The new Ballymena & District Indoor League season got underway last week with a meeting of two teams relegated from the first division.
It was Broughshane Playing Fields Association ‘B’ who adapted quickest to life back in the second tier as they beat Portglenone Community Centre by 34 shots.
The Knockan Road side were already odds-on for victory by the halfway stage as they led by 29 shots, thanks to convicing wins from Noel Graham and George Davidson’s rinks.
Herbie McCullough’s rink piled on the misery for Portglenone - who will play their home games in Clady this year due to renovations at the village community centre - after the break and the Bannsiders’ sole response was a victory for the rink skipped by Gary Merron.
First Ballymena celebrated their first game in Division Two after their promotion with a win over Glenravel.
The Martinstown side, who successfully retained their second division status last season, looked well set for a positive outcome after they took one-and-a-half points from the first half with a win from Vera Bryson, while Martin O’Neill shared the points with J Davidson.
But the church side took control after the break as the father and son combination of Lyle and David McQuitty guided their rinks to victories as ‘First’ ran out comofrtable winners by 21 shots overall.
Services ‘A’ also benefitted from a strong second half as they opend their campaign with a 14-shot win over Harryville Community Centre.
Harryville appeared on course for voctory as they had two points in the bag at the interval courtesy of wins from Harold Smyth and Joe Patterson.
But Services stepped up a gear in the second period thanks to wins from two new skips, Barry McClenagahan and former All Saints player Declan McLaughlin.
Antrim Indoor Bowling Club’s first game in their new home at the Jim Baker Stadium didn’t go according to plan as they picked up just a single point from an eight-shot defeat by Golf Seniors.
All four matches were keenly contested but the golfers prevailed in three of them through Ivan Mcmaster, Ian Lecky and Donald Smyth, while Darren McCullough notched Antrim’s lone point.
BPFA ‘B’ 58 (4), Portglenone Community Centre 24 (1): N Graham 21, J Gaul 3; G Davidson 14, K O’kane 3; H McCullough 18, J McErlean 8; J Wasson 5, G Merron 10.
First Ballymena 42 (3.5), Glenravel 21 (1.5): R Woods 9, V Bryson 12; J Davidson 7, M O’neill 7; D McQuitty 11, M McAuley 3; L McQuitty 15, M McKeegan 5.
Services ‘A’ 44 (3), Harryville Community Centre 30 (2): P Wilson 8, H Smyth 9; B Kitson 6, J Patterson 10; B McClenaghan 13, G Worthington 9; D McLaughlin 17, W Reid 2.
Antrim IBC 31 (1), Golf Seniors 39 (4): R McCullough 5, I McMaster 9; D McCullough 9, S Surgenor 7; R Kennedy 7, I Lecky 9; J Logan 10, D Smyth 14.
Maine showed no ill-effects of switching their match night from a Thursday to a Monday as they proved too strong for an under-strength Eaton Park, whose shortage of personnel saw them lose a quarter of their shots on two rinks.
The Randalstown side were alsways in control as they picked up full points thanks to wins from Laurence McQuillan, Brie Magill, John Heffron and Patsy O’Neill.
All Saints’ bid for an immediate return to the second tier folowing their elegation also got off to a confident start as they claimed maximum points against Services ‘B’
None of the four rinks enjoyed runaway victories but Eugene McReynolds, Nicholas Micthell, Anthony Mitchell and Sean Haveron all had something to spare in their wins.
West CHurch, playing at their new base of Dunclug College, edged out visitors Round Tower by three shots.
Victor Mahon’s 10-shot win over Helen Totten ultimately proved the decisive score, while Tommy Wilson’s rink also won for the church side.
Round Tower’s points came from the rinks skipper by Gilmore Campbell and Michael Teer, by some distance the Antrim side’s most regular points scorer last term.
Maine 50 (5), Eaton Park 19.25 (0): L McQuillan 19, B Hill 4; B Magill 9, J Carruthers 4.5; J Heffron 8, G Reid 6.75; P O’Neill 18, G Shaw 4.
All Saints 44 (5), Services ‘B’ 25 (0): E McReynolds 11, E Smyth 7; N Mitchell 11, R DIckson 7; A Mitchell 12, G COulter 6; S Haveron 10, J Smith 5.
West Church 33 (3), Round Tower 30 (2): J Rainey 4, G Campbell 11; V Mahon 14, H Totten 4; M Livingstone 7, M Terr 8; T Wilson 8, J O’Neill 7.