Bainfield got their return to indoor bowls’ Premier League under way with a 12-shot victory (78-66) at home to Midlothian in Saturday’s opening fixture of the A Section.
Wins on three of the four rinks ensured delight for team manager John Bell, who had to cope with late call-offs from two of his major players in the shape of Alan Brown and James Hogg.
Bell brought John Kidd in as a straight replacement for Brown at third to Gavin Smith, while Craig Paterson was moved from lead to third for Colin Hutchison with his position taken over by Daniel Gormley whose place at second to Robert Marshall was filled by Gilchrist.
Gormley made the transition from a Division Two player for Portobello to the intense heat of the Premier League in great style, with Bell praising the debut of the youngster. “Daniel was drawing shots for fun and if he can maintain consistency then he will have a bright future,” said his manager.
Smith lost the opener but good compensating wins were achieved by the rinks skipped by Paul O’Donnell, Hutchison and Marshall. Bainfield pleased their manager by making a strong start to the game and their 33-19 domination of the first seven-end phase turned out to be the major factor in their favour as Midlothian turned the tables 23-20 on the second before the home side edged the third 25-24. O’Donnell skipped Craig Moss (Captain), Stuart Patterson and Stevie McLeod to a 21-12 win over Scott Runciam, Scott Matthews, Jamie Aitken and David Peacock, having first impressed with a run of 2, 3, 2, 1 to cross 11-5 before carding a late run of 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, to lead 21-9 when the heat was on.
Hutchison carded a 4 at the first then held 5 at the second before losing a single to a killer bowl from Colin Walker then a run of 3, 3, 4 to lead 14-5 set him up to skip Gormley, Paul Millar and Paterson to a 23-17 win over Robert Campbell, Drew Pearson, Martin Wyllie and Walker. Marshall motored into a 14-7 lead entering the 13th and went on to skip Neil Watson, Gilchrist and John McDermott to a 19-15 win over Andrew Kelly, David Salkeld, AJ Knight and Billy Peacock. Smith and his rink of Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Kidd slipped from 8-3 up to peels at 10-10 then lost 22-15 to Jamie McNab, Ian Brown, Danny McDougall and Ronnie Duncan.