Bowls: Bainfield find Falkirk too hot to handle

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Bainfield’S dream of enjoying an extended run in the ladies indoor bowls Scottish Cup was dashed by a 20-shot defeat (83-63) by Falkirk in their first-round clash at Dunfermline venue Abbeyview.

“The final outcome was a fair result as Falkirk put in the stronger finish but, given that we were a Division 1 side competing against Premier League opposition, it was encouraging that only five shots separated us at the halfway stage,” reflected Bainfield team manager Muriel Old. “Over these opening ends, there was no great evidence of a gulf in class but Falkirk were able to stop us from firing on all cylinders in business end of the match.”

Ends 11 and 12 proved to be significant ones in the battle for supremacy but they brought disappointment to the Bainfield camp as Falkirk counted 5-1 on each and that stretched them into a match lead of 13 shots at 49-36.

“The signs were ominous for us when slipping further into arrears at 22 down after 16 ends and we didn’t find a way back although our rink skipped by Theresa Blair was the exception with an excitingly strong finish of 2, 1, 3, 3, 1,” added Old.

Wins on two rinks – skipped by Marion Dickson and Blair – did give Bainfield something positive to reflect upon. However, Falkirk had the measure of Isabel Anderson and Anna Anderson and punished both with 11 and 16-shot defeats respectively.

Bainfield were never in the lead at any stage of the 21-end match but the phase scoring does suggest they were sticking to their task and not being overrun with the figures showing 30-22, 29-19, and 24-22 in favour of Falkirk.

Dickson picked up from 7-3 down with a run of 1, 2, 1, 2, 2 to skip Gladys Christie, Ann Matthew and Anne Watson into an 11-7 lead after ten ends. Then from 16-16 after 18, the rink produced a 1, 2, 1 finish to beat Vikki Leishman 20-16.

Blair and her front three of Sylvia McAnna, Lily Murray and Isa Wilson laboured against the collar for the first 16 ends to trail Pat Johnston 16-9 but a 10-0 blitz over the remaining five ends powered them to a great 19-16 win.

Isabel Anderson and her rink of Aimee Robertson, Karen Tumblety and Rita Reid made an encouraging start to lead 12-6 after nine ends but an alarming ten-end drought cost them 17 shots to trail 23-12 and they suffered a 25-14 defeat from Margaret Burt.

Anna Anderson and her rink of Susan Allan, Cathy Falconer and Kathleen Barr knew they were in for a torrid time when blitzed 13-1 over the first seven ends by Seona Black but better fortune saw them close to 18-10 after 17 ends. But Black – in great form and converting many heads – dominated the run-in and her finish of 1, 5, 1, 1 to win 26-10 killed of all hopes of a Bainfield miracle.

Old and her co-selectors Ann Paton and Nan Tennant had already announced their decision to retire at the end of the season from their roles after serving a five-year period and the hopes of the Bainfield camp were that they would go out in a blaze of glory.

“It wasn’t to be,” reflected Old. “But we have all come together over that period of time to make a difference and the highlight for us all was the giant-killing cup run in 2013 to reach the semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Arbroath.”