Frustrating season ends on high note for bowlers

Despite an Irish Senior Cup final appearance, it was a season dogged by inconsistency for Ballymena's 'A' team bowlers. INBT18-249AC
Despite an Irish Senior Cup final appearance, it was a season dogged by inconsistency for Ballymena's 'A' team bowlers. INBT18-249AC

Ballymena A took on Dunbarton in their final Private Greens League match of the 2015 season last week.

Only a couple of weeks ago the two teams met in the final of the Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup with the Dunbarton team claiming a narrow victory.

There was little to play for the Braid men occupied a mid table position in the NIPGL League Division 1 however the visitors came to the Old Ballymoney Road green knowing that a maximum 7 points would see them lift the league title.

The Dunbarton men made the better start but as the game reached the half way stage the Ballymena men had played themselves back in to the game with the overall score level.

The momentum was now with the Braid team and they had the better of the second period of the game and they claimed 5.5 of the 7 points on offer. In fact the Ballymena men could have claimed a maximum 7 points with two of the games only being decided on the final end.

Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Nigel Robinson and Andi Duncan led by eight shots with 14 ends played against D J Wilson but that was as good as it got as the visitors won all of the remaining ends to eventually triumph 22-18.

JR Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman led M Trainor by six shots after 15 ends but the visitors fought back over the next 5 ends to cut the arrears to 2 shots with only 1 end left to play. As the final end took shape the Ballymena men lay shot however with nothing to lose the Dunbarton skip drove at the head and when the bowls had settled the visitors lay 2 shots. Coleman was unable to change the situation with his final bowl and so the game finished level with the score board reading 18-18.

The turning point of Rod Coleman, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Andrew Morrison’s game against M Greenfield came on the 13th end when they scored five shots and from then on there was only ever going to be one winner as Ballymena emerged 19-16 victors. The Ballymena men were now playing the better bowls and they won 5 of the remaining 8 ends to claim a well deserved 19-16 victory.

James Gaston, Michael Wilson, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker made a slow start against A Hughes but recovered to win by 19 shots to 16.