Cup final place within reach as golfers shock Broughshane
It had been billed as a potential all-Broughshane Playing Fields Association final in the Ballymena & District League's Knockout Cup.
But when the decider of the competition takes place at Eaton Park on March 16, there’s a strong chance that NEITHER of the two BPFA teams might be involved.
The Knockan Road club’s ‘B’ team will face a 22-shot deficit when they host Portglenone Community Centre in next week’s semi-final second leg.
And their ‘A’ team counterparts will also start their second leg almost 20 shots in arrears against Golf Club.
If Broughshane’s first leg win against cup kingpins Michelin in the previous round was one of the most eye-catching results of the campaign, it was rivalled by a superb performance from the Raceview side, who won by 18 shots.
Golf Club’s assault was led by the rink skipped by David McCullough, who showed that his recent practice on the Broughshane mats - he was runner-up in the BPFA tournament - paid off with an 11-shot win over Ivan Craig.
The other first half match between Alan Cahoon and Sean McGarry finished all square at eight shots apiece but the golfers certainly weren’t finished.
Second half wins for the rinks skipped by Johnny Lynn and Fred Dawson saw Golf Club stretch their lead to 18 shots ahead of the second leg and had it been a league match, they would have taken four-and-a-half of the five points on offer - a remarkable effort.
BPFA 25, Golf Club 43: I Craig 2, D McCullough 13; A Cahoon 8, S McGarry 8; A McCullough 8, J Lynn 11; D Morrison 7, F Dawson 11.
With all three matches in Division One postponed last week, the focus of attention on the league front switched to the second division, where there was a change in leadership.
Portglenone Community Centre are back on top of the pile after they plundered 62 shots from their visit to First Ballymena.
Remarkably that lofty scoreline wasn’t enough to guarantee all five points as David McQuitty’s rink salvaged a first half point for ‘First’.
The church side actually led at the interval despite Joe McErlean’s rink win for Portglenone but the Bannsiders hit the accelerator in the second period.
Roy Hunter’s rink’s 22-shot win over Roland Woods was the highlight, while Kevin O’Kane was also an impressive winner.
The key result of the week saw erstwhile leaders Golf Seniors suffer a defeat at Broughshane Playing Fields Association ‘B’.
The Raceview side were still very much in the contest at the halfway point, by which stage both teams had a point in the bag with George Davidson’s rink winning for Broughshane and Brian Russell’s foursome successful for the golfers.
But it was the Knockan Road side who dominated after the tea break with wins from Noel Graham and William Esler earning a victory which brings Broughshane back into the promotion hunt.
Services ‘A’ would have been expected to be one of the promotion challengers before a wood was delivered but they have spent much of the season in the lower half of the table. However, a four-point haul against Glenravel will give the Trostan Avenue side hope that they can finish the season strongly.
They had 12 shots to spare over Glenravel, thanks to rink wins from Mark Shaw, Bill Kitson and Declan McLaughlin. Martin O’Neill’s rink registered the Martinstown side’s only point.
The other game saw Antrim IBC win at Harryville Community Centre in a game between two sides on the fringes of the promotion race.
Robert McCullough and Tommy Evans’ high-scoring rink wins meant that Antrim prevailed by six shots overall, despite wins for Harryville from David Wilkinson and Gary Worthington.
First Ballymena 29 (1), Portglenone Community Centre 62 (4): D McQuitty 12, J Gaul 7; L McQuitty 11, J McErlean 14; R Woods 3, R Hunter 25; J Davidson 3, K O’Kane 16.
BPFA ‘B’ 42 (4), Golf Seniors 29 (1): G Davidson 14, S Surgenor 5; A Davidson 5, B Russell 11; N Graham 13, D Smyth 5; W Esler 10, J Nichols 8.
Services ‘A’ 38 (4), Glenravel 26 (1): M Shaw 11, V Bryson 6; P Wilson 7, M O’Neill 8; B Kitson 11, E Crawley 6; D McLaughlin 9, M McKillop 6.
Harryville Community Centre 39 (2), Antrim IBC 45 (3): H Smyth 6, R McCullough 13; D Wilkinson 15, D McCullough 13; J Patterson 5, T Evans 17; G Worthington 13, R Kennedy 2.
Moneyglass took another major step towards a return to the second division with a crushing win over Services ‘B’.
‘MG’ romped to all five points as they restricted the Trostan Avenue side to a miserable total of just 13 shots on the night.
No Services rink managed any more than four shots as the home side cantered to victory with wins from the rinks skipped by Sean McNeilly, Sean Kerr, Tommy Magee and Henry Marron.
A dream week for Moneyglass was completed with defeats for both Maine and Eaton park, the two sides who had started the week closest to them in the table.
Maine were beaten on their own mats by Round Tower, for whom avoiding finishing bottom of the table remains their top priority.
The three points they received for rink wins by Helen Totten and Michael Teer in a six-shot overall victory will certainly help them in that aim.
Brian Kerr and Laurence McQuillan led the successful Maine rinks.
Eaton Park’s unexpected promotion push suffered a setback as they lost by eight shots at All Saints.
The main difference in the final outcome was a 10-shot win for Sean Haveron over John Carruthers, while Nicholas Mitchell led Saints’ other winning rink.
George Reid and Gary Shaw led their rinks to victory for the rugby club but they couldn’t manage any more than two points.
Maine 39 (2), Round Tower 45 (3): B Kerr 11, G Campbell 7; P Kerr 7, H Totten 14; L McQuillan 15, J O’Neill 5; B Magill 6, M Teer 19.
All Saints 38 (3), Eaton Park 30 (2): E McReynolds 8, G Reid 9; N Mitchell 10, B Hill 6; S Haveron 13, J Carruthers 3; A Mitchell 7, G Shaw 12.
Moneyglass 60 (5), Services ‘B’ 13 (0): S McNeilly 14, B Parkhill 4; S Kerr 21, R Dickson 1; T Magee 12, G Coulter 4; H Marron 13, E Smyth 4.