Mid Antrim ladies knew prior to their away fixture at Armagh that they had been handed one of the most difficult assignments in zone bowls.
The final score line served only to underline that as the Orchard County ladies secured victory by 30 shots (69-39) in this year’s second round McIlroy Cup inter zone competition match.
Mat 1 saw Briege Marron, Irene McCullough, Samantha Lynn and skip Helen Lynn drawn against S Whittle’s rink. The hosts opened with a count of 5 and at the halfway stage had extended their lead to 8–1. Helen’s rink came more into the contest during the closing five ends scoring 6 shots to Armagh’s 3 resulting in an 11–7 win for the hosts.
Ann Bacon’s rink of Pearl Peacock, Eileen Moffat and Molly Turtle had I Doone’s rink as their opponents. This game was well contested and saw each rink holding the lead at various stages throughout the game. With two ends remaining, both rinks were tied at 7 – 7. Armagh’s closing 1 and 4 gave them a 12 – 7 win which rather belied the nature of this game.
The most clear cut result of the day saw Megan Wilson’s foursome of Barbara Burnett, Wilma Adair and Joyce Lithco lose by 20 shots to 7 against R Cassells experienced rink. The hosts were out of the traps very quickly and scored heavily throughout the opening five ends to lead 16–1. The Mid Antrim rink did stem the flow somewhat in the second half of the game but by that stage, the damage had been done.
Mat 4 saw Eva Gage making her debut as skip at zone level and her rink of Eilish McNeill, Janis Wheeler and Linda McCullough found themselves in opposition to Armagh’s strongest rink skipped by Pauline Beattie. After seven ends, the hosts had established a lead of 9 – 1. The Mid Antrim rink rallied in the later period of the game and a further 7 shots were exchanged during the closing three ends which gave the host rink a 12 – 5 win.
Kathleen McKelvey, Yvonne Hall, Helen Maybin along with skip Jennifer Wilson took on IIBA president Flo McNally’s foursome on mat 5. It was the Mid Antrim rink who made the early running in this game and aided by a count of 3 on the second end, it was they who led 5 – 2 at five ends. Flo’s rinks then replied with a 4 on the sixth end to take the lead for the first time. The Mid Antrim ladies replied with two singles to regain the lead at 7 – 6 only to see the host rink secure a hard fought win scoring 3 shots in the final two ends to edge a close game 9 – 7.
Mid Antrim’s only rink win on the day came courtesy of Ann Agnew’s rink of Lynda Turtle, Roberta Morrison and Jenny Kirk who had a titanic battle with I Douglas’s rink. The game featured one no head, seven single shot ends and two 2 shot ends which gave Ann’s rink a narrow 6 -5 win.
Prize winners in the recent fireside quiz were: 1st Prize: Kristian McCaughey, Randalstown; 2nd Prize: Reece Doherty, Ballymoney; 3rd Prize: Martie Crawford, Gracehill.