Bowls: Short-mat tactics edge out Bainfield

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Bainfield’s talented trio of Kathleen O’Donnell, Mandy O’Donnell and Anna Anderson put up a bold show in the showcase final stages of the Scottish indoor bowls Championships at Fraserburgh, but fell at the final hurdle in the Triples.

It was a long journey north to return to the Hutchison Crossway empty-handed and the Bainfield banner-carriers will reflect with a deep sense of disappointment and frustration that it was perhaps a great chance missed of landing the national title.

“We feel that we produced an encouraging level of form to beat Cumbernauld in the semi-finals, but just fell a bit short in the closing stages of rising to the occasion against Garioch in the final,” commented Kathleen O’Donnell.

The Bainfield trio launched their bid for title glory against Ann Lloyd, Pat Casey and Linda Fleming of Cumbernauld and having made a steady start, they picked up the pace from 6-5 down to hit the front with a run of 1, 2, 1, to 9.

Two ends later the travelling Bainfield support cheered a mighty count of 5 as a result of Anderson expertly pinging an opposition bowl out of the head. However, that excitement was short-lived as they conceded a 5 at the following end.

The outcome was hanging in the balance at 14-14 after 12-ends, but Anderson and Co tipped the scales in their favour with a purple-patch spell of 2, 2, 3 to lead 21-14. They then saw out the remaining three ends to win 22-17.

Having reached the final, there was increased optimism of landing the national crown as a result of title favourites Ardrossan having made a surprise exit in their semi. The shock troops were Linda Harper, Marjory McDougall and 
Margaret Brown of Garioch.

The final started well for Bainfield, with Anderson carding 1, 2, 2 to skip her trio into a 5-0 lead. They then progressed to a 7-2 lead and prospects of a favourable outcome remained promising at 9-5 up after nine ends.

Bainfield held shots at the 10th end, but they were transformed into the loss of a double when Brown, the opposition skip, produced a game-changing conversion with a trail of the jack through the head.

“We had been concentrating on playing full-length jacks, but Garioch introduced a short-mat tactic and it paid them a 1, 1, 1 dividend to cross us 10-9,” 
explained Kathleen O’Donnell.

Bainfield levelled with a single to 10-10 on end 14, but saw their world cave in as Garioch surged to 15 with a run of 2, 2, 1 that set Brown and Co up to clinch a good 15-11 win and the title.

“We did not perform badly, but it was their day and not ours,” summed up a gracious Kathleen O’Donnell.