Bowls: Bainfield’s shock prelims exit is ‘major disappointment’

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Bainfield suffered a shock exit in the preliminary round of the indoor bowls Scottish Cup with the Premier League- bound stars of the Hutchison Crossway stadium losing by four shots (76-72) to Cumbernauld at neutral venue Alloa.

“This defeat so early in the Cup is a major disappointment to us, especially as we won home and away against Cumbernauld in the league but we failed to produce our best form and the best team progressed on the day,” said Bainfield’s John Bell.

Bainfield were slow out of the starting blocks and although they stayed in close contact for the duration, they never managed to get their heads in front at any stage although they almost stole the tie at the end.

James Hogg – promoted to skip in place of the absent Colin Hutchison – lost 5 shots on his final end, having come close to converting the head with a searching second-bowl effort.

Robert Marshall added to Bainfield’s troubles by reporting for duty with a badly swollen knee and was forced to call off, leading to John McDermott being promoted to skip.

The resulting re-shuffle included team captain Craig Moss moving to third in support of McDermott and Stephen Pringle switching rinks to play lead to Paul O’Donnell with Graham Pringle [father] drafted in at second to Gavin Smith.

The scoring reflected Bainfield against the collar, with Cumbernauld edging the first two 26-20 and 30-25, then the struggling favourites showing improved form to capture the third 27-20 to put a better complexion on the final score.

Defeat on the rinks skipped by McDermott, Hogg and O’Donnell paints a depressing picture of the Bainfield performance. One bright aspect, however, was the continuing success of Gavin Smith.

Smith – undefeated in the Division 1 league campaign – enjoyed a run of 3, 1, 3, 2 to lead 17-10 then skipped Chris Downie, Graham Pringle and Alan Brown to a 26-11 win over G Wilson.

O’Donnell and his rink of Stephen Pringle, Stuart Patterson and Jamie Aitken lost 17-15 to J Brooks while Hogg skipped Craig Paterson, Craig Aitken and John Kidd into a 16-15 lead with 3, 4, 1, 2 fight-back but a last-end disaster cost them a 21-17 defeat from Jim Byron.

McDermott led Neil Watson, Russell Wilson and Craig Moss to a 27-14 defeat from A Barrie.

“Our prime ambition this season was to regain our Premier League status and we achieved that so, overall, we are happy with our lot,” summed up Bell.