Bainfield gents suffered a 62 shot hammering (113-51) away to East Lothian at The Alex Marshall Arena, ending a 10 match campaign in the A Division of the indoor bowls Premier League that brings a relegation challenge to The Edinburgh Elite
Whilst the margin of defeat was a humiliating one there was a saving grace that fellow relegation strugglers Abbeyview (Dunfermline) suffered an 87-63 defeat away to Ayr that sentenced them to an automatic drop into Division 1. So the price Bainfield is left to pay for a disappointing three wins out of 10 is a playoff for survival against second place East Kilbride of Division 1 South at Cumbernauld on Sunday 14th of February.
The playoff does have the look of a straw that Bainfield could reach out and clutch successfully with the team from The Hutchison Crossway Stadium rich in high profile talent however it will be a do or die cup-tie occasion that places the outcome in a melting pot. “It is a huge relief to be getting a playoff chance to preserve the premier league status coveted by Bainfield but the message is loud and clear that we have to pull our socks up and start delivering as a team”, reflected player manager Gavin Smith.
East Lothian’s sensational margin of victory saw them claim second top place ahead of Ayr on shot margin (95 to 29) but finishing four points adrift of Division champions Falkirk. Given that Bainfield arrived trying to keep themselves clear of the automatic drop position by their own efforts thereby not depending on Ayr doing them a massive favour against Abbeyview their outcomes against East Lothian could be termed as diabolical.
It makes for desperate reading that the massacre comprised a 25 shot humbling of team captain Colin Hutchison, a 24 shot thumping of James Hogg, an 11 shot setback for Gavin Smith, and a cosmetically better 2 shot defeat of stand in skip John McDermott.
From an East Lothian perspective for the pre-campaign favourites to finish second is an anti-climax for them. “It’s not so long ago that were record four-in-a-row national champions and our sights are always set high so the nature of this win over Bainfield boosts morale ahead of our Scottish Cup campaign”, said team captain Scott Kennedy. Kennedy led the EL charge adding 4,5,6,2 to lead 28-7 then skipping Les Middler, Dougie Berwick, and Joe Mower to a 36-11 win over Hutchison. Other Rink Scores – Graham Robertson 32 James Hogg 8; Jamie Higgins 26 Gavin Smith 15; Derek Oliver 19 John McDermott 17.