Bowls: Bainfield secure promotion to the top flight in style

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Bainfield IBC have restored the pride of the Capital’s indoor bowls fraternity by giving Edinburgh a Premier League presence for the 2012/2013 season having captured promotion from Division 1B in great style.

Saturday’s home match against Tweedbank was the ninth of the ten-fixture campaign and Bainfield’s commanding 102-63 victory extended their win record to eight to give them an unassailable lead of six points over their Galashiels visitors and the Balbardie club of Bathgate.

“Our shot-margin bank was massive so we could have stumbled over the line by losing our final two games but I urged the team to regain our top-flight status in some style, so I am highly pleased that we led from start to finish and won on all four rinks,” said team manager John Bell.

Bell received early signals that Bainfield’s penultimate match was not to be riddled with nervous tension as the home team made a spectacular start to lead 40-10 after six ends, and they never lost control over the 21 ends. Tweedbank remain the only team to have inflicted defeat on Bainfield when clashing at Galashiels early in the campaign but a repeat was never on the cards as the champions elect built up a lead that peaked at 44 shots.

Bainfield completed the first seven-end phase with a majestic lead of 29 shots (43-14), and then increased that to 40 with a 30-19 domination of the second before allowing Tweedbank to enjoy a 30-29 edge on the third.

Double-figure wins for the rinks skipped by Paul O’Donnell and Robert Marshall were supported by narrower contributions from Gavin Smith and Colin Hutchison.

O’Donnell immediately fired up the Bainfield challenge as he made an explosive start to skip Craig Moss (captain), Stuart Patterson, and the returning Stevie McLeod into a 16-0 lead after nine ends. That pace had to drop over the second half but O’Donnell and Co remained in the ascendancy to finish top rink at the 27-7 expense of Ian Crawford.

Marshall more than matched O’Donnell over the first ten ends as he lit the fuse with a mighty 5 at the second end then rocketed Neil Watson, John Kidd and James Hogg into a 20-2 over Malcolm Thin. The home rink did give up some ground over the long run in but they were never in any danger of being caught and won 26-15.

Smith and his rink of Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Alan Brown cashed in on an 11-4 lead after eight ends to beat Kenny Johnstone 23-16.

Hutchison was the only Bainfield skip to have sweat on his brow when, despite having led 9-1, he had to conjure up a magic 2, 7 finish to pilot Craig Paterson, Paul Millar and John McDermott to a 26-25 victory over Neil McNally.