Juniors still in the mix for the race to the title

Chris Falson signals a good delivery from his Ballymena Juniors team mate. INBT34-262AC
Chris Falson signals a good delivery from his Ballymena Juniors team mate. INBT34-262AC

Last Tuesday night Ballymena Juniors travelled to Dunbarton. The Braid men were hoping for a good result to keep them in the running for the NIPGL Junior League Division 1, however in a close match they lost by a single shot and returned home with only 2 points to show for their nights work.

On Saturday the Braid men entertained Ulster Transport and the Ballymena men picked up a maximum 7 points which still keeps them in the title race.

Ballymena Juniors (68) Dunbarton (69): John McFall, Norman Armstrong, Neal Garrett and Roy Torrington took on S Trainor on rink 2 and over the first 6 ends the two rinks shared 10 shots. Four shots on the 7th end gave the home rink a boost and they were able to maintain this advantage up until the 13th end. The Braid men fell further behind over the next 2 ends and going in to the last end they were 6 shots adrift. Worse was still to come for the visitors as they dropped a count of 5 shots on the final end to go down by 22 shots to 11.

On rink 3 Geoff Padgett, Jimmy Larkin, Ivan Lynn and Danny McCullough dominated the first 12 ends of their encounter with M Adamson. During this period the Braid men were able to restrict the home rink to only 5 singles while they accumulated a total of 16 shots. The Dunbarton men had slightly the better of the closing exchanges however the Ballymena rink were well worth their 19-11 victory.

Allen Stewart, Artie McAuley, Nigel McFadden and John Coulter took on J Kelly on rink 5 and with 6 ends completed the teams could not be separated with the scores level at 5-5. The next 4 ends proved to be the turning point of this game as the Braid men conceded counts of 6 and 4 to trail by 10 shots. To their credit Coulter’s men did not throw in the towel and they actually won 6 of the remaining ends however they had given themselves too much to do and in the end the home rink claimed victory by 21 shots to 14.

On rink 6 Leslie Barr, Arnold Kenny, Tommy Hill and George Graham were drawn against R Gough. This game ebbed and flowed for much of its duration. The Braid men made the best of starts when they won the first 4 ends to open up a 10 shot lead. The Dunbarton men then scored three consecutive 2’s however the Ballymena rink matched this score over the next 3 ends to leave the score line 16-6 in favour of the visitors. The home rink hit back again when they picked up 8 shots over the next 3 ends to reduce the gap to only 2 shots however the Braid men kicked on once more and 7 shots between the 14th and 16th ends gave them a healthy advantage going in to the final 2 ends. The game concluded when both rinks picked up a single to give the Ballymena men a well deserved 24-15 victory.

Ballymena Juniors (114) Ulster Transport (46.25): Leslie Barr,Tommy Hill, Danny McCullough and George Graham were drawn against G Arnold on rink 1. The visitors scored 4 shots over the first 2 ends but a brace of 3’s got the Braid men straight back in to the game. A count of 4 shots on the 6th end and 3 more shots on the 9th end helped the Ballymena men in to a 9 shot lead. This was still the difference between the 2 rinks six ends later and the Braid rink finished strongly to extend their advantage to 14 shots with the final score 27-13.

On rink 2 Allen Stewart, Arnold Kenny, Nigel McFadden and John Coulter blitzed the visiting rink skipped by N Trimble over the opening ends and with the help of 4 shots on the first end and 6 shots on the 3rd end the Braid men found themselves 13 shots to the good after only 5 ends. The remainder of the game was more evenly contested and when the game had reached its conclusion Coulter’s men had won the game by 26 shots to 11 (The visitors could only field 3 players so the lost a quarter of their shots to leave the final score 26-8.25).

Peter Millar, Jimmy Larkin, Ivan Lynn and Chris Wilson lost 4 shots on the first end against J Hammond on rink 3 but the Braid men did not panic and 8 ends later they had played themselves back in to the game to lead by 11 shots to 7. The Ballymena men effectively won the game when with the help of a count of 7 shots on the 10th end they won the next 8 ends to extend their advantage to 22 shots. The visitors had slightly the better of the remaining ends but it could not take the gloss off an excellent Ballymena performance as the Braid men ran out victors by 30 shots to 11.

John McFall, Norman Armstrong, Neal Garrett and Roy Torrington were in top form against J McAdam on rink 4. The Ballymena men only held a 1 shot lead after 5 ends but that all changed over the next 6 ends as counts of 4 shots on the 7th end and 6 shots on the 8th end catapulted the home rink in to a 21-5 advantage. Sixteen shots was still the margin with only 3 ends remaining and by the end of the game the Braid rink had further extended their lead to 17 shots to leave the final score 31-14.

Next Saturday Ballymena Juniors travel to Falls