Golf Seniors aiming to join Raceview club-mates in top flight next season

Carol Burns delivers a wood as spectators watch on during the First Ballymena v Harryville CC match. INBT 05-803H
Carol Burns delivers a wood as spectators watch on during the First Ballymena v Harryville CC match. INBT 05-803H

Golf Seniors are aiming to double the Raceview representation in Division One of the Ballymena & District League next season.

The Broughshane Road side, for many years a solid lower division outfit, are putting together a strong run for promotion and have now taken leadership of the second division after last week’s win at Services ‘A’.

Bowlers can't help but take a peek at what was happening on the other mat during the First Ballymena v Harryville CC match. INBT 05-801H

Bowlers can't help but take a peek at what was happening on the other mat during the First Ballymena v Harryville CC match. INBT 05-801H

Topping the table would have been the last thing on the golfers’ mind at the interval after losing both first half matches to the Services rinks skipped by Pauline Wilson and Mark Shaw.

But Seniors stormed back after the break with wins for John Nichols and Campbell Wade helping the visitors to a nine-shot win overall.

And the real bonus for Seniors came as they learned that erstwhile leaders Portglenone Community Centre had lost at Antrim Indoor Bowling Club.

As the 35-34 scoreline suggests, it was a closely contested encounter, with two of the matches finishing all square.

Harold Smyth calls a Harryville shot during their bowls match against First Ballymena. INBT 05-804H

Harold Smyth calls a Harryville shot during their bowls match against First Ballymena. INBT 05-804H

Robin Kennedy and Jim Gaul’s meeting finished 6-6, while Robert McCullough and Joe McErlean couldn’t be separated in an 11-11 stalemate.

Kevin O’Kane’s first half rink win had put Portglenone in a commanding position but the decisive blow was struck by Tom Evans’ rink, whose three shot win over Roy Hunter tipped the balance in Antrim’s favour, earning them the point for overall shots total.

BPFA ‘B’ also remain well placed in the promotion hunt but they may rue dropping two points on their own mats against lowly Glenravel.

That situation might have been even worse but for William Esler’s rink’s 18-shot win over Martin O’Neill, which earned Broughshane the points for overall shots total.

George Davidson’s rink also won for the Knockan Road side, while the rinks under the guidance of John McKeegan and Dan McKeegan earned Glenravel two very useful points in their battle against relegation.

Harryville also cannot be discounted in the promotion race and they continued their steady progress by taking four points from their trip to West Church.

Harold Smyth, Gary Worthington and Joe Patterson guided their Harryville rinks to wins, with ‘First’s only response coming from Lyle McQuitty.

Services ‘A’ 33 (2), Golf Seniors 42 (3): P Wilson 9, S Surgenor 6; M Shaw 12, I Lecky 11; M Norton 8, J Nichols 12; B Stewart 4, C Wade 13.

BPFA ‘B’ 46 (3), Glenravel 35 (2): A Davidson 7, J McKeegan 8; G Davidson 11, T McKeegan 8; D Calderwood 7, D McKeegan 16; W Esler 21, M O’Neill 3.

First Ballymena 29 (1), Harryville Community Centre 40 (4): R Woods 9, H Smyth 11; J Davidson 5, G Worthington 9; D McQuitty 2, J Patterson 10; L McQuitty 13, N Laverty 10.

Antrim IBC 35 (3), Portglenone Community Centre 34 (2): R Kennedy 6, J Gaul 6; D McCullough 8, K O’Kane 10; R McCullough 11, J McErlean 11; T Evans 10, R Hunter 7.

Standings: Golf Seniors, played 9, points 28.5; Portglenone Community Centre 9-28; BPFA ‘B’ 9-26.5; Harryville Community Centre 9-24.5; Antrim IBC 9-22.5; Services ‘A’ 9-19.5; Glenravel 9-16; First Ballymena 9-14.5.

