Michelin will take a significant lead into the second leg of their Ballymena & District League Cup semi-final showdown with BPFA ‘A’.
The cup holders, bidding to win the trophy for a remarkable fifth successive year, will take an 18-shot lead into the second leg at the Knockan Road clubrooms in a fortnight’s time.
While the heating system at the Woodside Road clubrooms wasn’t working to full capacity, the hosts certainly turned up the heat on the mats with an impressive display.
Wesley Caldwell’s rink took control in the middle part of their meeting with Alan Cahoon to lead 8-3 after seven ends. The visitors picked up a single on the eighth end to keep their hopes alive, but the home rink picked up another four shots over the final ends to win 12-4.
Doran Turtle’s Broughshane rink started off like a house on fire against Grant Robinson and with three ends played, they had opened up a 7-0 advantage. Three ends later, however, Michelin had clawed their way back into the game and were back on level terms with the scores 7-7.
Four shots on the next end gave Robinson’s rampant rink the upper hand and they eventually came out on the right side of a 12-10 score line.
In the second half, the Michelin rink skipped by Graham Wilson was in superb form against David Morrison’s quartet.
Three shots on the first end were followed by four singles to leave the home rink seven shots to the good at the halfway stage of the contest.
The Michelin rink continued to dominate and over the next four ends, they added another eight shots to their score and even though the visitors scored three shots on the final end to avoid a whitewash, it could not take the gloss off an excellent Michelin performance with the final score 15-3.
The meeting between Matthew Boyd and Andrew Morrison was a close-fought one, with the Michelin rink a shot in front after eight ends before Broughshane picked up four shots on the penultimate end and a further single on the final end gave them victory by 12 shots to 8.
Whoever wins the second leg is almost certain to face BIBC in the final after the Old Ballymoney Road side established a commanding 40-shot lead from the first leg of their all-second division tie against Golf Seniors.
Big wins from Roy Torrington and David Duncan accounted for much of that margin, while Nigel Robinson’s rink also won.
Ivan McMaster’s rink provided the only crumb of comfort for Seniors with a one-shot win over Stephen Shields.
In the quarter-finals of the League Plate, Eaton Park defeated higher-ranked opposition in the form of Moneyglass, without the need for the 10 shots they were receiving on handicap.
Gary Shaw and John Carruthers’ rinks won for the rugby club side, while George Reid and Henry Marron drew 8-8. Despite Henry Graham’s win for ‘MG’, they still came up short by 21 shots.
First Ballymena continued their impressive season by beat Round Tower by 16 shots, thanks to big wins from Roland Woods and Lyle McQuitty. Michael Murphy and Michael Teer won for the Antrim side.
Services ‘A’ progressed to the last four by beating Glenravel. Mark Shaw’s rink, who have had an indifferent season, made a welcome return to form with a commanding win, while Dessie McNeill and Pauline Wilson also led their Services rinks to victory, with Glenravel’s lone response coming from Frank Wilson.
The Trostan Avenue side now face Clough Rangers, who went through after opponents Maine withdrew.
There was one rearranged match in Division Three, with Services’ ‘B’ claiming three-and-a-half points from their trip to West Church.