Queensberry Rules OK – The knockout punch in the final of the Specsavers sponsored Edinburgh Cup was landed by the 24 strong brigade of Queensberry bowlers with EBL new boys Bainfield the victims in a fantastic six rink head to head confrontation at Summerside.
The 10-2 result in favour of Queensberry was a brilliant reward for the clubs best ever season in the Edinburgh Bowling League but to achieve it they had to bounce straight off the canvas having been floored the previous night in their bid to land the Division 1 title. “The nightmare scenario for us was to lose out on League and Cup but our squad found a positive response to our Division 1 disappointment at the hands of top dogs Parkside and served up a spirited display to beat a strongly fancied Bainfield opposition” reflected Queensberry captain Brian Pollard .
It was Queensberry’s first final appearance in 18 seasons of The Cup while Bainfield were making it to the climax of the showcase team trophy knockout event at the first attempt having joined the EBL at the start of the 2015 season. “We took on board that Bainfield’s reputation as one of the top clubs in the capital dwarfed our own but one of the benefits of competing regularly in the top echelons of the EBL is that you learn to respect the best but never to fear them”, added Pollard. “Our triumph looks commanding but was in fact hard earned and a consequence of us hitting the ground running then coping with a strong Bainfield rally and with our Second 16’s and Third 16’s both gaining promotion this Cup success is the icing on the cake”. Wins on the rink skipped by Alan Watson, John Kidd, Frank O’Reilly, Scott Walker,and Brian Pollard delivered the history making occasion for a Queensberry club that has excelled in EBL events this season. Watson lit the fuse and in explosive fashion as he skipped Jimmy Curran, Jamie Anderson, and Peter Lynch into a 13-5 lead then resisted late pressure to clinch a 17-13 win over Murray Brown, Peter Stewart, David Babtie, and Paul Millar. Kidd also made a seriously strong start to skip Sean Burrell, Paul Manson, and Mick Imrie Jnr into a 13-2 lead but it eventually took a single at the last to edge an 18-17 win over Graham Fergus, Jim Ross, Stewart Jenkin, and Craig Paterson. O’Reilly led 7-0 but trailed 11-9 before skipping Brian Larkin, Stephen Kirkland, and Jordan Davidson on a purple patch spell to cross 21-12 then on to a 23-14 win over Jim Cowan, Dick Wilson, Gary Neil,and Adam Brock.
Bainfield got themselves onto the map with Brian Stoddart skipping Graham Angus, Mike Sutherland, and Stuart Wilson from 12-10 to a 220-10 win over Chris Conway Jnr, John Dickson, Jimmy McDougall, and Colin Jones. Walker however kept Bainfield suppressed when kicking on from 11-10 to skip Ryan Gardiner , Mick Imrie Sr, and Paul Dickson to an 18-13 win over Paul Stoddart, Willie Dyet, David McNair, and Stuart Clark. Pollard was the come-back king with the Queensberry captain answering questions at 12-4 down with great positivity to skip Colin McKenzie, Derek Jempson, and Paul Kirkland to an 18-12 win over David Carlisle, Ian Pilley, John Milne Jnr, and Stephen Pilley.
Seafield and Liberton were the celebrating clubs after an epic climax to Division 4 of The Alpha Trophies sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League but it was heartbreak hotel time for Merchiston whose hands had been tied by an idle week in their calendar of fixtures.
Merchiston were sitting in top place by a dicey looking half point lead over Liberton but in terms of finishing in the top two a more comfortable 6.5 ahead of third placed Seafield.
The final fixture had Seafield at home to Liberton and conscious that a big result for them would bring turmoil to the race for promotion – top two – so the clubhouse erupted with a result that read, Seafield 8 Liberton 1. It was an outcome that saw Seafield clinch the title honours with 75 points and allowed Liberton to pip Merchiston with 74 points to the 73.5 of a Merchiston club sitting nervously on the side lines biting their fingers down to the knuckles. The destination of the title itself went down to the last bowl in thrilling circumstances with Seafield skip Ian McGregor drawing what looked like a winning toucher with his final bowl only to see George Blaikie strike the jack through the head – but rebound to an opposition bowl. “It was the difference between us or Liberton winning the league simply unbelievable stuff and heart-thumping into the bargain” said Seafield spokesman Stuart Gilbert The single to McGregor seeing him skip his rink-mates J Flemming, J Glasgow and D McLaren to a 15-14 win that was supported by S Robertson producing an inspired finish of 1, 2, 3. 4, 2 to beat L Mitchell, 21-9. Ally McKenna was a good 19-7 winner over A Main while Liberton’s vital promotion point was secured in the thrilling circumstances of D Bruce conceding 2, 1, 1 but finishing 12-12 with A Nicol.