Bowls: Promotion to top flight is Bainfield’s ‘to chuck away’

The Premier Division beckons for Bainfield bowling club after the Edinburgh team survived a fright to score a 79-74 home victory over Stirling in section 1B of the indoor bowls national league.

It was a match that Bainfield came close to losing but won in the drama of the last bowl and there was an additional reward with the news that chief rivals Tweedbank had suffered a shock 86-70 defeat away to bottom club Cumbernauld.

Bainfield now hold a lead of four points and a superior margin of 106 shots over Tweedbank and 129 over Balbardie with just two games to play. Team manager John Bell said: “We can only chuck promotion away from that position.”

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Bainfield impressed their manager by raising their game when danger threatened from a Stirling team that belied their position in the relegation zone.

“We didn’t produce a vintage performance so it was a relief to win such an important match considering we were 15 shots adrift after the first phase.”

Bainfield rallied well but almost blew it on the final end until a magnificent conversion from Gavin Smith saved them.

Bell added: “Smith faced a head of five shots against him on the last end of the entire match and that was a game losing situation for us but he produced a spectacular firing bowl that trailed the jack for a one-shot reward that clinched the two points for us.

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“Stirling will think they were unlucky to lose and I can’t blame them for that.”

The phase scoring saw Bainfield storm back from their opening setback to capture the second seven-end phase by an impressive 37-16 before losing the third, 23-22.

In the end, wins for the rinks skipped by Smith and Robert Marshall covered the single-figure defeats suffered by Colin Hutchison and Paul O’Donnell.

Smith produced a middle run of 2, 5, 3, 1 to skip Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Alan Brown into an 18-8 lead after 13 ends before returning a 24-13 win over Brian Stillie.

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Marshall was stunned by the loss of a 6 at his second end but made a steady recovery to skip Neil Watson, John McDermott and James Hogg to a 19-18 win over Grant Malcolmson.

Hutchison dropped five shots on his opening end in a hard-fought battle that he and his front-three of Craig Paterson, Paul Millar and Jamie Aitken lost 21-17 to David McCormick.

O’Donnell and his rink of Craig Moss, Stuart Patterson and John Kidd trailed 6-0 after four ends and were always against the collar in a 22-19 defeat from David Stewart.