Michelin retake top spot from Broughshane A in table top clash

The leading two teams in the first division of the Ballymena Indoor League met last week, and with the leading teams Broughshane Playing Fields ‘A’ clashing with Michelin.

In a game which was to have been played at the Michelin clubroom, but owing to the venue otherwise booked, the game was transferred to the Knockan Road, which ought to have been to the advantage of Playing Fields ‘A’ but that transpired to not be the case.

Having a lead of half a point going into the game, the ‘A’ team would possibly have been favourites to add to their lead, but at the final count the best the home side could msuter was one point, which now leaves the defending champions ahead by two-and-a-half points going into the Christmas break. In a game of low scoring and close scoring, the game could very easily have gone to either team. The first two games resulted in 15 shots being scored in each, and the Michelin rinks, skipped by Grant Robinson and Wesley Caldwell, won on both occasions when Robinson won by one shot over Doran Turtle, whereas Caldwell had a win by three shots against Allister McCullough. After the break, the two second half games were equally close affairs where David Elliott’s rink came out with a win by a single shot result against David Morrison, and a two shot margin was good enough for a win from the Broughshane rink in the hands of Andrew Morrison over Mathew Boyd in a game of 12 shots over the 10 ends. This lead the overall result with four points going to the Michelin team and with the same two teams meeting in the return game at the Woodside Road Clubroom on Wednesday, March 11, it could be a league decider - that is if it’s not decided before then.

The Gold Club had JTI as opponents at Raceview and the home team added four points to their total, which sees them go into third place in the table. The overall point was in the Golf’s care after the first half when Sean McGarry and brother Kevin had ran up a total of 34 shots against 4 from JTI. The second half resulted in Jonny Lynn’s rink adding 15 shots, while Billy Lynn’s rink defeated David McCullough’s unit to save the whitewash. In the second division, Harryville Community Centre took full advantage of a swapped venue for their game with Glenravel and a total of four points went to the Wakehurst based team. The opening pair of games went the way of Harryville and by clean margins with Gary Worthington’s rink having a victory by 12 shots against Martin O’Neill, while Harold Smyth guided his charges to a seven shot victory over Vera Bryson’s unit.

The second half provided each team with a point, with the Glens’ rink guided by skip Martin McKillop having a four shot win against Willard Reid, but the other matt provided the town team with certain victory when Joe Patterson’s rink outscored Mary McAuley’s rink by 20 shots. The Martinstown based team will now have the home advantage the next time they meet, that being the final game of the season. All Saints picked up a very useful four points from their home game against the Golf Club Seniors. The first two games provided a point for each team, with Anthony Mitchell’s rink scoring a win by 13 shots which included picking up five plus a six on the fourth and fifth ends. The opposing skip for the seniors, Campbell Wade, scored six shots with a four plus a two being his lot. The Seniors rink skipped by skipped by Stephen Surgenor came away with a victory of four shots over Sean Haveron in a game of 12 shots. The second session belonged to the Saints with Tony Dillon’s rink having a victory by five shots over John Nichols, while Eugene McReynolds outscored Donald Smyth by four shots. Clough Rangers had a close encounter at home to Services ‘A’ with two shots separating the sides at the conclusion. Clough’s points came from Mal Norton’s win by 16 shots against Dessie McNeill, whereas the Services ‘A’ had wins from Pauline Wilson, Bill Kitson, and Mark Shaw, but they came up short by two shots to share the overall point. Another close game resulted at Moneyglass where the two teams scored 38 shots each, but the visiting BIBC took three points. These came via Steven Shields by one shot obtained on the last end, while Nigel Robinson had a victory by three shots. Tommy Hill ended up all square with Henry Graham, having got a shot on the last end, and the home team’s lone victory came from Henry Magee who won by four shots.