Bowls: Portobello seal crucial victory to ignite their promotion bid

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Portobello got their promotion challenge back on track with a comfortable 92-71 victory over Headwell in their top-of-the-table clash in Division 2B of the national indoor bowls league.

A three-way tie with Glasgow club Whiteinch meant this was a must-win match for Portobello especially with home carpet advantage and they duly delivered with success on three of the four rinks. Team Manager Robert Wood had greatly changed the shape of the Portobello team after losing away to Teviotdale, and his new formation lead from start to finish.

The home rinks to win were skipped by Stuart Betts, Willie McDonald, and Chris Steven with only the rink of home captain Andrew Caldwell losing.

An inspired run of 2, 5, 3, 3 from Betts helped Porty capture the first seven-end phase, 35-24 and they sustained their effort to win the second phase, 30-20 before sharing the final phase, 27-27.

Having made a blitz start to lead 13-0 after four ends Betts remained in top form to skip Josh Spalding, Scott Rogers, and Gordon Bold into a 23-5 domination of Craig Watson after 12 ends, then traded on the cushion to win 29-13.

McDonald made a sluggish start to trail 7-4 but a sudden move into top gear saw him accelerate to 14 with a run of 1, 1, 3, 1, 2, 2 then stay firmly in the driving seat to skip Ross Thomson, Barry Smythe, and Ian Fleming to a 23-14 win over J J Watson.

Steven was given the helm position for the first time by Wood and he justified his manager’s faith by skipping Euan Murray, Dean Mackintosh, and David Brown to a 22-17 win over former cap Jim Roxburgh.

Steven and Co led 9-3 but, having paid the price for losing a costly 6, they were crossed 14-10 before battling back to 14-14 then, from 16-16, gained the edge with a 4, 2, (1), finish.

Caldwell and his rink of Jamie Reid, Andrew Davie, and George Johnston found themselves engaged in a ding-dong battle with Colin Martin and peels were called at 14-14 and 16-16 before the calamitous loss of a 7 plunged them to a 27-18 defeat.

Whiteinch beat Teviotdale 104-71 while Allander, at the foot of the table, edged an 84-82 away win over Fintry.