Bowls league title to be decided on Wednesday night

First Ballymena and Roundtower bowlers keep an eye on the bowls during their recent match. INBT11-208AC

First Ballymena and Roundtower bowlers keep an eye on the bowls during their recent match. INBT11-208AC

0
Have your say

The race for the Ballymena & District League title will be decided by a last week shootout between the two main contenders.

Michelin and BPFA ‘A’ who have spent the season virtually neck-and-neck in the race for the championship, will finally decide where the trophy goes when they clash in the Woodside Road clubrooms on Wednesday night.

Bowlers from First Ballymena and Roundtower bowling clubs pictured during their game last week. INBT11-209AC

Bowlers from First Ballymena and Roundtower bowling clubs pictured during their game last week. INBT11-209AC

Defending champions Michelin not only have home advantage but also the benefit of knowing exactly what they have to do to retain their title.

Just two points from the four rinks will ensure that Michelin reach a points total that Broughshane cannot surpass.

Even if Michelin can claim just one-and-a-half points, the sides will finish level on points and the title will be determined upon the head-to-head meetings of the two sides - with Michelin again holding the trump card by virtue of their 4-1 win at Broughshane before Christmas.

If BPFA can pull off a spectacular win they might want to extend a word of thanks to their ‘B’ team club-mates, without whom, their task on Wednesday night would be even more difficult.

That’s because BPFA ‘B’ took an unexpected point off Michelin in their meeting last week as Andrew Davidson’s rink who trailed Wesley Caldwell by a shot with two ends to go before producing counts of three and four shots over those closing ends.

The other mat also produced a high-scoring encounter with Andrew’s father George’s rink eventually losing 15-10 to Grant Robinson.

But Broughshane’s one-shot interval lead quickly disappeared as the visitors were blown away after the break with James Wasson’s rink losing 14-2 to Matt Boyd, while Graham Wilson’s Michelin rink proved too strong for Noel Graham by 15 shots to one.

Golf Club moved a step closer to securing third position by taking four-and-a-half points from their home game against Portglenone Community Centre

The Bannsiders’ task was always going to be an uphill one after David McCullough’s foursome overwhelmed Jim Gaul 20-2.

There were also wins for the golfers from Sean McGarry and Fred Dawson, while Portglenone’s only crumb of comfort was half a point from Joe McErlean’s 8-8 tie with Johnny Lynn.

That result enabled Golf Club to extend their advantage over Old Bleach by half a point after the Randalstown side claimed four points from their home game against JTI. Neil Booth, Bryan Magrath and Jonathan Millar earned the points for Bleach, while Graham Maybin ensured JTI didn’t return home empty-handed.

DIVISION TWO

Clough Rangers are favourites to claim runners-up spot in the second division after holding newly-crowned champions BIBC to a draw.

‘BI’ won on two rinks, skipped by Tommy Hill and Nigel Robinson, but Stuart Gregg’s 15-shot win over Danny McCullough was effectively worth two points for Clough as it saw them claim the point for overall shots total. The match between Jimmy Gregg and Roy Torrington ended in a 9-9 tie.

Harryville Community Centre remain in third place after winning at All Saints.

The Wakehurst side were in a commanding position as they led by 22 shots at the break, thanks to wins from Bertie McBride and Harold Smyth.

But they couldn’t maintain that form after the interval as Tony Dillon and Anthony Mitchell’s rinks pegged back the visitors but they still finished up 12 shots shy overall.

DIVISION THREE

The Division Three title, like the first division, will also be decided in the final week of the campaign.

Antrim Indoor Bowling Club lead First Ballymena by three-and-a-half points but the church side will feel disappointed that they didn’t make further inroads into that deficit, when they let two points slip against Round Tower.

A closely-contested first half saw both sides claim a point, with Gilmore Campbell’s point for the Antrim side cancelled out by Lyle McQuitty for ‘First’.

It was again a point apiece after the break but Matt McPeake’s nine-shot win over John O’Neill was the decisive moment as although Round Tower earned another point, from the ever dependable Michael Teer’s rink, they came up nine shots short overall.

Services ‘B’ will, at worst, finish third after a maximum points win at Maine after comfortable wins from Eric Smyth, Greta Coulter, Sheila Smith and Roy Dickson.

Eaton Park are the first team to complete their league programme and they signed off with a four-shot victory at West Church.