Ballymena B entertained Belmont at the Old Ballymoney Road green last Saturday and this turned out to be a very close game.
In fact the Braid men had 2 rink wins and a draw however the other Ballymena rink lost by 9 shots which meant that the visitors returned home with the lion’s share of the points after a 72-70 scoreline.
On rink 1 Alan Smyth, Arnold Kenny, Nigel McFadden and John Coulter were involved in a relatively low scoring game against T Mercer and in fact the two rinks shared 20 shots over the first 15 ends.
The Braid rink scored a single on the 16th end but the visitors stunned Coulter’s men when they picked up a count of 6 shots on the next end.
This unsettled the Ballymena men and the visitors won the next 3 ends to open up a 10 shot advantage. With 1 end remaining there was no way back for the Braid rink who eventually went down by 21 shots to 12.
Alan McAuley, John McFall, Tommy Hill and Roy Torrington had quite a tussle against P Hamilton on rink 2.
The visitors actually had the better of the opening exchanges and they won 7 of the opening 11 ends to lead by 2 shots.
The Braid men hit back and they won 5 of the next 6 ends to lead by 5 shots with only 4 ends remaining and going in to the final end Torrington’s men still led by 19 shots to 15.
The Ballymena men however were ambushed by the visiting rink as a count of 4 shots saw them draw the game with the final score 19-19.
On rink 3 Billy McCandless, Stuart McCarthy, Danny McCullough and Ivan Lynn took on H Swift and although the home rink won 6 of the opening 10 ends the rinks were still level at 9-9.
Seven ends later the rinks could still not be separated with the score board reading 14-14 however 2 singles on the 18th and 19th ends gave the Braid men a slight advantage going in to the final 2 ends.
The visitors picked up a single on the penultimate end but 4 shots on the final end gave the Braid men a hard fought 20-15 victory.
Leslie Barr, Joe McKeown, Geoff Padgett and Chris Wilson started slowly against E Wills and with 8 ends completed they found themselves trailing by 8 shots to 4.
The Ballymena men then hit a purple patch as they scored 13 unanswered shots and over the next 7 ends to wrestle the advantage from the visitors.
Two ends later the margin was still 9 shots and even though the Ballymena rink could only win one of the remaining ends it made little difference to the outcome of the game, as the Braid men held on to win by 19 shots to 17.