Bowls: Bainfield’s winning run at an end

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Bainfield’s bid to extend their unbeaten run to four matches in Division 1B of the national indoor bowls leagues ended when they lost the top-of-the-table clash against Tweedbank at Galashiels on Saturday.

The visitors went three shots up on the first end but lost the second 9-1 and from then never threatened to strike a blow in an 82-70 defeat.

“We failed to reproduce our best form on a carpet that we found difficult to master,” said team manager John Bell.

Bainfield welcomed back Paul O’Donnell at skip but stalwart Stevie McLeod was an absentee.

Tweedbank, who had earlier flashed a danger signal to their 1B rivals when surprising Balbardie at Bathgate in the opening fixture, went into attack mode in the early stages and showed they meant business by capturing the first 7-end phase, 33-24. The Borders outfit then dominated the second 29-18.

Bainfield could have sunk without trace, but a 28-20 third-phase revival was much to the visitors’ credit.

Scotland cap Gavin Smith skipped his rink to an excellent winning performance, while Paul O’Donnell battled well to finish peels but Tweedbank dealt out punishing defeats to Robert Marshall and Colin Hutchison.

Marshall and his rink of Neil Watson, Paul Millar and James Hogg were taken to the cleaners by Kenny Johnstone, who skipped T Chalmers, D Wilson and R Nichol to an impressive 24-8 win.

The scoring wasn’t especially high but Marshall and Co only counted at six of the 21 ends so were never at the races.

Hutchison and his front-three of Craig Paterson, Jim Hutchison and Jamie Aitken looked well set for a hiding when trailing 24-8 to M Dillon, G Thorburn, T Mann and Ian Crawford after 13 ends.

But a tidal change saw Hutchison stop the rot with a 4 then he answered the loss of two singles with a whirlwind run of 2, 3, 1, 1, 1 to settle for a 26-20 defeat.

Meanwhile, Smith had tried to fire up the Bainfield challenge with an early run of 1, 1, 3, 6, 2 1 to skip Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Alan Brown into a 15-5 lead over Malcolm Thin, then despite six blanks in a row, managed to deliver a 27-17 win.

O’Donnell and his rink of Craig Moss, Stuart Patterson and John McDermott finished 15-15 with Stuart White.