Ballymena B stay top of the league after impressive display

Nigel McFadden delivers a bowl during Ballymena B's league game with Shaftsbury in Ballymena. INBT 32-178CS
Nigel McFadden delivers a bowl during Ballymena B's league game with Shaftsbury in Ballymena. INBT 32-178CS

Ballymena B entertained Shaftesbury last Tuesday night and they continued their excellent league form when they picked up another 5 points to stay top of NIPGL Division 3.

On rink 1 Mark Pearson, Arnold Kenny, Nigel McFadden and John Coulter took on the visiting rink skipped by F Simpson. The game started in explosive fashion when the visitors opened their account with a count of 5 shots but not to be outdone the Ballymena matched this feat on the next end to level the match. The Braid men scored a single on the 11th end however the complexion of the game changed over the next 5 ends when the visitors scored 8 unanswered shots. Over the closing ends Coulter’s men did their best to repair the damage but they had left themselves too much to do and they eventually fell short with the final score 20-18.

Ballymena's Mark Pearson in action against Shaftsbury. INBT 32-180CS

Ballymena's Mark Pearson in action against Shaftsbury. INBT 32-180CS

Alan McAuley, John McFall, Tommy Hill and Roy Torrington were in great form against N Watterworth on rink 2. The first 8 ends were well contested and at this stage of the contest the visitors lead by 7 shots to 6 however the game changed on the next end when Torrington’s men picked up a count of 5 shots. With 13 ends completed the Ballymena rink lead by 17 shots to 7 and they doubled their advantage over the next 2 ends when they scored successive counts of 5 shots. In fact over the remainder of the game the visitors could only add one more shot to their total and they were glad to get off the rink having suffered a heavy 34-8 defeat at the hands of an excellent Ballymena rink performance.

On rink 3 Billy McCandless, Leslie Barr, Danny McCullough and Ivan Lynn won 3 of the first 5 ends to open up an early 2 shot advantage against B Hunter. By the time the game had reached the 12th end the Ballymena men had halved the deficit to 4 shots however 4 consecutive singles saw the visitors restore their 8 shot advantage. The Braid rink dug in and a count of 5 shots on the 17th end and 3 singles over the next 3 ends levelled the game at 18-18 with only 1 end left to play. Unfortunately for Lynn’s men they could not finish the job and it was the visitors who picked up a single on the final end to claim victory by 19 shots to 18.

The Ballymena rink of Jimmy Gage, Neal Garrett, Geoff Padgett and Chris Wilson made a good start in their game against rink 4 and with 7 ends played they lead by 10 shots to 1. Any hopes of a Shaftsbury win were extinguished by the Braid rink who picked up another 5 shots over the 20th and 21st ends to claim victory by 20 shots to 13.