Edinburgh & Leiths impressive 130-97 away win over West Fife at Dunfermline West End was their third in six but most unlikely to be good enough to snatch the second qualifying place in the East section of The Hamilton Trophy.Read More
The uplift to E&L spirits will fire up their hopes if finishing a troubled section campaign on a high albeit their challenge at home (Parkside) to second placed West Lothian is seen to be an extremely tough one.
E&L sit a hopeless six points adrift of undefeated table toppers Midlothian; but only a less daunting two behind West Lothian and East Lothian; however shot margins deficits of 102 and 49 need a miracle of gigantic proportion to overhaul. Wins on five rinks skipped by James Hogg, Paul Veitch, Paul ODonnell, Jamie Gracie, and John McDermott reflected a strong team performance with the only setback suffered by Richard Tough.
West Fife can be tough nuts to crack so it is an encouraging form line for E&L that the visitors captured all three phases and the early signs of a winning outcome were good in the shape of a double-figure domination of the first seven-ends. McDermott set the scene for an inspiring 47-30 team start with an 11-3 contribution that was well supported by Hogg (8-1), Veitch (9-3) and Gracie (8-2); not so good were the 11-4 and 10-7 setbacks for Tough and ODonnell.
West Fife showed improvement on the second phase and it took a 10-2 input from Veitch to shore up an E&L supremacy of 43-35 while a 12-3 from ODonnell was the major component of the visitors bagging the third, 40-32.Hogg made strong headway over the first 12-ends to skip Craig Aitken, Andy McNab, and Gordon Wilson Jnr into a 16-5 lead and the former Scotland Cap traded steadily with in that comfort zone to deliver a 26-13 win over Paul Brown.
Veitch led 7-1 then a later purple patch run of 3, 1, 3, 1, 2 saw him skip Lewis Betts, Steven Kirk, and Alan Brown into a 19-5 lead that he converted into a 24-12 win over Kenny Bald. ODonnell was asked a question at 16-15 that he answered with an assertive 1, 5, 2, 2 reply to skip Graeme Eddington, Tam Ebbs, and Craig Paterson to a 26-16 win over Jim McGuire. Gracie made steady progress to skip Euan Craig, John Kidd, and Gordon Bold into an 11-3 lead then from 16-11 produced a 1, 1, 2 finish to beat Rab McFarlane, 20-11.
McDermott and his rink of Kevin Tenant, Ross Noble, and Robert Donaldson hit the lids to lead 11-0 but ended u hard pressed to cross the line with a 21-18 win over David Junor. Tough and his front-three of Liam McKay, Ross Thompson, and Stephen Pringle were struggling against the collar at, 2-11; then 9-22; in a 27-13 defeat from Craig Watson.