Broughshane Playing Fields Association ‘A’ have reclaimed the title of Ballymena & District Indoor Bowling League champions.
The Knockan Road side who had relinquished the crown to Michelin last season, regained the trophy after taking the four points they required from their final fixture against Knockout Cup finalists Golf Club.
They were made to battle all the way, however, after trailing by five shots at the interval.
Alan Cahoon’s Broughshane rink seized the early advantage, taking a 4-1 lead against Jock McGarry. However two counts of 5 turned the game on its head and the Golf rink went onto to win 13-7.
Ivan Craig and David McCullough had a titanic battle and entering the last end, the golfers led 6-5. With the jack in the ditch and with the visitors lying 3, BPFA were in danger of losing both first half rinks. However. Craig conjured up a peach of a delivery to turn a Broughshane ‘toucher’ in for shot.
David attempted to remove the other PFA ‘toucher’ but caught it on the full putting into the ditch to give the hosts a count of two shots to claim a one shot win.
Broughshane knew they had to make a strong second half start if they were to complete the job themselves, without having to rely on the results of Michelin’s remaining fixtures and David Morrison’s rink set to that task with gusto.
David’s rink seized early control against Johnny Lynn to lead 6-0, in the process wiping out the first half deficit. They went on to win 13-6.
David’s brother William’s rink took on Fred Dawson and this was a nip and tuck affair with little separating the rinks throughout.
Entering the final end William held a 9-5 lead. The home rink built a great last end and when the golfers’ final bowl failed to alter the head, BPFA were able to deservedly celebrate regaining the league title.
Their performance during the second half of the league yielded the new champions 20 points from a maximum 25 in the process setting a target Michelin could not overtake.
Michelin knew their race was run and the dethroned champions’ season ended in disappointing fashion, with defeats on successive nights to Old Bleach and JTI.
Against Old Bleach, they could only manage a point-and-a-half from a win for Wesley Caldwell and a tie for Graham Wilson against Nigel McNally.
But Bleach were stronger in the second half and wins from Mervyn McDonald and Neil Booth gave them a two-shot win overall.
But the biggest surprise came the following night as wins from Timothy Rock and Helen Lynn earned the bottom side a famous five-shot win, despite Michelin wins from Wesley Caldwell and Chris Wilson.
Standings: BPFA ‘A’, played 10, points 37; Michelin 10-30; Old Bleach 10-26.5; Golf Club 10-22; BIBC 10-21.5; JTI 10-13.
Portglenone were crowned second division champions after BPFA ‘B’ failed to collect the maximum points they needed from their final two games to overhaul the Bannsiders.
Bill Kitson’s rink win for Services ‘A’ ended any lingering hopes Broughshane had of pinching the title, even though they won the match at Trostan Avenue thanks to wins from Herbie McCullough, James Wasson and Noel Graham.
Antrim IBC took four points from their home game against First Ballymena with wins from Robin Kennedy, Darren McCullough and Andy Matchett. Jonathan Davidson’s rink secured a point for the League Plate finalists.
In the other game, Glenravel and Golf Seniors could not be separated after the sides finished deadlocked on 34 shots apiece.
John McKeegan and Martin McKillop’s rinks for the Martinstown side were cancelled out by triumphs for Brian Russell and Donald Smyth.
Standings: Portglenone 14-46; Golf Seniors 14-41.5; BPFA ‘B’ 13-40; Antrim IBC 13-34.5; Harryville 14-34; Services ‘A’ 14-33.5; Glenravel 14-24.5; First Ballymena 14-34.
The remaining games in the third division saw champions Moneyglass sign off in style by taking all five points against Maine, thanks to wins from Sean McNeilly, Sean Kerr, Tommy Magee and Henry Marron.
Services ‘B’ beat Round Tower in the same fashion with wins from Eric Smyth, Greta Coulter, Stuart Smith and John Sayers.
Standings: Moneyglass 12-45; Services ‘B’ 12-32; All Saints 12-31; Maine 12-29.5; Eaton Park 12-28; Round Tower 12-24.5; West Church 12-19.5.