Bainfield Ladies’ exciting journey towards achieving indoor bowl Premier League status came to a halt following a ten-shot defeat from Paisley in their knockout play-down action at East Kilbride – but they went down fighting.
Paisley had the measure of the Bainfield rinks skipped by Anne Watson, Theresa Blair and Anna Anderson, but only by tight single-digit margins, while Mandy O’Donnell held their fourth to a peel.
“Whilst it’s a big disappointment to have lost, I must say the team produced a bold and spirited performance that has me and my fellow selectors Ann Paton and Nan Tennant singing their praises,” commented manager Muriel Old.
“We have made tremendous progress over the last four seasons with vast improvements in attitude, camaraderie, vocal encouragement across the rinks and performance levels – superb really,” she added.
Reaching the knockout stage of the national league system was a challenging experience for the female stars of the Hutchison Crossway Stadium, but they took it all in their stride and performed with distinction.
The team performance over the first seven-end phase raised expectations as they opened up a 32-27 lead, with a spectacular 13-0 count on the fourth end.
The match then developed into a finely balanced contest, with Paisley battling to take the second phase 27-21, then clinching an 81-71 win with a 27-18 superiority on the third.
O’Donnell looked set to be a winner for Bainfield on several occasions, but was forced to settle for a 20-20 peel against Kathy Houston.
Blair and her rink dropped a 5 at the fifth and by the end of the 13th were facing an uphill battle at 16-7 down, however the Bainfield rink finished strongly to lose 21-18.
Anna Anderson also lifted the Bainfield spirits with a mighty count of 5 on her fourth end and it inspired her to skip Jeanette Crawford, Heather Stoddart and Marion Dickson to a 13-11 lead over Jeannie Ritchie after 13 ends.
It remained close over the remaining eight ends but Ritchie tipped the scales with a 2, 2 finish to inflict a 21-16 defeat on the Bainfield rink.
Paisley move on to a second stage match against Glasgow, with the winner clinching Premier League status, while East Fife’s 99-67 win over Buchan pairs them with Coatbridge.