Bowls: Short-mat tactics edge out Bainfield

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.

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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.

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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.

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