Braidmen make solid start with opening win

Ballymena bowlers keenly follow the patch of an incoming delivery against Ulster Transport. INBT 18-838H

Ballymena bowlers keenly follow the patch of an incoming delivery against Ulster Transport. INBT 18-838H

Ballymena Bowling Club’s A team kicked off their 2016 campaign with a home match against Ulster Transport on Saturday.

The Braid men picked up 5 of the 7 points on offer, however it could have been so much better as two of the Ballymena rinks went in to their final ends with a chance of victory but neither could get the shots they required and in the end they had to settle for 5 points.

J R Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman shared 2 singles over the opening ends against B Faulkner but that was as good as it got for the visitors and by the time the game had reached 10 ends Coleman’s men were out of sight with the score board reading 20-2. The second half of the game was more evenly contested but the Ballymena rink had done all the hard work and they eventually went on to claim a well deserved 29-12 victory.

On rink 2 Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan were drawn against M Devlin. Only 16 shots were scored over the first 14 ends and at this stage of the contest the score board read 8-8. The Braid men appeared to have gained the upper hand on the next end when they picked up a count of 6 shots but the visitors quickly recovered and 8 shots over the next 4 ends gave them a 2 shot lead with only 2 ends remaining.

A single on the next end gave the Ballymena men some hope but they were unable to complete the job as the visitors claimed a single on the final end to see them home 17-15.

James Gaston, Michael Wilson, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker made the perfect start against M Trew when they picked up a count of 4 shots. Five ends later the Ballymena men had opened up a 6 shot margin however the game changed over the next 5 ends when they conceded a total of 14 shots to trail by 8.

The Braid rink bounced straight back and 9 shots over the next 4 ends gave them a slender 1 shot lead with 6 ends left to play. Unfortunately they were unable to maintain this momentum as the visitors picked up 4 consecutive singles to lead by 3 shots going in to the final 2 ends and even though Baker’s men won the final 2 ends they could only score 2 singles to leave them on the wrong side of a 21-20 score line.

Alan McAuley, Arnold Kenny, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson made the early running against R Fiddis and with 7 ends played they lead by 9 shots to 4. Over the next 10 ends the Braid rink extended their advantage to 8 shots and ultimately claimed victory by 21 shots to 17.