Ballymena ‘A’ inconsitent form continued last week as they followed up a midweek win over Larne with a defeat by Belmont on Saturday.
Ballymena and Larne had only met a couple of weeks ago in the NIPGL Senior Cup with the visitors claiming a narrow victory so the Ballymena men were out for revenge.
This game also turned out to be a close affair but this time it was the Braid team who finished in the ascendency by eight shots to claim victory and 6 of the 7 points on offer.
J R Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman won 6 of the opening 10 ends against M Murphy however counts of 4 shots on the 2nd end and 5 shots on the 6th end ensured that the scores remained deadlocked at 11-11.
Three ends later the Ballymena rink had opened up a 3 shot advantage and they were always able to keep their noses in front, eventually claiming a 25-20 victory.
Rod Coleman, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson had quite a tussle with J Kerr which saw the visitors establish a 3 shot advantage with only 2 ends left to play. It was not look good for the Ballymena skip when he went to play his final bowl of the penultimate end as the Larne men lay 4 shots however Robinson played an superb bowl to claim the shot and keep his rink in the game. This lifted his rink and they played an excellent final end to claim 4 shots and their point with the final score 17-15.
The visiting rink skipped by A Kyle stunned the Ballymena rink of Michael Wilson, Sammy Allen, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker when they picked up a count of 6 shots on the 4th end to open up a 7 shot advantage. The Braid men did their best to repair the damage and with 8 ends played they had reduced the arrears to only 2 shots. Unfortunately for Baker’s men it was mostly one way traffic from then on as the visitors took control and Ballymena eventually went down by 22 shots to 9.
Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan were in great form against A McClean and with 6 ends completed the Braid men lead by 10 shots to 0. Three 3’s over the next 4 ends gave the visitors some hope but 4 shots on the 9th end and 5 shots on the 13th end meant that the Ballymena lead remained in double figures with the score board reading 21-9. The Braid men were still able to increase their advantage and they came off the green with a well deserved 28-14 victory.
Ballymena ‘A’ 70, Belmont 88: Unfortunately for the Ballymena men they were unable to build on the good result earlier in the week against Larne. Three of the games against Belmont were very close and could have gone either way but in the end the visitors had to settle for a point.
Michael Wilson, J J Robinson, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker lost out on the closing ends against R Battersby whose rink eventually triumphed 23-21.
There was also late drama on rink two when David Duncan, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan staged a great comeback against S Bennett with a single on the final end earning Ballymena a 19-18 success.
Once again there was a close finish as J R Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman went into the final end against T Crawford trailing and even though Coleman’s men won the end the single they scored was too little too late as they went down by 19 shots to 12.
Graham Wilson, Jimmy Hodges, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson were on the back foot for much of their encounter with against R Horner and they eventually found themselves on the wrong side of a 28-12 score line.
This weekend Ballymena A will be looking to get back to winning ways when they entertain Pickie A.