Bowls: Bainfield aim to consolidate their promotion chances

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Bainfield are now in the driving seat in the race to win promotion to the Premier Division of the national indoor bowls league and will do their cause a big favour if they win against Stirling at the Hutchison Crossway stadium tomorrow.

Edinburgh’s elite sit six points above their visitors, so represent a strong form choice. Their case is strengthened by the return to action of first team regulars Craig Paterson, John McDermott, Neil Watson and, their man of the moment, Colin Hutchison.

“Stevie McLeod is one absentee and will be missed, although, his replacement John Kidd has impressed and I believe that our team to face Stirling reflects the strength of Bainfield at the present time,” said team manager John Bell.

McLeod, who normally plays third to Paul O’Donnell, is unavailable while Graham Pringle, Bill Garden, and Brian Stoddart are stood down from the team that beat Cumbernauld.

Bainfield top the table two points above a Tweedbank side that suffered a shock defeat at home to Balbardie, but who still look good enough to keep the pressure on Bainfield by winning away at Cumbernauld.

“It is vital that we beat Stirling, as we go into the seasonal break and come out of it in January with a home match against Tweedbank,” added Bell.

The promotion situation is more bleak on the other side of the Capital, with Portobello only holding a glimmer of a chance of escaping the lowly echelons of life in Division 2B.

Portobello trail leaders Whiteinch by two points and a sizeable 106 shots with just three games to play, but they travel to the venue of their Glasgow rivals tomorrow and have the opportunity to haul themselves back into contention.

Team selector Robert Wood has top notchers Euan Murray, Andrew Davie, and Chris Steven back on board and fields a creditable team, however having failed to beat lowly Fintry, it is a big ask to turnover the league-leaders.

“The task isn’t beyond us so we will be giving it a real go,” said team captain Andrew Caldwell who skips with Willie McDonald, Stuart Betts, and Steven.

East Lothian face a must win clash at home to Blantyre, with both teams sitting on the heels of leaders West Lothian in the A section of the Premier League. The ‘Garden County’ go into action without Alex Marshall MBE.

Scott Kennedy steps up to skip in place of Marshall, while Derek Oliver, Graham Robertson, and Willie Wood MBE are the others at the helm. Alan Young comes in from the bench to play third to Robertson.

West Lothian continue with George Sneddon and Jamie Gracie sitting in reserve for a tough visit to Paisley but are well equipped to win, while in the B section, Midlothian have Martin Wyllie back against Lanarkshire at Dalkeith.