Mid Antrim travelled to Enniskillen on Saturday to play Western Zone in the 2nd round of the ladies Inter zone competition.
The selectors were forced to make a number of personnel and positional changes due to the unavailability of several players from the original selection.
However, this gave Chloe Kerr, Janice Wheeler and Claire Patton the opportunity of making their debuts at zone level and they performed admirably on the day. Mat 1 saw Molly Turtle, Kathleen McKelvey, Sheila Smith and Roberta Morrison in opposition to Western Zone Convenor Jean Parkinson. Jennifer Wilson’s rink of Hazel Rainey, Sheila Kleinman and Helen Maybin were drawn against E Brogan on mat 2 whilst on mat 3, Maria Millar, Eilish McNeill, Eva Gage and skip Ann Agnew took on the Western rink skipped by C Scott.
Mid Antrim made an encouraging early start to the game and lead 5 – 2 with 2 ends completed. Gradually the Western rinks eased themselves into the game and after 5 ends, Roberta lead 3 – 2, Jennifer trailed 3 – 5 whilst Ann was 0 – 9 in arrears albeit against a rink who were playing some exceptional bowls.
Entering the last end they held a narrow 6 – 4 lead but were unfortunate to drop a 3 to lose by one shot, having never been behind during the game. Jennifer’s rink battled bravely throughout their contest and shared the ends won, 5 each with the Western rink. However, the hosts 3 on the 3rd end and 4 on the 8th end secured them a hard earned 10 – 7 win.
Ann’s rink also battled bravely over the latter half of their game to limit their opponents to a 14 – 4 win. Trailing by 14 shots at half time, Mid Antrim knew they had to make early in roads to the Western lead and Joyce Green’s rink of Claire Patton, Yvonne Hall and Jenny Kirk did exactly that by securing a count of 5 on their very first end against E Forster’s quartet. Pearl Peacock, Janice Wheeler, Linda McCullough and skip Ann Bacon were drawn on mat two against the Western rink skipped by J Brown.
This proved to be a very closely fought game with a series of 1’s and 2’s being exchanged throughout resulting in a 7 -7 draw. Mat 3 saw Megan Wilson’s rink of Chloe Kerr, Barbara Burnett and Joyce Lithco in opposition to Western’s J Carson and they also made an encouraging start to their game, leading 4 -1 after 4 ends.
However, their opponents clawed their way back into the game playing some consistent bowls to level the score, 7 -7 after 8 ends. The tension rose further with Joyce scoring a 3 on the 10th and was indeed unlucky not to score more heavily.
This meant that Megan needed a 3 to tie the contest but the Western rink constructed a good last end to secure overall victory with a 3.