Bainfield gents came close to capturing an unexpected win at Midlothian in fixture No.4 of their Premier Division A indoor bowls campaign but the Edinburgh outfit were denied the fruits of victory by former icon figure Graham Archer.
Archer has returned to these shores after a period parading his skills in Australia but the Capital native has opted to play under the Midlothian banner and turned in a winning performance in their hard-fought 86-76 victory over his former colleagues.
Given the ten-shot margin of victory it was painful for Bainfield to see their one-time club captain card 11 vital shots against them as he skipped his rink to a storming finishing run of 1, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Archer and his front three of Colin Cook, Scott Runciman and Danny McDougall had made a slow start to be outscored 9-2 after nine ends by Colin Hutchison and his rink of Daniel Gormley, Tam Ebbs and Craig Paterson.
End ten was a game-changer with Archer carding seven shots which accelerated him into a competitive situation at 9-9.
Bainfield were sledge-hammered by a 13-0 blow across the carpet that transformed a 33-28 lead on the master scoreboard into a 41-33 lead for the home side. Archer and his rink still had much to do with their mettle being tested at 14-9 down but, having closed to 15-12, a five-end run clinched a 23-15 win.
A win for the rink skipped by Ronnie Duncan supported the Archer victory while Billy Peacock lost by a single shot to Robert Marshall, and Colin Walker finished peels with James Hogg.
Bainfield will take some consolation out of the fact that, until Archer served up his magic finishing run, the visitors were bang in contention with the master scoreboard putting them within two shots (68-66) with 17 of the 21 ends completed. Marshall, the 48-times capped former Scotland star, was in fine form to bounce back from a daunting 20-12 deficit inflicted on him by Neil Linton, Craig Hodge, Scott Briggs and Peacock. Marshall rallied his rink of Mark McIntosh, Danny McCourt and Paul O’Donnell and, in a driving finish that included a magic count of 3 at the last, skipped them to a dramatic 23-22 victory.
Hogg had shaped up as a winner having skipped Kevin Tennant, Brian Stoddart and Alex Hurry into a 19-15 lead after 17 ends. However, they were crossed 21-19 before rescuing a 21-21 peel with a double at the last against Jack Macnab, Ian Fleming, AJ Knight and Walker.
Smith and his rink of Steven Pilley, Alan Brown and John McDermott were nip and tuck all the way in a 20-17 defeat from Jamie Macnab, John Stevenson, Lindsay Plenderleith, and Duncan.