Carrick Knowe keep the heat on leaders Slateford

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CARRICK KNOWE passed up a chance to go joint top of the Water of Leith 1st Sixteens League on Wednesday night but their 4-1 home win over Colinton leaves them breathing down the neck of leaders Slateford.

"We have never ever reigned as champions of this league so we dream of doing just that. Having blown up on the run-in last season, we hope to make amends and win the title this year," said Colin Mitchell of Carrick Knowe.

The Scotland captain was feeling a bit rueful, however, as he was skip of the rink that failed to make it the expected clean sweep against a Colinton team that is languishing near the bottom.

The hero for the visitors was Stevie Sutherland, who blitzed Mitchell 24-7 on his home turf having skipped Eddie Herbert, Bill Watson and Brian Davies into a 12-0 lead before answering the loss of a two by doubling his score to 24 over the next seven ends.

"We did finish with a two and three but it was all too late of course and all I can say is that the opposition were brilliant on the night," said Mitchell.

It was smiles on the home front, though, for Richard Tough, James Hogg, and Darren Hush, who skipped their rinks to clear-cut wins. Tough added a four to lead 16-7 after 12 ends then, at 17-10, finished with a five to skip Freddy Carter, Colin Spence and Ian McKenna to a 22-10 win over Mike Sutherland. Hogg opened up 1, 1, 4 to lead 6-0 and skipped Craig Aitken, Dougie Bailo and Graham Pringle to an 18-12 win over Gary MacDonald. Hush made space to 12-4 with a run of 1, 1, 2, 3, then skipped Rab Hush, Blair Paton and Alan Poole to a 19-6 win over Ross Stark.

Slateford lost 3-2 at Gorgie Mills but lead the table by a single point from Carrick Knowe. The top two extended the gap over third-placed Bainfield who crashed to a shock 5-0 defeat away to second bottom club Beechwood.

Defending champions Sighthill kept their title hopes alive with a 4-1 away win over bottom club Balerno. Sighthill are in control of the 2nd Sixteens league following a 5-0 home win over Balerno that pushes them 9 points clear of second-place Bainfield, with Slateford a further nine points back.

&#149 LEADERS Wardie suffered a blow in the Alpha Trophies Edinburgh Bowling League when they lost 5-4 at home to struggling Corstorphine. However, second-placed Goldenacre continue to blow their chance of going top, and their 7-2 defeat away to Maitland saw them passed by Dudley, who beat Willowbrae 7-2.

&#149 DIVISION 1 clubs Tanfield and Dean clash in tonights's second round action of the Specsavers Opticians Edinburgh Cup.