Bowls: Bainfield promotion chances enforced with winning streak

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Bainfield confirmed their status as one of the main challengers for promotion when completing a hat-trick of opening wins in Division 1B of the national

indoor bowls leagues with a comfortable 86-66 away win over Stirling.

“We did have to battle hard to gain our success and the outcome was in some doubt until we produced a storming 22-7 finish over the final four ends,” reflected team manager John Bell.

Wins on the rinks skipped by Robert Marshall, Gavin Smith and Colin Hutchison reflected a pleasing performance on an away carpet, although there was one hiccup with the double- figure defeat of James Hogg.

Late call-offs from Brian Stoddart and Paul Millar handed call-ups to Bill Garden and Jim Hutchison, while Paul O’Donnell was a high- profile absentee, as he his over in Cyprus supporting his sister Mandy as part of the Scotland challenge in the Atlantic Rim Championships, where she captured gold in the Triples.

Stirling showed they were going to be no pushover by making the better start to capture the first seven-end phase 27-22, but Bainfield asserted themselves on the second to turn the tables 35-21 and take a nine-shot lead into the third.

Bainfield came under immense pressure at 59-57 after 16-ends but inspired by an 11-0 contribution on the run in from Marshall, the visitors accelerated out of the danger zone win impressively.

Marshall skipped Craig Moss, Stuart Patterson and Stevie McLeod to a spectacular 29-12 win over D Stewart, while Smith illuminated his game with sparkling counts of 4 at the eighth and ninth ends to lead 15-5. The internationalist also went on to skip Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Alan Brown to a 23-13 win over J Williams.

Hutchison was engaged in a real battle all of the way but helped tip the match scales with a 4, 1 finish to skip Craig Paterson, his father Jim Hutchison and Jamie Aitken to a 21-18 win over D McCormack.

Hogg and his front three of Neil Watson, Bill Garden and John McDermott were deep in the mire at 16-4 down after 11 ends, but held their own better in the second half and restricted the damage to a 23-13 defeat from Derek Logie.