Bowls: Portobello overcome call-offs to take division lead

PORTOBELLO indoor bowls club produced an excellent performance to score an 84-75 away win over Dunfermline club Abbeyview and install themselves as clear leaders of Division 1C with two points in hand of Headwell.

After four games played the seasiders remain undefeated and team manager Robert Wood said: “This is the first time Porty have won at this Dunfermline venue and we had our noses in front on 19 of the 21 ends, so it was a solid display.”

Wood was further delighted by the away win as he had to cope with several call-offs on Friday that meant he had to reshuffle his pack at short notice.

There were wins on three rinks skipped by Chris Steven, Andrew Caldwell and team captain Stuart Betts to boost hopes of the club finishing top of the table and reaching the knockout stage of the promotion race.

Wood, who had a bird’s eye view playing lead, dispelled any concerns about the double-figure defeat of the rink skipped by George Johnston.

“Jim McGuire, the opposing skip, was in astonishing form to turn this result on its head as we lay shots at 18 of the 21 ends yet ended up losing by 11 and that belies the fact that, as a rink, we were performing very well.

“I would say the critical stage of the game evolved around the 12 and 13-end stage with Betts carding a count of 5 that was supported by a 4 for Caldwell, a 3 and a 2 for Steven, and a 1 and a 1 for Johnston, as we emerged with a 17-shot match lead.”

Portobello edged the first seven ends 28-24, captured the second 35-27 before conceding 21-24 ground on the third.

Steven was the high-flyer with the former junior cap including a run of 1, 3, 3, 2 and a 1, 1, 2, 1 finish as he skipped Euan Murray, Dean Mackintosh and Gordon Bold to a 28-15 win over Paul Brown.


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“Chris conceded two 5s that took a bit of the shine off a final result that flatters his opposition and a highlight of the rink’s performance was the brilliant form shown by 16-year-old Mackintosh,” said Wood.

Caldwell added 4, 1, 1, 1, to skip Ross Thomson, BJ Smith and Ian Fleming into a 12-8 lead, after which they battled on to score a 23-19 win over Kenny Bald. Betts needed his aforementioned 5 to cross 14-10 then came under pressure at 14-12 before skipping David McLeod Scott Rogers and Jamie Reid to a 19-16 win over Stuart Pagan.

Johnston and his rink of Wood, Barry Smythe and Kevin Hunter were playing well at 14-15 with five ends to play but McGuire broke their hearts – but not their spirit – with a 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 finish to beat them 25-14.

The other result in 1C saw Tweedbank score an 88-73 away win over their Border rivals Teviotdale.