Seniors end Belmost title dream with superb win

David Duncan lines up a delivery for Ballymena Seniors in the midweek game against Belmont. INBT 37-802H
David Duncan lines up a delivery for Ballymena Seniors in the midweek game against Belmont. INBT 37-802H

Ballymena Seniors ended Belmont’s title aspirations with an excellent win at the Old Ballymoney Road venue last week.

The two teams had already met twice this year with honours even – Belmont had won the previous league match but the Braid men beat the men from Belfast in the final of the NIPGL Senior Cup a couple of weeks ago.

With only a few ends remaining all 4 games were close but the Braid team finished strongly and in the end the visitors had to settle for only half a point and they returned up the M2 with their title dreams in tatters.

Ballymena Seniors (83) Belmont (72): J R Nicholl, David Duncan, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman took on R Horner and with 5 ends played the scores were level at 4-4. The Ballymena men fell behind over the next 5 ends but the Braid rink levelled the game and the game continued to be close with the scores level at 15-15 after 16 ends and 18-18 after 19 ends. Belmont scored a single on the penultimate end but the Ballymena men claimed 2 shots on the final end to win 20-19.

James Gaston, Graham Wilson, Andi Duncan and Nigel Robinson took some time to settle against T Crawford but they stunned the visitors when they picked up a count of 5 shots on the 9th end to take the lead for the first time. Belmont got themselves back in to the game when they also picked up a count of 5 shots to cut the deficit to only a single shot but the Ballymena men dominated the remainder of the game to win 25-18.

Michael Wilson, Sammy Allen, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker started well against R Battersby but by the 10th end they were behind.

Ballymena got back in front and although the visitors went in to the final end only 1 shot adrift but the Braid men were in determined mood and they played an excellent end to claim 2 shots and the victory by 18 shots to 15.

Steven Shields, Jimmy Hodges, Andrew Morrison and Andy Kyle found it tough going against S Bennett and with a third of the game played they found themselves on the wrong side of an 11-3 score line.

The two rinks each scored a count of 4 shots over the next 2 ends and so with 9 ends completed the margin was still 8 shots. The Ballymena men got themselves back in to the game when they picked up 5 shots over the next 2 ends to cut the arrears to only 3 shots but with 5 ends remaining the margin was back up to 5 shots. Kyle’s men dug deep and when 2 shots on the 17th ends were followed by two singles they had cut the deficit to only a single shot.

The Braid rink took the lead for the first time when they picked up 2 shots on the 20th ends but the visitors denied them victory when they scored a single on the final end to tie the game at 20-20.