Bowls: Bell delighted as Bainfield get the better of Fife rivals

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Bainfield launched their national indoor bowls league campaign with a commanding 21-shot victory (98-77) over East Fife at Methil.

Both clubs were relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season so with home advantage it was thought that East Fife would be a tough test for a Bainfield team in their Division 1B clash. The Lothian side, however, had other ideas.

“We did come under pressure on occasions but were never headed so won well in the end. Given our lack of match practice and challenging on foreign territory, to beat one of our leading rivals is a great confidence booster,” said team manager John Bell.

Bell had been hopeful of a strong performance given that his opening line-up included two exciting new recruits in James Hogg and John McDermott formerly from East Lothian and Portobello respectively.

Bainfield showed great determination over the opening seven ends to win that first phase of the match, 38-22, but East Fife arrested their slide with a 7-0 and 4-1 reply to become competitive and went on to capture the second phase 31-19.

Bainfield were now just four shots to the good but a 5-5 share on end 15 was followed by a great 9-0 surge from the visitors and that inspired them to a match-clinching 41-24 in the third phase.

Wins for the rinks skipped by Paul O’Donnell, Gavin Smith and Robert Marshall were the measure of an excellent team performance that saw Colin Hutchison the only casualty in a single-figure defeat.

O’Donnell made a great start to skip Craig Moss, Stuart Patterson and Stevie McLeod into an 11-3 lead over Willie Wyles. They then reacted to pressure at 14-13 with a 3, 3 reply before staging a grandstand finish of 4, 4 and 1 to clinch a 29-17 victory. Smith had a sparkling run of 1, 4, 2 and 4 as he skipped Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Alan Brown to a 25-15 win over Gary Mackie.

Marshall finished with a 4 to skip Neil Watson, John McDermott and James Hogg to a 28-23 win over Chris Stein while Craig Paterson, Brian Stoddart, Jamie Aitken and Hutchison went down 22-16 to Wayne Hogg’s rink.