Bowls: Craigentinny playing catch-up at Goldenacre

CRAIGENTINNY'S bid to retain the Division 1 title of the Alpha Trophies-sponsored Edinburgh Bowling League is in jeopardy as they trail six times champions Tanfield by 9½ points with six fixtures remaining.

The holders visit relegation-zoned Goldenacre tonight and, with Grant McLaren the only regular missing, they are well equipped to make a major impression, especially as Goldenacre are without three regulars in Malky Thomson, Graham Hutchison and David Nelson.

Edinburgh & Leith have announced that Alpha Trophies will sponsor the Tait Trophy this season and progress is underway within the member clubs to produce a champion to compete in the Capital city's iconic event.

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Willie McDonald is the first player through to the quarterfinals stage at Craigentinny and the 2004 champion awaits the winner between Andrew Reid and David Brown.

Colin Hutchison captured the Tait Trophy in 2006 at the tender age of 21 but the six times champion of Goldenacre is out of contention this year having made a shock exit in the first round of his club championship. Dark Horse Colin Henderson was his conqueror and he still survives along with Hutchison's brother Graham and Father Jim, who has his name etched on the Goldenacre honours board nine times.

Teenager Josh Spalding of Craigentinny is the 2010 Schools Singles champion having carried the banner of Musselburgh Grammar to success in the event organised by Edinburgh Leisure and staged at Balgreen.

The Craigentinny banner will be in evidence at the finals of the Scottish Young Bowlers Championships at Ayr come 27 July as Spalding and Ross Thomson have qualified in the Pairs.

The quality of the Craigentinny Under 17 section can be gauged by their successful defence of the Edinburgh Junior League title – defeating Carrick Knowe then Bainfield in the playoffs.

• SIGHTHILL B beat Sighthill A 7-2 to go top of the West Edinburgh League and they are two points ahead of Gorgie Mills, who enjoyed a 7-2 home win over Bainfield A.

Carrick Knowe crushed Caley 2nds 9-0 in Division 2 which gives them a one-point lead over second placed Slateford, who scored a 7-2 away win over Colinton Mains.

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