Ballymena B travelled to Saintfield last Saturday hoping to put the disappointment of their defeat against Belmont just before the break well and truly behind them.
This clash between two promotion chasing teams ended honours even at 72 shots apiece.
Mark Pearson, Arnold Kenny, Nigel McFadden and John Coulter took on R Copes and the two rinks exchanged single shots over the first four ends until the Saintfield rink lifted a four in the fifth end and backed this up by winning the next two ends to go 8–4 up and then to 11-6 up after 11 ends. The Ballymena rink then kicked into gear and kicked on and won the next 3 ends to go into a 15–11 lead with a run of 3, 2, and 4 shots. Over the remaining ends shots were exchanged with the Ballymena rink retaining their advantage to win 22-16.
Alan McAuley, Leslie Barr, Tommy Hill and Roy Torrington played G McMullan. The mena men got off to a terrific start winning five out of the first six ends including lifting a 5 to race in to a 13-2 lead. At the half way point the Ballymena foursome had retained their 11 shot lead to see the score at 16-5. Throughout the second half of the game ends and shots were exchanged but the result on this rink was never in doubt with the Braid men winning 22-14.
Sadly for Billy McCandless, Stuart McCarthy, Danny McCullough and Ivan Lynn did not have the same fortune. In a tight contested battle which saw Saintfield go into a 6-0 lead after three ends the Ballymena men fought back to be only a shot down after 8 ends. However, a count of 5 for the home outfit saw them take a 12-6 lead over Lynn’s rink. A mixture of 1,2, and 3 shots were exchanged between the two rinks over the next 10 ends to leave the Ballymena rink only a shot down with 2 ends left. The home men gained to single shots to take the victory and the first point for Saintfield 21-18.
Alan Smyth, Joe McKeown, George Graham and Chris Wilson suffered the same results as Lynn’s men againist J Alexander. The Ballymena foursome battled well at the start and after 5 ends they were 4-3 down. However, at this point the opposition kicked into gear and only allowed the Braid men to win 3 out of the next 10 ends but this meant the score was 13-10. This was as close as Wilson’s rink was going to get the Saintfield four as the latter won the remaining 6 ends to pencil an 11 shot victory of 21-10.
This is a big week for the men of Ballymena Bowling Club. Ballymena A entertain Belmont A on the bottom green at 2.00pm in the quarter final of the Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup and Ballymena B are also at home when they host Ballywalter on the upper green at 2.00pm in the quarter final of the IBA Intermediate Cup. Ballymena C are in league action when they entertain Falls. The Braid men will have to get to bed early on Friday night as this game will take place at 10.30am on the top green because cup games take precedence over league fixtures.