Ballymena ‘A’ on right track against Transport in opener

Ballymena A bowling team pictured in their new kit sponsored by Redz Piano Bar and Grill. INBT18-249AC
Ballymena A bowling team pictured in their new kit sponsored by Redz Piano Bar and Grill. INBT18-249AC

Ballymena A made a solid start to their NIPGL Division One campaign when they entertained Ulster Transport last Saturday.

Three of the rinks were in the ascendency as the Ballymena men banked 6 of the 7 points on offer with a 39 shot victory.

On rink 1 J R Nicholl, Nigel McAleese, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman took on R Fiddis.

This turned out to be the closest game of the afternoon with no more that 3 or 4 shots separating the rinks for the duration of the contest.

Both of the rinks won 5 of the first 10 ends and at this stage of the game the Ballymena men held a 3 shot advantage.

Five ends later the gap was down to 2 shots and with only 2 ends remaining the rinks were tied with the scoreboard reading 16-16.

The visitors picked up 2 shots on the penultimate end and a further single on the final end gave them victory by 19 shots to 16.

James Gaston, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson made a good start against M Trew on rink 2 and with 4 ends played they led by 6 shots to 0.

The Transport rink scored 2 shots on the next end to open their account but 4 ends later the home rink had extended their lead to 7 shots.

The Braid men tightened their grip on this game when they won the next 6 ends to open up a 17 shot lead.

The Ballymena third and skip in particular were in good form and the home rink restricted the visitors to only 2 more singles as Robinson’s men won by an impressive 29 shots to 6.

On rink 3 Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan locked horns with B Johnston.

For most of this game there was little to choose between the 2 rinks and with 5 ends played the Ballymena rink led by 4 shots to 3. Five ends later the scores were locked at 8-8 and with another 5 ends completed the Braid men held a slender 1 shot advantage.

The game changed however over the next 3 ends as the Ballymena rink picked up 8 unanswered shots with only 3 ends left to play. Four shots were shared over the remaining ends to leave Duncan’s rink victorious by 23 shots to 14.

Michael Wilson, S B Allen, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker scored 2 shots on the first ends against M Devlin on rink 4 however the visitors stunned the home rink when they picked up a count of 6 shots on the next end to lead by 4.

That was as good as it got for the Transport rink as the Ballymena men controlled the game from then on.

A brace of 2’s and a pair of 4’s over the next 8 ends saw the home rink open up a 4 shot advantage and when they outscored the visitors by 8 shots to 1 over the next 5 ends, there was only ever going to be one winner in this contest.

The remainder of the game was a low scoring affair and in the end Baker’s men ran out victors by 26 shots to 14.

This week Ballymena A entertain Ewarts.