Ballymena ‘A’ recovered from a midweek setback at neighbours Old Bleach to post a century of shots against Ards on Saturday.
Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan were in fine form against N Dorman.
Both rinks won 5 of the first 10 ends but the Braid men picked up counts of 3 and 5 on the 1st and 4th ends and they followed this up with a brace of 4’s to lead by 10 shots at the half way stage of the game. The remainder of the game was a closer affair but by the end of the contest the Braid men had extended their advantage to 14 shots with the final score 26-12.
J R Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman made a steady start in their game against B Gibson and at the mid-point of the game they lead by 13 shots to 10. The second period of the game was a different story as Coleman’s men tightened their grip on the game. In fact the visitors were only able to score another 4 shots while the Braid men picked up a total of 18 shots to win their game by 31 shots to 14.
James Gaston, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson took on B Thompson and with 5 ends played they scores were tied at 4-4. Unfortunately for the Braid men the visitors were in top form and over the next 10 ends they outscored Robinson’s rink by 13 shots to 3 to open up a healthy 10 shot advantage with 6 ends to play.
The Ballymena men kept plugging away but it just was not their day and 6 shots were shared over the closing ends to leave the final score 20-10.
Michael Wilson, Sammy Allen, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker continued their great start to the season in their game against P Thompson. With 6 ends played the Ballymena rink lead by 6 shots to 3 however they doubled their score on the next end when they picked up a count of 6 shots.
In fact if the jack had have moved a few inches more they would have picked up a maximum count of 8 shots. Over the next 12 ends the Braid rink gradually extended their lead to16 shots with only 2 ends to play.
The penultimate end built up very well for the Ballymena men and when the two skips went to play their final 2 deliveries the Braid rink lay 6 shots. Baker added a 7th shot with his first bowl while the Ards skip came up short. Baker then added an 8th shot with his final bowl. The visiting skip played up to the head but was unable to make a change and so the Ballymena men claimed a maximum count of 8 shots. A further shot on the final end underlined the supremacy of the Braid rink who eventually won by 34 shots to 9.
Ballymena A travelled to Old Bleach last Tuesday night and it turned out to be a disappointing night for the Braid men.
At one stage the Ballymena team were over 40 shots adrift but they fought back to get within 16 shots of their opponents but it was not to be their night and returned home with just a single point after a 91-69 defeat.
With 4 ends played, Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan led the Old Bleach rink skipped by J Talbot by 4 shots to 1 however 7 ends later they trailed by 8 shots. The Braid men dug in and 3 shots on the penultimate end gave them a 1 shot lead going in to the final end but the home rink scored 2 shots on the last end to win by the narrowest of margins. Final score 20-19.
Ballymena’s only success of the night came on rink 3 where Michael Wilson, Sammy Allen, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker took on J Millar. The home rink had the better of the opening exchanges and with 9 ends played they led by 13 shots to 5.
Baker’s men dominated the remainder of the game. In fact such was their dominance that the Old Bleach rink could only score on one more end as the Braid rink claimed an excellent 25-16 victory.
James Gaston, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson had a night to forget against M Nutt. It took the visitors 10 ends before they got on to the scoreboard and by that time the home rink had amassed a total of 21 shots. The remainder of the game was closer but nothing was going right for the Ballymena men who eventually went down by 35 shots to 8
J R Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman also started slowly against N Booth. With 7 ends completed the Braid men trailed by 5 shots and this was still the margin a further 7 ends later. The Ballymena rink won the next 3 ends to lead by 3 shots with 4 ends remaining, however it was the home rink who claimed victory with 6 shots over the closing ends. Final score 20-17.