Pool: Midlothian end agonising wait for Superleague success

Super XI First Division Pool Champions 2019 Midllothian A team   Scott Roarty, Paul Bryson, Mark Lawrence, Andrew Stalker, Darren Tulloch, Danny Turner, Martin Rogan, Russ Young (capt), Michael Gallacher, Davie Muirhead, Struan Bain, Kevin Rae
Super XI First Division Pool Champions 2019 Midllothian A team Scott Roarty, Paul Bryson, Mark Lawrence, Andrew Stalker, Darren Tulloch, Danny Turner, Martin Rogan, Russ Young (capt), Michael Gallacher, Davie Muirhead, Struan Bain, Kevin Rae

The Midlothian pool team ended their 20-year wait for Superleague glory lifting the First Division title after a nerve-shredding 6-5 win over Arbroath in the final at Pettycur Bay on February 10.

The Super XIs team came through a field of 24 counties from across Scotland, finishing second in their group before seeing off East Lothian A, Dunfermline A and B en route to the final, with victory sealing promotion to the Premier League in style.

It looked like the “Sunday hoodoo” would continue for Midlothian A team after trailing twice in the final but they battled back to lead 5-4 before Arbroath levelled to ensure it would go to a decider.

Both sides had chances to win the deciding frame, but it fell to Midlothian veteran Danny Turner to pot the black and spark scenes of celebration in the Midlothian camp.

It was perhaps fitting that Danny (47), from Loanhead, potted the winning ball as it was he who set up the superleague side 20 years ago and he admitted he wondered if it was ever going to happen.

He told the Advertiser: “It was unbelievable you couldn’t really write the script. The final had everything. There were times in that final frame where I thought we weren’t going to win it but then he left me on the black ball.

“I composed myself and then I hit it and saw the black disappear. It was brilliant, everyone was jumping about. For me it was more relief than anything else. By getting to the semi-finals we had secured promotion then thoughts turned to actually winning it. This is the first time we have. I set it up 20 years ago and time goes by and you think is it ever going to happen?

“The boys were brilliant, there is such a good spirit between this group and they all worked extremely hard to win it.”

It has been a particularly hard few months for Danny whose sister Margaret Francis and his mother Isobel Turner died at the end of last year.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to win especially since it’s been a tough few months. Obviously, the grief is hard but pool has helped me big time to cope. It has given me an escape and helped take my mind off everything.”

Midlothian pool is enjoying a successful period with the Super XVs team winning promotion last November and Ross Fernie winning the Scottish Open. The B and C team will be looking to get promotion back to the First Division in March, while Danny has been selected as the manager to lead the Scotland Seniors’ B1 team at the European Championships in Bridlington in May.