of Raymond Logan, the former Edinburgh Open champion making strong headway to lead the 1998 national champion 18-8 then claiming his scalp in 16-ends.
Kirkliston were brought into the picture through Steven Forrest with the Scotland cap answering the challenge of a 13-12 deficit with a spectacular run of 1, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1 to score a vital 21-13 win in 25-ends over recently crowned EBL champion Richard Tough.
Mark Allison moved Kirkliston into a 2-1 lead with the recent WL Master finalist adding 4, 2 to lead James Hogg 18-11 then going onto beat the prominent internationalist, 21-18 in 21-ends. Carrick Knowe kept their challenge alive with their icon figure Colin Mitchell edging a 21-20 thriller in 25-ends over fellow cap Grant Logan, the 5 times Tait Trophy champion battling back from 18-14 down to nip the 4 times WL Master on the line.
The final spotlight focused on multi successful gold medal personality Neil Speirs against the national title winning skills (Pairs) of Darren Hush and the capture of the national crown went right down to the wire.
Speirs looked in trouble at 19-17 down but treated the entire banking to a grandstand style finish of 1, 2, 1 that swept him over the line to clinch game and title with a 21-19 win in 25-ends. “Great bowling skills from both clubs and the final was a sheer joy to watch” was one of the tweets on the website of host Association E&L. The semi finals action saw Kirkliston beat Stranraer 3-0 and Carrick Knowe beat Inverkeithing by the same score.