Bowls: Porty’s push for promotion hit by faulty Fintry display

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Portobello’s ambition to win promotion from Division 2B of the national indoor bowls league is in tatters following a shocking 14-shot away defeat (81-67) from foot-of-the-table Fintry.

The joint leaders arrived at Fintry believing that they could bank two points and also greatly enhance their shot-margin against a team whose average loss across six games was 30.

“It was a dreadful banana skin result for us and a very costly defeat as we now trail Whiteinch by two points and a massive 106 shots putting a dire complexion on our desire to win promotion,” said Robert Wood for Portobello.

“We visit Whiteinch in our next game so that gives us a fighting chance to get back on terms point-wise. Then, with two games each to play after that, the final outcome would be in the lap of the gods – but not weighted in our favour,” he added.

Whiteinch continued to impress with a 95-62 away win over Headwell for the Glasgow club’s sixth success in seven games.

Portobello did manage to shine on two rinks at Fintry with fine wins for skips Stuart Betts and team captain Andrew Caldwell. However, Willie McDonald was well and truly hammered while David Brown lost after a last-end mishap.

The phase scoring reflects Portobello holding every chance of securing the vital points with a 26-25 and 24-20 edge on the first two of the seven-end exchanges, however, an alarming collapse saw the visitors destroyed 36-17 on the third.

The unfolding story on the McDonald rink was an unmitigated disaster with the normally solid combine of Ross Thomson, Barry Smythe and Scott Rogers being restricted to seven singles by opposition skip David Buchanan.

Buchanan tormented McDonald and Co over the first 11 ends to lead 18-2 then continued to torture them with a 12-5 punishment on the run-in to make the visitors suffer a 30-7 defeat.

Brown did well to recover from 4-9 to skip Josh Spalding, Dean Mackintosh and Robert Wood into a 12-10 lead over Paul McCann. They were crossed 14-13 playing the last where a bold attempt to make shots cost them a 7 and a 21-13 defeat.

Portobello’s best impression was made by Betts who made a whirlwind start to lead Robert Newlands 12-1 then stormed to 21-4 en route to skipping Ian Fleming, Bill Ramsay and Gordon Bold to a 24-11 win.

Meanwhile, Caldwell had gained early confidence from a mighty 5 at the second end and although becoming engaged in a real ding-dong battle did enough to skip Jamie Reid, BJ Smith and George Johnstone to a 23-19 win over Steve Whitton.