Bowls: Portobello collapse lets West Lothian nick Fours

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Portobello managed to hold West Lothian to a 4-4 share of the points in the prelim round of the Scottish Team Championship bowls event at Dalkeith, but lost out on shot-margin that saw them outgunned 94-63.

The battle in the Singles was fought out between the respective club champions, and Portobello came out on top with Ian Fleming in pole position at 17-14 up and coping with the climax pressure in admirable fashion to add 1, 1, 2 to 21 against George Sneddon.

Portobello also gave excellent value in the Triples with Chris Steven carding a double at the last to skip Alison McDougall and Josh Spalding to a 20-14 win over Stewart McMaster, Jennifer Sneddon and Des Hagart.

The pendulum was swinging heavily against Portobello in the Fours, however, and a catastrophic collapse from 14-8 down saw the strongly formed rink of Jackie McFarlane, Nicola Barclay, George Johnstone and Andrew Caldwell crushed 31-8. The major damage to the Portobello shot-margin was perpetrated by a spectacular 2, 2, 3, 5, 5, finish from Ewan Wilson, Lisa Barrett, Ann Clark and skip David Wilson.

East Lothian clashed with Alloa at Livingston, and the major confrontation in the Singles saw Alloa’s fast-emerging star Steven Allan tip the scales when converting a 16-10 lead into a 21-16 win over bowls legend Willie Wood.

The match points were eventually shared 4-4 but East Lothian progressed on shot margin (91-69) thanks to a 36-8 contribution from Dee Hogan and John McCrorie in the Pairs.

Bainfield progressed with a commanding 8-0 win over Teviotdale, while Midlothian shared the points 4-4 with Headwell but triumphed with a shot aggregate of 85 to 63.

Meanwhile, the penultimate fixtures in Division 2B of the men’s national league saw Portobello do their best to keep their promotion hopes alive with a 99-65 home success over Teviotdale.

But the optimistic seasiders were condemned to an extended stay in the lower echelons of the sport when leaders Whiteinch crushed foot-of-the-table Allander, 105-50 to stay 4 points clear.