Life at the top is no bed of roses as Edinburgh & Leith bowlers discovered with last season’s national runners-up in the Hamilton Trophy suffering defeat in the opening East section match of the Scottish Cities & Counties Championship.
E&L faced Fife at Duffus Park, Cupar, in a match that pitched last season’s section winners against the team that finished second bottom with the underdogs coming out 120-109 winners.
Defeat was a miserable result and particularly painful in that the visitors only managed to win on one of the six rinks.
Robert Marshall spared some blushes of the E&L elite by skipping Alan Trotter, Brian Stoddart and John McDermott into a 9-1 lead, before resisting pressure at 13-10 to deliver a 20-14 victory over former East Lothian star Wayne Hogg.
Mal Higgenbotham might well have won also having skipped Craig McCall, George Kirk and Robert Donaldson into a 17-9 lead but was unable to consolidate that superiority and had to settle for a batting 19-19 peel with Brian Doig.The other four rinks, skipped by Colin Hutchison, Willie McDonald, Paul O’Donnell and James Hogg all lost, albeit by single figures.
Hutchison conceded a 6 at the second end and at one stage trailed 21-10 before skipping David Brown, Gavin Smith and Jamie Gracie to a 2, 1,2 finish in a 21-15 defeat from Raymond White. McDonald and his rink of Daniel Gormley, Alan Brown, and Andrew Caldwell lost 22-16 having rallied with 2, 2, 1 from 21-11 down to Gary Mackie.
O’Donnell made a brilliant start to skip Neil Watson, Craig Paterson and Paul Veitch into a 13-3 lead but slipped to a 19-16 defeat from Sandy Bone. Hogg hit back from 20-3 down to skip Stephen Pringle, David Fisher and Alex Hurry to a 25-23 defeat from James Forbes.
Fife just edged all three seven- end phases, 46-42, 38-32 and 36-35; but the reality is that E&L were well beaten and stood 26 shots adrift (83-109) after 17 ends.
E&L continue their East section campaign against Stirling County East at Bainfield this Saturday.