Bowls: Porty’s title hopes dashed after defeat

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Portobello’S promotion hopes suffered a devastating blow with a 95-60 defeat from promotion rivals Whiteinch in a top-of-the-table clash in Division 2B of the indoor bowls league.

The key victory gave Whiteinch an advantage of four points and 176 shots over Portobello and, with just two games to go, the Glasgow team are now out of sight and will play in Division 1 next season.

“I guess it was wishful thinking that we could travel to Glasgow and beat Whiteinch on their home carpet but it was the last chance for us and we felt we had the ammunition to give it a real go,” said team selector Robert Wood.

“And we were doing quite well as we entered the later stages of the match very much in touch at only five shots down, however the dramatic loss of 16 shots without reply across our four rinks was spectacular for them but catastrophic for us. It was then too late to find a way back from 21 shots down but to lose by 35 in the end was a harsh reflection on our efforts.”

The sudden Portobello collapse was triggered by the hefty loss of a 6 on the rink skipped by Chris Steven and the domino effect saw Andrew Caldwell and Willie McDonald each concede a 4 and Stuart Betts a 2.

Portobello lost on all four rinks but came closest with the rink of Josh Spalding, Bill Ramsay, Gordon Bold and Betts leading 20-5 before collapsing to a 23-20 defeat from Callum Taggart.

Caldwell and his front-three of Jamie Reid, Andrew Davie and George Johnston were just touched off 21-18 by Graham Stewart while Robert Wood, BJ Smith, Ian Fleming and McDonald lost 20-13 to Peter Murray.

It was also a bad day at the office for the rink of Euan Murray, Dean Mackintosh, Scott Rogers and Chris Steven who suffered a 31-9 hammering from the rink skipped by David Miller.

Portobello will complete their present schedule in the new year with a home match against Teviotdale followed by a visit to Headwell.

“We certainly have the nucleus of a team capable of securing Division 1 status for us and our teenage players will have benefited from the experience of this campaign and it will make us all the stronger for next season,” added Wood.