Seniors v Broughshane tie goes right down to the wire

All to play for at the  Eaton Park v Old Bleach League Cup match last week. INBT 46-809H
All to play for at the Eaton Park v Old Bleach League Cup match last week. INBT 46-809H

There may not be a bowling equivalent of the old sporting adage of ‘playing until the final whistle’ but Golf Seniors and BPFA ‘B’ produced their own version last week.

The near neighbours met in a League Cup second round tie in which the outcome of all four rinks was in doubt right up until the final bowls were delivered.

Gary Shaw in action for Eaton Park in last week's League Cup tie against Old Bleach. INBT 46-807H

Gary Shaw in action for Eaton Park in last week's League Cup tie against Old Bleach. INBT 46-807H

Ivan McMaster’s Golf rink overcame Jim Wasson by six shots, but that margin was only decided after scoring counts of three on each of the final two ends.

Elsewhere, however, it was a late show on Broughshane’s behalf as decisive counts on the closing ends helped the Knockan Road side to wins from father and son George and Andrew Davison, while A Hamill was able to rescue a 7-7 draw with Ian Lecky but BPFA will again have to give their second tier opponents 10 shots on handicap in an eagerly-awaited second leg.

Broughshane’s ‘A’ team club-mates had a good win at Services ‘B’ but will also start the second leg in arrears after they give their third division opponents a further 20 shots.

But the first division challengers should still go through on their own mats in a fortnight’s time after winning all four rinks in the first leg through David Morrison, Andrew Morrison, Alan Cahoon and Doran Turtle, whose quartet was pushed hard by Sheila Smith’s rink.

Services’ ‘A’ team club-mates were in action against the undisputed League Cup kingpins of recent seasons, Michelin, and the reigning champions are in a strong position to progress to round three after winning the first leg by 17 shots despite giving up 10 shots to the Division Two opponents.

Grant Robinson, Wesley Caldwell and Graham Wilson led their Michelin rinks to convincing victories but the stand-out performance came from the home rink skipped by Mark Shaw, who overcame Matthew Boyd by 10 shots.

First Ballymena will start the second leg of their tie against Harryville Community Centre four shots adrift, once their 10-shot handicap allowance is added.

They were unable to prevent their second division opponents from winning all four rinks but they managed to keep the scorelines fairly respectable to give themselves a fighting chance in the second leg.

The winning Harryville rinks were skipped by Harold Smyth, Gary Worthington, Joe Patterson and Willard Reid.

Portglenone Community Centre overcame a potential banana skin in their first leg at Moneyglass, winning by 12 shots despite giving away 10 shots.

Gerry McLarnon and Jim Gaul’s rinks had already wiped out that deficit after the first half, and although Henry Marron’s rink held Joe McErlean to a 9-9 draw, Kevin O’Kane’s rink strengthened Portglenone’s grip further with a five-shot win over Brendan Marron.

Old Bleach will be strong favourites to progress to round three when they take on Eaton Park in their second leg.

The rugby club side, even with their 20 shots on handicap, will only start the second leg one shot ahead at Randalstown.

Old Bleach proved too strong for their third division opponents, with convincing wins for the rinks skipped by Jonathan Millar, Neil Booth, Bryan Magrath and Mervyn McDonald.

The most clear-cut victory of the second round came in the all-Division Two clash between BIBC and Glenravel.

The Bowling Club side proved too strong on the night with wins from Roy Torrington, Tommy Hill, Danny McCullough and Nigel Robinson.

In the remaining tie, Golf Club were unable to field a team for their visit to Antrim Indoor Bowling Club and were forced to forfeit the fixture.