Survival in the indoor bowls Premier League is the key ambition of newly-promoted Bainfield this season and that mission received a boost with Saturday’s 37-shot victory (92-55) over Coatbridge at the Hutchison Crossway Stadium.
Bainfield doubled their points tally from two to four and the major significance of their triumph is that it anchors Coatbridge at the foot of the table with no points after four games of the 10-fixture programme.
Wins on three rinks – skipped by Colin Hutchison, James Hogg, and Paul O’Donnell – indicates a strong team performance, although a heavy defeat for Gavin Smith was the one fly in the ointment.
“With home advantage, it was a must-win game for us and, having led from start to finish, I am pleased that we delivered in emphatic style. An off-day for one of our rinks in losing by 16 shots does remove some of the shine, though,” reflected team manager John Bell. “My hope is that this result will serve as a springboard for continued success but our next two games are away to East Lothian and Midlothian and we will travel to both as underdogs.”
The absence of two star players in Robert Marshall and Stevie McLeod for the visit of Coatbridge was a concern to Bell but the return of Paul Miller and outdoor cap James Hogg turned out to be good compensation. Bell’s pre-match gee-up to his team proved effective as Bainfield made a confident start to capture the first 7-end phase, 27-15, then showed a growth in confidence to dominate the second, 36-16. Taking a 32-shot match lead into the third and final phase was a boost for Bainfield and although shaken by an astonishing 14-2 collapse on the Smith rink, they did enough to add a further five shots (29-24) to the winning margin.
Smith and his front three of Chris Downie, John Kidd and Alan Brown are normally strong and reliable at home so it came as a major surprise when from 7-7 after 12-ends they lost 25-9 to David Taggart.
Compensation was delivered by junior cap Colin Hutchison who produced a majestic performance to skip Daniel Gormley, Craig Aitken and Craig Paterson to a spectacular 37-5 win over Gary Prunty. “It’s the best I have played since joining Bainfield,” said Hutchison.
Hogg picked up strongly from 7-4 down to skip Paul Millar, Stephen Pringle and John McDermott to a 23-11 win that included a mighty 5 at the 17th end against Robert Murphy.
O’Donnell zipped into a 17-2 lead having included a run of 1, 3, 1, 4, 3 against Gary McKenzie and remained on song at 21-7 with Neil Watson, Stuart Patterson and team captain Craig Moss, but an off-key finish reduced their win to 23-14.