Bowls: Bainfield end their 20-year wait for team championship

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Bainfield have an end-of-season honour to celebrate after turning on the style to beat Glasgow club Whiteinch 6-2 on points in the final of the indoor bowls Scottish Team Championship event.

The luck of the draw did give Bainfield home carpet advantage. The confidence was high and the form good with wins in the Singles, Pairs, and Fours clinching the title.

“We have only etched our name on this trophy once before and that was some 20 years ago so this is an exciting highlight for us and especially so as it is a mixed event and reflects the strength of our club,” said spokesman Paul O’Donnell.

Gavin Smith played the spearhead role in the Singles for Bainfield. The experienced Scotland cap still had a battle on his hands at 12-9 up against Darren Gualtieri but exploded to 21 with a burst of 4, 3, 2 to win 21-12 in only 15 ends.

“Gav was hard-pressed in the early stages but kept his head up with two great conversions that earned him a 4 and a 3 then that whirlwind finish of his gave the whole team a terrific boost,” said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell was prominent in the Pairs with his sister Mandy and they made an encouraging start with a run of 3, 2, 3, 1 to lead Grant Middleton and Lorna Cameron 9-0, then looked home and dry at 22-11.

There were still five ends to play, however, and Whiteinch staged a 3, 1, 2 revival to 17 then showed further menace with a hold of 3, but the Bainfield support breathed a sigh of relief when O’Donnell ditched the jack for a three-shot conversion.

“That was a big swing for us as instead of being in big danger at 22-20, we went into the final end holding a 25-17 lead and we added a double to win 27-17,” said the Bainfield skip.

Win number three was the title clincher and it was delivered by the rink of Anna Anderson, Heather Stoddart, Craig Paterson and Stuart Patterson, who had taken a firm grip of their game and finished good 21-12 winners over Peter Murray.

Bainfield carded a super count of 6 in the Triples but it came very late in the game and wasn’t enough to prevent Kathryn O’Donnell, Jamie Aitken and Chris Downie from suffering a 23-15 defeat to Calum Taggart.

Bainfield’s road to the final saw them defeat Teviotdale 8-0, East Lothian 66-59, Tweedbank 77-74, Falkirk 81-73 and, in the semi-final, Auchinleck 6-2.

“We had several close shaves so in retrospect it looks as if our name was destined to be on the Cup,” said O’Donnell.

Meanwhile, the semi-final action of the Championship Singles at Bainfield is down for decision at 7pm tonight, with Craig Moss facing Mark Hewitt and Willie McIntosh tackling Paul Millar.