Bowls: Bainfield battling to avoid automatic relegation

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Bainfield gents are resigned to finishing in the relegation zone of the indoor bowls Premier League Division B but enter this weekend’s final match with high hopes of avoiding the automatic drop.

The Capital outfit face a tough trip to East Lothian and, while a victory looks unlikely, they will hope that bottom side Abbeyview (Dunfermline) will lose at Ayr.

“We are two points better off than Abbeyview so, if both teams lose, Bainfield are guaranteed a play-off position. But if we lose and they win, we would be sunk,” said Bainfield player-manager Gavin Smith.

Smith doesn’t have his worries to seek, however, having been hit hard with the news that ace players Robert Marshall, Craig Paterson, Josh Spalding and Steven Rennie are not available for selection.

Teenager Cameron Tennant is drafted in for his first Premier League match of the season while the exciting talents of John McDermott will be further tested on his promotion from third to skip.

Bainfield:

Rink 1: Graeme McIntosh, Danny McCourt, Brian Stoddart, Gavin Smith.

Rink 2: Cameron Tennant, Alan Brown, Jamie Reid, James Hogg.

Rink 3: Tam Ebbs, Kerr McKail, Daniel Gormley, John McDermott.

Rink 4: Mark McIntosh, Steven Pilley, Kevin Tennant, Colin Hutchison.

East Lothian will be hurting at having blown their chance of making it to the play-off final but a chance to finish in clear second is an incentive for a team that welcomes back team captain Scott Kennedy.

Top skips Alex Marshall MBE and Billy Mellors are significant absentees in a team that nonetheless still boasts a strong line-up.

East Lothian:

Rink 1: Mal Higgenbotham, Jamie Gordon, Stewart W Thomson, Derek Oliver.

Rink 2: Mark Johnston, Gary Darling, Willie Wood MBE, Graham Robertson.

Rink 3: Andy Jeffrey, Glenn Blair, Ewan Fallen, Jamie Higgins.

Rink 4: Les Middler, Dougie Berwick, Joe Mower, Scott Kennedy.

Meanwhile, a shock 66-58 quarter-final defeat at the hands of Alloa ended the Scottish title defence East Lothian seniors.