Champions begin defence with emphatic win

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Drifters fired out an ominous early warning to would-be challengers to their Ballymena, Harryville & District Darts League title.

On the opening night of the league, Drifters whitewashed Fountain Arrows 8-0.

Willie Wright had the best individual performance with a 17-dart leg, followed by: 18s Darnell McCrory, Geoff Matthews, John Elder, 19s David McFall, Lex Gilmour, Jarlath McGarry, Clifford Marcus, 20s Noel Craig, Lex Gilmour, Jarlath McGarry, 21s Daniel Thompson, John Elder, Noel Craig, David McFall, Jerome Carson, Leonard McKeegan x2, Bobby Carson.

Sammy Greer (Fountain Bar) had the best finish with a 143 checkout, while Geoff Matthews (Drifters) had a 120 finish.

Darnell McCrory (Drifters) and Jarlath McGarry (Greenhills) both hit 180s.

DIVISION ONE

Fountain Arrows 0, Drifters 8: Drifters begin the defence of their title with a resounding victory over one of the promoted sides. Wins from Darnell McCrory (2-0), Geoff Wylie (2-0), Geoff McIlveen (2-0), Alan Bamford (2-0), Geoff Matthews (2-1), John Elder (2-0), Noel Craig (2-0) and David McFall (2-1). Star player - John Elder.

Clough Rangers 3, BT/PO 5: BT secured the win in the final game of a closely fought match. Clough’s winners were Cameron Gregg (2-1), Darwin McCallister (2-1) and David Gilchrist (2-1). BT/PO winners Shane Hillis (2-0), Tam Jamieson (2-0), Warren Craig (2-1), Justin Cushenan (2-0) and Gary Gilmour (2-0). Star player - Justin Cushenan.

Staffers 2, Greenhills 6: Staffers gained 2 valuable points to begin their first campaign in Division 1, Jerome Carson (2-0) and Geordie Aiken (2-0) with their wins. Greenhills began with victories for Pearse McGarry (2-0), Lex Gilmour (2-0), Jarlath McGarry (2-0), Johnny Cree (2-1), Leonard McKeegan (2-0) and Gabe Kerr (2-0). Star player - Jarlath McGarry.

DIVISION TWO

Wanderers 3, Spinning Mill 5: Wanderers will feel disappointed having been 3-1 ahead, but Spinning Mill showed why they are considered “favourites” for the title. Well done Willie Wright (2-1), Alan Craig (2-0) and John Bamber (Snr) (2-0) with wins for Wanderers. Spinning Mill begin with a winning start thanks to John Greer (2-0), Chris Greer (2-0), Evan Greer (2-0), Lee Balmer (2-0) and Herbie Balmer (2-0). Star player - Willie Wright.

Buffs 2, Fountain Bar 6: Well done Darren Purdy (2-0) and Stevie Trainor (2-0) with wins for Buffs Club. Fountain Bar won convincingly thanks to wins from Eric Montgomery (2-0), Jack Russell (2-0), Frank McDowell (2-1), Willie Russell (2-0), George Foster (2-0) and Sammy Greer (2-0). Star player- Sammy Greer.

Michelin 5, Slemish Tavern 3: Slemish will be disappointed with their start having gone 4-0 behind, but they fought well to salvage 3 points with wins from Ian Millar (2-0), David McConaghie (2-0) and Geoffrey Gibson (2-0). Michelin started with a win thanks to Alan Penny (2-0), Herbie Dunlop (2-1), Chris Penny (2-0), Bobby Carson (2-1) and Clifford Marcus (2-0). Star player - Bobby Carson.

Cosy Corner 8, Towers Tavern: Cosy awarded walkover.