Braidmen overcome neighbours Old Bleach in Irish Senior Cup tussle

Ballymena's players celebrate after winning an end during the Irish Senior Cup win over Old Bleach. Picture: Press Eye.
Ballymena's players celebrate after winning an end during the Irish Senior Cup win over Old Bleach. Picture: Press Eye.

Ballymena A made the short trip to Randalstown to face neighbours Old Bleach last Saturday in the quarter final of the Irish Senior Cup.

The Braid men started well and at the half way stage of the contest they led by nearly 20 shots.

The home team fought back in the second half of the game but the visitors held out to record a fine 7 shot victory.

J R Nicholl, George Graham, Chris Wilson and Steven Coleman took on M Nutt on rink 2 and over the first 6 ends the rinks shared 8 shots.

Two counts of 4 shots on the 7th and 11th end put the visitors in charge with the score line reading 14-5 however the Old Bleach rink hit back and with only 5 ends remaining they had reduced the deficit to only a single shot.

The Ballymena men had the better of the remaining ends when they outscored the home rink by 5 shots to 1 to win the game by 20 shots to 15.

On rink 3 James Gaston, Roy Torrington, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker started well against N Booth when they won 5 of the opening 7 ends to lead by 10 shots to 2.

Ten ends later the home rink had fought back to reduce the arrears to only 3 shots but Baker’s men finished strongly to claim a hard fought 18-13 victory.

Alan McAuley, David Duncan, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson conceded 7 shots over the first 2 ends against S Kirkwood on rink 4 however they did not panic and over the next 8 ends they outscored the home rink by 15 shots to 1 to lead by 7 shots.

Six ends later the Old Bleach rink were back in the game with the score board reading 17-15 however the Ballymena men played an excellent 17th end when they picked up a maximum count of 8 shots.

They followed this up with a single on the next end and even though the Old Bleach rink won the remaining ends it was too little too late as Robinson’s men held on to win by 26 shots to 24.

Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan were drawn against N Mulholland on rink 5. The Old Bleach rink won the first 4 ends to lead by 5 shots to 0 however the visitors fought back to level the game at 7-7 after 10 ends.

A single on the next end gave the Braid men the lead for the first time but the lead was short lived as the home rink picked up 3 counts of 3 shots over the next 6 ends to lead by 11 shots. The Braid men never gave up and they won all the remaining ends to reduce the deficit to 5 shots with the final score 19-14.

This week Ballymena A are on their travels again when they visit Ulster Transport in the latest round of games in NIPGL Division 1