Glenravel’s first victory proves to be worth the wait

Amid the serious business of the BPFA 'B' v BPFA 'A' District League match, there was still time for a smile for these spectators. INBT 47-809H
Amid the serious business of the BPFA 'B' v BPFA 'A' District League match, there was still time for a smile for these spectators. INBT 47-809H

Glenravel’s first win in Division Two of the Ballymena & District League has been some time in the making.

But when it did come last week, it arrived in grand style as the Martinstown-based side claimed full points from their meeting against All Saints.

The Glensfolk were able to celebrate victory for the first time since their promotion from the third division last year as they cantered to an impressive 26-shot success.

Vera Bryson’s rink were pushed all the way by Eugene McReynolds, but beyond that, it was pretty much plain sailing for Glenravel as Martin O’Neill, John McKeegan and Martin McKeegan all skipped winning rinks to complete a ‘full house’ of five points - a bigger total than they had managed in their previous four games combined!

There was another eye-catching result in the same division - again with the victorious side claiming maximum points - as the top two sides locked horns in the Old Ballymoney Road clubrooms with BIBC strengthening their grip at the summit by beating second-placed Services ‘A’.

But while it sounds like a clear-cut victory, it was anything but, with ‘BI’ - despite winning all four rinks - claiming victory by just six shots overall!

Given that the biggest margin on any of the four rinks was Roy Torrington’s three shot win over Dessie McNeill and it gives an indication of just how closely-contested the match was.

The other three rinks were all decided by single shot margins - and, remarkably, the Services side were pipped at the post on all three occasions!

Tommy Hill, Nigel Robinson and Danny McCullough’s rinks emerged on the right side of those nail-biting encounters, leaving the Services rinks skipped by Pauline Wilson, Bill Kitson and Mark Shaw to ponder exactly how the Trostan Avenue outfit returned home empty-handed.

There was another close game at Raceview where Golf Seniors eventually got the better of Harryville Community Centre by two shots.

Like the golfers’ previous match, the outcome on all four rinks was only decided on the final end.

Ian Lecky’s rink pipped Gary Worthington to earn Seniors’ first point and Ivan McMaster’s foursome looked on course to double that tally as they led by four shots going into the last end, only for Harold Smyth’s Harryville rink to snatch a share of the spoils with a count of four shots.

More last-gasp Harryville heroics saw Joe Patterson claim five shots over the final two ends to beat John Nichols, but the Wakehurst side were given a taste of their own medicine as Donald Smyth finished his game against Willard Reid with successive counts of three shots to win that game and also earn the golfers the extra point for overall shots tally.

Clough Rangers continue to do their best to remain in the slipstream of BIBC after recording their fourth win in five league games, at the expense of Moneyglass.

Both sides had a point in the bag by the interval, with Sean McNeilly shading a close contest against Jimmy Gregg, while Gregory Kirk opened Clough’s account.

In the second half, Raymond Aitcheson got the better of H Magee in a low-scoring encounter which produced just 11 shots and Stewart Gregg’s rink wrapped up a 15-shot overall success for the home side, who are up to second.

Glenravel 48 (5), All Saints 22 (0): V Bryson 9, E McReynolds 8; M O’Neill 15, S Haveron 6; J McKeegan 14, T Dillon 2; M McKeegan 10, A Mitchell 6.

BIBC 34 (5), Services ‘A’ 28 (0): R Torrington 9, D McNeill 6; T Hill 6, P Wilson 5; N Robinson 10, B Kitson 9; D McCullough 9, M Shaw 8.

Clough Rangers 43 (4), Moneyglass 28 (1): J Gregg 9, S McNeilly 10; G Kirk 15, H Graham 5; R Aitcheson 6, H Magee 5; S Gregg 13, H Marron 8.

Golf Seniors 38 (3.5), Harryville Community Centre 36 (1.5); I Lecky 7, G Worthington 6; I McMaster 11, H Smyth 11; J Nichols 9, J Patterson 12; D Smyth 11, W Reid 7.

DIVISION ONE

Broughshane Playing Fields Association ‘A’ opened up a big gap at the top of the table after over-powering their ‘B’ team club-mates.

Alan Cahoon, Doran Turtle, Andrew Morrison and David Morrison earned the ‘A’ team all five points ahead of a huge clash with title rivals Michelin later this month.

JTI claimed their first win of the campaign by beating Portglenone, thanks to rink wins from Len McIlroy, Billy Lynn and Trevor Agnew. Jim Gaul earned the Ports’ sole point.

Old Bleach improved their position with a home win over Golf CLub, for whom Johnny Lynn skipped the only winning rink. Neil Booth, Bryan Magrath and Jonathan Millar were the Bleach winners.

BPFA ‘B’ 18 (0), BPFA ‘A’ 59 (5): G Davison 5, A Cahoon 14; J Wasson 7, D Turtle 9; A Hamill 2, A Morrison 20; A Davison 4, D Morrison 16.

JTI 39 (4), Portglenone CC 27 (1): T Rock 11, J Gaul 13; L McIlroy 8, G McLarnon 7; B Lynn 8, J McErlean 4; T Agnew 12, K O’Kane 3.

Old Bleach 45 (4), Golf Club 32 (1): N Booth 14, S McGarry 4; B Magrath 12, D McCullough 8; M McDonald 6, J Lynn 13; J Millar 13, K McGarry 7.

DIVISION THREE

Antrim IBC have opened up a four-and-a-half point lead after beating Eaton Park.

Darren McCullough, Robert McCullough and Tom Evans guided the league leaders to victory with Eaton Park’s lone response coming from Gary Shaw.

First Ballymena are Antrim’s closest challengers after claiming their third win by beating Services ‘B’ thanks to rink wins from David McQuitty, Lyle McQuitty and Matt McPeake.

Sheila Smith’s rink came close to overturning the overall shots deficit with an 18-shot win for Services but they came up short by five shots.

Maine overcame Round Tower. Mark Kelly, promoted to skip, and Laurence McQuillan won in the first half for Maine but it was the Antrim side who dominated after the break with wins from John O’Neill and Michael Teer.

Maine 44 (3), Round Tower 34 (2): M Kelly 15, G Campbell 4; L McQuillan 15, H Totten 3; J Heffron 6, J O’Neill 12; P O’Neill 8, M Teer 15.

First Ballymena 39 (4), Services ‘B’ 34 (1): D McQuitty 13, J Smith 3; L McQuitty 13, G Coulter 6; R Woods 2, S Smith 20; M McPeake 11, R Dickson 5.

Antrim Indoor Bowling Club 50 (4), Eaton Park 28 (1): D McCullough 11, J Carruthers 7; R McCullough 16, B Hill 4; T Evans 16, G Reid 4; J Logan 7, G Shaw 13.