Bowling: Gilmerton P are the Tops

GILMERTON PRIVATE put in two memorable displays against Markinch and Kintore at Colinton Bowling Club to capture the Scottish Inter County Top Ten title.

• BIG WIN: Steven Currie, CraigAdamson andRobert Trench celebrate victory in the triples Picture: Ian Georgeson

The climax to the 29th playing of the tournament, sponsored by Specsavers, saw Gilmerton P capture the national crown at the first time of asking and complete the first hat-trick of title wins by a County Association.

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The reigning champions of Midlothian followed in the footsteps of Danderhall (2008) and Bonnyrigg in 2009.

Specsavers added to the history of the tournament by creating a Bowls First with their presentation of a strikingly impressive Souvenir Cap to each of the ten-strong title winning team.

They were Ramsay Blair (Singles), Eddie Adams and Garry Mitchell (Pairs), Craig Adamson, Robert Trench Jr and Steven Currie (Triples) and Robert Trench Snr, Willie Amos Snr, Andrew Amos and Tom Beattie (Fours).

Blair was an inspiring spearhead with the 36-year-old responding to the pressure of an 11-9 deficit by accelerating to a 21-13 win over junior cap Andrew Duncan of Kintore.

Kintore had reached the final with a shock 8-0 thumping of Edinburgh champions Slateford and the standard bearers for Aberdeen & Kincardine made their first mark on Gilmerton P with a battling 19-18 win in the Pairs over Adams and Mitchell.

Mark number two came in the Fours and it was dramatic in nature as Ian Banks skipped his rink back from 17-12 down with a 4, 2, 1 finish to triumph 19-17 over Beattie and Co.

But Gilmerton P held most of the aces in the Triples with Currie on a hot opening streak to lead 14-2 then coping with the loss of a seven to skip his trio to a title clinching 20-10 victory that levelled the match points at 4-4.

Gilmerton claimed the title with a superior shot bank aggregate of 76-61, the comfort of which was in contrast to the nerve-tingling single-shot win over Fife champions Markinch in the semis. Wayne Hogg beat Blair 21-15 in the Singles and the Fifers doubled their points tally to 4 with a 14-8 win over Currie and Co in the Triples.

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Gilmerton stayed competitive though in the Pairs with Adams and Mitchell zipping into a 16-4 lead and converting into a good 21-11 win that swung the spotlight onto Beattie and Co in the Fours. The Midlothian champions were in dire trouble with Beattie trailing 13-4 after 13 ends but a miraculous transformation came with a run of 4, 5, 1 to cross 14-13 then, with the help of an opposition, knocked in a 2 at the last to win 16-13, tipping the scales 60-59 in favour of Gilmerton.

Slateford's exit in the semis was a shock for the tournament favourites especially on favourable territory. Kintore set the scene with the 21-9 scalp of Robert Marshall.

With their singles star eclipsed dark clouds descended without any silver linings with the Pairs losing 19-14, the Triples 16-9, and the Fours 25-19.

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