What a difference five days made over the past week in the context of the fortunes of Ballymena Bowling Club ‘A’ team’s season.
Saturday week ago the Braid men suffered a heavy defeat away at Belmont A and last Wednesday evening they faced another tough challenge when they travelled to local rivals Old Bleach A.
The Randalstown men were on a high having taken maximum points from their previous game against Larne but the visitors had a point to prove and they put in an excellent performance winning on 3 of the 4 rinks to claim 6 of the 7 points on offer and scoring over 100 shots in the process.
Geoff Padgett, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman were drawn against M Nutt. Nine singles were scored over the opening ends and at this stage of the contest the visitors held a slender 5-4 lead.
The complexion of the game changed over the next 6 ends when the Braid men outscored the home rink by 10 shots to 1 to extend their advantage to 10 shots and they were able to maintain a healthy lead right up until the end to run out 21-13 victors .
James Gaston, David Duncan, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker started well against N Mulholland when they won the first 3 ends to open up a 6 shot lead. The next 14 ends were evenly contested but Baker’s men were always able to maintain their advantage with the score board reading 12-6 after 12 ends and 16-10 after 17 ends.
Both of the rinks scored 2 shots over the next 2 ends but the Ballymena rink went out with a bang when they picked up a count of 4 shots on the penultimate end and they went one better on the final end when they claimed 5 shots to record a fine 27-12 victory.
Alan McAuley, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson were in superb form against S Kirkwood, winning the opening 9 ends and at this stage of the contest they led by 14 shots to 0.
The home rink stopped the rot when they picked up 2 singles on the 10th and 11th ends but the Ballymena juggernaut continued their dominance when they all but doubled their lead over the next 5 ends to open up a 25 shot advantage.
With the game won Robinson’s men took their foot off the gas over the closing ends but this was excellent performance from the Ballymena rink who eventually won the game by 34 shots to 9.
On rink 5 Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan made a slow start against J Talbot and with 5 ends completed the home rink lead by 6 shots.
Five ends later the margin was still 6 shots however the Braid rink got themselves back in to the game when they picked up a count of 5 shots on the next end.
Unfortunately this was as close as Duncan’s men could get to the home rink. The Ballymena men never gave up and they battled all the way until the end and going in to the final end they only trailed by 3 shots but a single to the Old Bleach rink gave them the victory by 23 shots to 19.
This week Ballymena A entertain Pickie A on Tuesday night (tonight) and then on Saturday they entertain Dunbarton in the second round of the Irish Senior Cup (a repeat of last years final)