Bowls: Bainfield still lead title race but Tweedbank stay close

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Bainfield bowlers continued to sustain their strong challenge to win back promotion to the Indoor Premier League following a 94-54 victory over East Fife in their Division 1B clash at the Hutchison Crossway stadium.

East Fife – relegated from the Premier League last season – are still without an away win while Bainfield’s fifth success from six matches keeps them top of the table, albeit on shot margin. Tweedbank rival Bainfield and their latest success, an 86-78 win at Stirling, was a good one but their shot margin of 89 is well shy of Bainfield’s the 135. “We are certainly being pushed all the way,” said Bainfield manager John Bell.

Bainfield immediately showed they meant business by the 7-0 capture of the opening end and that set the home team up for a 29-16 domination of the first seven-end phase.

The pace did drop a little on the middle phase but Bainfield produced enough to win it 28-19 and then showed real killer instinct to destroy East Fife, 37-19 on the third.

Robert Marshall emerged the major figure for Bainfield and he was hugely inspirational as he skipped Neil Watson, John McDermott and James Hogg to a 28-9 win over Gary Mackie that was the biggest margin of the match. The chief highlight of Marshall’s win came with his acceleration from 8-4 to 22-6 in the space of eight ends and, over the piece, he counted at 14 of the 21 ends.

Paul O’Donnell also served up an exciting display and included three late counts of 4 as he skipped Craig Moss, Stuart Patterson and Stevie McLeod to a 28-11 victory over Wayne Hogg.

Gavin Smith was harder pushed against Chris Stein but mighty counts of 5 at ends ten and 17 helped tip the scales as he skipped Stephen Pringle, Russell Wilson and Alan Brown to a 20-17 win. Colin Hutchison came close to defeat but in an exciting ding-dong battle he picked up from 13-15 to skip Craig Paterson, Paul Millar and Jamie Aitken to an 18-17 triumph against James Forbes.

Balbardie look to have blown their promotion chances as they now lie four points off the pace in third following an 88-59 win over Cumbernauld, at Bathgate.