Mid Antrim Zone men’s team made the long trip south on Saturday to play Cork in the first round of this years plate competition and emerged from the game with a comprehensive 34 shot victory.
However, the early stages of the game gave little indication of the final result.
Cork put out their three strongest rinks in the first half and on two of the three mats gave the visitors plenty of problems.
Andrew Morrison’s rink of Andrew Graham, Andrew Bonnar and Alastair McCullough were in opposition to Connor Middleton’s rink and it was the hosts who held the lead throughout the first seven ends. At which stage they had forged a 7 – 3 advantage.
Alan McCombe, David McCullough, Garfield Lithco and Wesley Caldwell were drawn against Michael Sisk’s rink and after nine ends trailed 8 – 3.
Keeping Mid Antrim ahead on the scoreboard was Andrew Duncan’s foursome of Richard Rodgers, David Duncan and Neil Booth who established early control of their game with Adam Tanner, to lead 7 – 2 at five ends.
The Morrison rink rallied over the closing 3 ends of their game and their 1, 1, 3 gave them a hard fought 8 – 7 win.
“Big Wes” faced a count of 5 against with one bowl left which could have given the Cork rink a 10 shot win, but managed to come up with a delivery to secure shot thereby limiting the hosts to an 8 – 4 win.
Duncan’s rink continued in similar vein in the second half of their game scoring a further 13 shots to which Cork could only muster 2 in reply. This resulted in an impressive 20 – 4 victory.
At halftime score line read Mid Antrim 32 Cork 19.
The second half proved to be a much less problematic affair for the visitors who secured victory by winning all three second half games.
Mat 4 saw Alan Cahoon’s rink of Ivan Craig, Doran Turtle and Stephen Alexander defeating the Cork rink skipped by John Kirby by 11 shots to 4. A feature of this game was the consistent lead play of Alexander.
Jonathan Reid, making his return to the side, also produced a steady performance in the rink skipped by William Morrison. Michael McMaster, 2nd and David Elliot at 3rd completed this rink and they produced an impressive 15 – 7 victory and performance over Damien Cahill’s charges.
James Gage, making his zone debut, led for David Morrison’s rink which also comprised James McWhirter and Mark McCullough. They shared 5 winning ends each with Sean O’Riordan’s rink, but scored more heavily in a 12 – 6 win.
The locals now progress to the next round where they will face Western zone away on the 9th of January.