DIVISION ONE

BPFA ‘A’ had entered the second half of the season at the top of the table but they were pushed all the way in their first outing of 2016 before getting past Old Bleach, dropping two points along the way.

Ivan Craig and William Morrison’s rinks’ clear-cut wins for the home side meant that Alan Scott and Jonathan Millar’s successes for Old Bleach weren’t enough to clinch overall victory for the Randalstown side.

Michelin missed the chance to leap-frog Broughshane back into top spot when their match against JTI, scheduled for Friday night, was postponed.

BIBC had been sitting clear in third position in the table but now find Golf Club breathing down their necks after they lost at the Raceview venue.

‘BI’ had found themselves on the ropes after losing both first half games - David McCullough and Sean McGarry notching the points for the golfers - but the visitors’ fortunes improved in the second period.

Roy Torrington’s rink claimed a win, while Andy Duncan’s foursome half point from a 7-7 tie with Johnny Lynn - for whom a shot on the final end earned the draw - was enough to keep BIBC ahead of their opponents by that slender margin.

BPFA ‘A’ 38 (3), Old Bleach 28 (2): I Craig 10, W Fullerton 5; A Cahoon 9, A Scott 11; A McCullough 6, J Millar 7; W Morrison 13, N McNally 5.

Golf Club 38 (3.5), BIBC 30 (1.5): D McCullough 14, T Hill 4; S McGarry 9, D McCullough 7; J Lynn 7, A Duncan 7; F Dawson 8, R Torrington 12.

Standings: BPFA ‘A’ 6-20; Michelin 5-16.5; BIBC 6-15.5; Golf Club 6-15; Old Bleach 6-10.5; JTI 5-7.5.

DIVISION THREE

Moneyglass extended their lead slightly at the top of Division Three as they continued their impressive league form.

The length of the table separated ‘MG’ and bottom side Round Tower and the result went with the formbook with Moneyglass claiming four points.

They came via wins from the rinks skipped by Sean McNeilly, Brian Bigmore and Tommy Magee, while Round Tower’s lone win - as so often in the past - came from the foursome led by Michael Teer.

Second placed Maine won again, but dropped one-and-a-half points against Services ‘B’, whose points came via a win from Eric Smyth and Stewart Smith’s 7-7 draw with Laurence McQuillan.

Maine also had winning rinks from Brie Magill and Paddy Kerr as they continue their bid for a return to the second tier.

West Church claimed a rare win when they got the better of Eaton Park by five shots.

Jim Rainey and Maurice Livingstone’s rinks won for the church side, who also claimed half a point from Roberta Wilson’s 7-7 draw with Gary Shaw. Bonar Hill’s rink won for the rugby club side.

West Church 38 (3.5), Eaton Park 33 (1.5): V Mahon 4, B Hill 9; J Rainey 12, J Carruthers 6; M Livingstone 15, G Reid 11; R Wilson 7, G Shaw 7.

Maine 38 (3.5), Services ‘B’ 31 (1.5): L McQuillan 7, S Smith 7; B Magill 11, R Dickson 5; P Kerr 12, B Parkhill 10; B Kerr 8, E Smyth 9.

Moneyglass 37 (4), Round Tower 25 (1): S McNeilly 8, H Totten 5; B Bigmore 11, R Walker 2; H Marron 10, M Teer 12; T Magee 8, J O’Neill 6.

Standings: Moneyglass 7-26.5; Maine 8-22; Eaton Park 8-19.5; West Church 8-16; Round Tower 8-16; All Saints 6-15.5; Services ‘B’ 6-14.5.

FIXTURES

This week’s league fixtures are:

Division One: Michelin v BPFA ‘A’; Golf Club v JTI; Old Bleach v BIBC.

Division Two: Portglenone Community Centre v Services ‘A’; Golf Seniors v First Ballymena; Harryville Community Centre v BPFA ‘B’; Glenravel v Antrim IBC.

Division Three: Eaton Park v Moneyglass; Services ‘B’ v West Church; Round Tower v All Saints.