Bowls: Downie and Hutchison see dream shattered by Fifers

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Bainfield champions Chris Downie and Colin Hutchison fell at the final hurdle in their bid to add the Scottish 4-Bowls Pairs title to their recently-won 2-Bowl version.

Wins over Teviotdale then Dumbarton set the Bainfield champions up for a crack at East Fife in the section final of the playdown action at Midlothian IBC yesterday, but it was their Methil counterparts Chris Stein and Wayne Hogg that triumphed in a hard-fought battle.

“It is a great disappointment to have lost as the dream of capturing both Pairs titles in the same season was an exciting one. However, we both felt we had played well but lost out to an opposition that displayed exceptional form,” said Hutchison.

“Both of our opponents played extremely well, especially in the early stages of the final, but the killer for us was that Wayne neutralised most of our menacing heads with the range of skills that makes him a top player of international status,” he added.

East Fife made the first major impression on the section final (quarterfinals of the event) with a mighty count of 5 and that inspired them into an 11-3 lead. Bainfield, however, rallied well over the next four ends and closed to 13-11.

“We slipped back into trouble at 22-11 down but ended our barren spell with a 2 to 13 then actually held a full count of 8 at the next and Wayne teased us by leaving it to his final bowl to cut us down to a 2,” explained Hutchison.

That drama still left Bainfield lots to do and it proved to be beyond them in a 26-17 defeat that saw them count at 10 of the 21 ends, making the episodes of the early loss of a 5 and the late cut down of an 8 very significant.

Bainfield received a bye into the first round and launched their campaign with a commanding 23-8 win over Stewart Douglas and Stuart Bebbington of Teviotdale.

Dumbarton provided the opposition in the second round and Downie and Hutchison dealt a 19-16 exit to Michael Keenan and Graeme Sloan.

East Fife were also the dream wreckers of the West Lothian challenge from Cameron Greer and Calum Logan who tumbled at the second round after a 20-12 defeat from East Fife.

Portobello champions Keith Adamson and Colin Hairs were also in action, losing at first-round stage 20-19 to Dumbarton.