Bainfield’s fight for survival in the A section of the indoor bowls premier league took a turn for the better with Edinburgh’s elite bowlers producing a strong team performance to score a battling seven shot victory (75-68) over Blantyre at the Hutchison Crossway StadiumRead more
Wins for the rinks skipped by Gavin Smith and James Hogg were achieved in excellent fashion and big enough to cover the narrow defeats suffered by team captain Craig Paterson and Barry Hill. Stalwart figure Graham Pringle came in as a late replacement for Craig Aitken and played second to Hill against a Blantyre team that arrived as joint leaders and buoyed up by their away win over three-in-a-row defending champions West Lothian. “Even with home advantage we were considered to be the underdogs against a strong Blantyre team but I asked the guys for a maximum effort and their response was magnificent and mental toughness under pressure admirable”, reflected team manager Alan Brown. “The match was fought out on a tightrope situation but we stayed resolute and a combination of strong team spirit and numerous exciting individual performances earned us two precious points that lifts us off the foot of the table albeit on shot margin”, he added. The return to action of recently married Gavin Smith brought a major dividend to Bainfield with the international status player skipping his rink to an outstanding 10 shot victory that tipped the match scales. Bainfield drew level on the 4 point mark with Coatbridge who lost by 11 shots (84-73) away to Abbeyview and a more compact league table now reads, Midlothian 8 (+18), Abbeyview 8 (-8), West Lothian 6 (+98), Blantyre 6 (+53), Bainfield 4 (-51), Coatbridge 4 (-110). Blantyre made the early running to capture the first seven-end phase 24-16 but the visitors menacing 8 shot lead was completely overturned by an inspiring fight back that saw Bainfield dominate the second phase, 35-19, to show 51-43 ahead on the major scoreboard.. The Bainfield morale had been boosted by a magnificent count of 7 for Smith on end 13 and a stout defence of their match lead saw them contain Blantyre to a single shot edge (25-24) on the run to the finishing line. Smith had made an explosive to his game with counts of 5 and 2 to lead 7-0 but was overhauled and cross 8-7 before rallying strongly to skip Chris Downie, Mark McIntosh, and John McDermott to a 29-19 win over Jim McCann. Hogg counted at 12 of his 20 ends completed but ten of them were singles in a hard fought battle that saw him skip Kevin Tennant, Alan Brown, and Colin Hutchison to a valuable 15-11 win over Scott Bishop. Paterson and his rink of Josh Spalding, Stephen Pringle, and Daniel Gormley were rocked back onto their heels in the early stages to trail John Meikle, 8-1 then having fought back to 11-11 conceded a 5 and paid the price of that in the shape of a 19-17 defeat. Hill and his front three of Graeme McIntosh, Graham Pringle, and Brian Stoddart made an encouraging start to lead 9-6 but came under pressure at 13-13 and slipped to a 19-14 defeat from Brian Irvine.