Bowls: Butters on a roll as solid Bainfield net cup victory

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The Seniors brigade of Bainfield IBC were on parade in the prelim round of the Scottish Cup at The Inveralmond stadium in Livingston yesterday and turned in a solid team performance to beat Headwell (Dunfermline), 72-55.

Wins on three rinks – skipped by Neil Butters, Bill Little, and Willie Garden – shaped the comfortable victory, while the losing margin of the fourth rink, skipped by Adam Brock, was in single figures.

Bainfield dictated the early pace to lead 41-28 after eight ends, then managed to keep safe control of the outcome by capturing the nine-end second half, 31-27.

Butters emerged the hero figure and chief architect of victory when making a blitz 1, 2, 3, 2 start, then exploding into a spectacular 19-4 lead en route to skipping Willie McIntosh, Tam Seggie, and Tony Abernethy to a 25-10 win over J Marshall.

Little also looked set for a convincing victory when skipping Les Nicholson, Irvine Kemp, and David Lees into a 12-6 lead but life did become tougher at 13-12 and they did well to battle to a 17-13 win over D Goodwin.

Garden also made a positive start to skip Alex Hunter, John McVey, and Alan Craig into an 8-1 lead, but the race to the finishing line became neck and neck at 12-12 before Bainfield scored a 4 for the loss of a 3 to pip R Philp, 16-15.

Brock and his rink of Jim Cowan, Jim Piercy and Bill Herd did well to wipe out an 11-2 deficit and cross 14-13, but then conceded 1, 2, 1 to slip to a 17-14 defeat from R Finlay.

Elsewhere in the Cup, there was disappointment for Midlothian in a 74-63 defeat from Stirling, and they were joined on the sidelines by West Lothian and Balbardie who lost 77-42 and 63-46 to East Fife and Falkirk, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Singles Championship at Bainfield is down to the last eight giving every promise of an exciting climax to the main domestic event at the Hutchison Crossway stadium.

The top-of-the-bill clash in the next round features a tie between 26-year-old defending champion Paul O’Donnell and 27-year-old internationalist Craig Moss who is a former winner of the title.

The same half of the draw pitches first-team stalwart Stuart Patterson against dark horse figure Mark Hewitt in a bid to reach the semi-finals.

Colin Hutchison is the major figure in the opposite half of the draw but he will have his hands full against sprightly veteran Willie McIntosh while ex-Portobello ace John McDermott goes head-to-head with Paul Millar.