Hillside have put the cat among the pigeons in Division 1 of The Alpha Trophy’s sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League with a sensational 7-2 away win at Craigentinny that looks like a fatal blow to the prospects of the two-in-row defending champions celebrating a record extending eighth title success.
Parkside are the major benefactors with the long time leaders stretching their vulnerable half point lead over Craigentinny to a comfort zone 7˝ thanks to a 9-0 massacre of relegation doomed opponents Leith.
But the race for the coveted title remains very much a three horse one with unfashionable outsiders Queensberry stirring the melting pot further with a sizzling 9-0 hammering of foot of the table Summerside that noses them in front of Craigentinny. And Queensberry have their fate in their own hands as with just two games to play they have the direct chance to swing the final outcome in their favour albeit with the awesome task of beating Craigentinny away then Parkside at home.
The table reads, Parkside 75, Queensberry 68˝, Craigentinny 67˝, Maitland 60˝, Hillside 52˝, Northern 52, Leith 29, Summerside 27.
Hillside started the night third from bottom and are not the greatest of travellers but nonetheless have a strong competitive spirit and that paid them a huge dividend with win achieved on the rinks skipped by BJ Smith, Colin Hairs, and Gary Muir. Smith signalled an upset was developing on his rink with an early run of 1, 2, 1, 3, 5 to lead 13-4 and he traded well on that nine shot margin to skip Kenny Logan, John Newall, and Alan Tough to a 19-11 win over David Torrance, Grant McLaren, Scott Rogers, and Daniel Gormley. Hairs was being well and truly trimmed at 13-4 down after six ends but staged a miracle recovery to skip John Simpson, Keith MacPherson, and Kevin Moncur to a 19-14 win over Kevin Hunter, Malky Milne, Gary Nisbet, and David Brown. Muir conceded a 6 to trail 17-12 but stunned the home camp with a 5, 2, 3 fight back to skip Malky Thom, John Reynolds, and Brian Irving to a 22-17 win over Ian Duncan, Stuart Betts, Josh Spalding, and Andy Caldwell.
Craigentinny did bank two valuable points with Andy Jeffrey skipping Craig McCall, Lewis Betts, and Gordon Bold to a 20-8 win over Stevie Laidlaw, Brian Muir, Peter Brown, and Colin Bell.
The Parksiders raised the roof when news filtered through that their chief rivals had bombed at home because they had just blitzed Leith on the rinks skipped by Neil Watson, Paul Veitch, Robert Donaldson, and Derek Smith. Watson included a magnificent count of seven as he skipped Steven Rennie, David Moran, and Andy Hargan to 28-6 win over Gavin Ramsay while Graham Fraser, Ewan Diven, Brian Salvona, and Veitch kicked on from 11-11 to beat Nicky brown, 24-12. Other scores – Donaldson 19 Drew Dodds 11; Smith 16 Craig Ramsay 12.
The highlight win at Queensberry was the home rink of Colin McKenzie, Mick Imrie Snr, Alan Watson, and Scott Walker bouncing off the canvas at 12-0 down to clinch a 22-20 win over Keith Taylor. Other scores – John kidd 21 Paul Jeromson 9; Brian Pollard 24 Martin Watt 12; Frank O’Reilly 20 Peter Millar 11. Maitland beat Northern, 9-0.
Pilrig’s flirtation with the relegation zone in Division 2 of The Alpha Trophy’s sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League is now over with the former giants of Division 1 zipping up the table to occupy second place with just two games to play. Their away match against second placed Postal was a major test of the Pilrig revival and the visitors passed with flying colours jumping from fourth to second with a good 7-2 victory. But Pilrig needed a helping hand and it came from Wardie whose 5-4 win at home to Goldenacre kept the visitors in third place albeit just a single point of a promotion place.
The major drama at Postal focused on the Pilrig rink of Aaron Morrison, Ryan Gow, John Geddes, and Graham Gow who had collapsed from 13-4 to 15-13 down but produced a 1, 2 finish to cross the line 16-15 winners against Stuart Turnbull. No such sweat though on the brows of Mick Trenholme, Jamie Ventners, Andrew Tregonning, and Darren McKenny who converted a 10-2 lead into a 20-9 win over Neal Rooney. Other scores – Colin Bain 8 Gavin Smith 18; Euan Murray 21 Euan Craig 12.
Leaders Tanfield have been guilty of dawdling in front of late but reverted to type with a 9-0 win at home to West End and now top the table by a runaway 15 points. Alex Thomson produced the highlight of the match with a 5, 3 finish to skip Alister Thompson, Derek McLean, and Liam McKay to a 22-20 win while the other scores were, Andy McNab 22-10; Stuart Campbell 24-9; Robert White 17-10.