Bowls: Bainfield win key basement bowls battle

Six defeats in a row made it a depressing outlook for Bainfield's survival as a Premier League outfit, however, game seven saw Edinburgh's leading indoor bowls club get off the mark with a magnificent 86-67 win over West Lothian.

The clash at the Hutchison Crossway stadium was a high pressure relegation zone battle with West Lothian in a position to send Bainfield straight back to Division 1, and greatly strengthen their own prospects of staying up.

West Lothian had leading figure George Sneddon missing but that was levelled up by the absence of Bainfield icon Robert Marshall who is representing Scotland in the HK International Classic.

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The return of fellow internationalist Thomas Mann and the switching of Calum Logan - the newly crowned Scottish Junior Singles Champion - to skip in place of Sneddon covered the WL vacancy.

Bainfield promoted Colin Hutchison and Stevie McLeod to skips and switched Jamie Gracie to play third to McLeod, and gave Barry Hill a campaign debut. So, Bainfield's win came as a well deserved break for the players and also vindication of captain Peter Bell's strong belief that his team were performing much better than the results indicated.

And wins on the rinks skipped by Gavin Smith, Colin Hutchison and Paul O'Donnell made it an uplifting team performance with the only setback coming in the shape of a fiveshot defeat for Stevie McLeod.

West Lothian made the brighter start and in the opening exchanges went seven shots up and peaked at nine on the tenth end but faded over the second half and Bainfield came storming through to win convincingly.

The phase scoring saw WL edge the first seven ends, 26-23 but lose the second 29-21 and having lost the initiative were outgunned 34-20 on the third.

Smith changed the complexion of his game with a run of 5, 1, 1, 2, 2 to cross 17-8 then he skipped Chris Downie, Stephen Pringle and Barry Hill to a 24-11 win over Paul Lynas, Blair Mackie, Ray Logan and Mann.

Hutchison made a telling break from 4-4 to 15-6 then skipped Craig Paterson, Graeme McIntosh and Jamie Aitken to a 23-15 win over Richard Mark, James Greenock, Des Hagart and Mark Allison.

O'Donnell recovered from 17-7 down and finished with 1, 3 to skip Craig Moss, Alan Brown and Chris Wilson to a 21-18 win over Bryan Cooper, Ian Drysdale, James Speirs and Neil Speirs. McLeod and his rink of Martyn Dickson, Stuart Patterson and Gracie fought back from 5-14 to 15-15 but were squeezed out 23-18 by Cameron Greer, Ewan Wilson, Stuart Johnston and Logan.