Ballymena C entertained Willowfield B last Tuesday night and this turned out to be a very close affair with the sides deadlocked at 66 shots apiece.
At the half way stage of the contest there was only a couple of shots separating the two teams and this was still the case right up until the end.
In fact both teams had chances to won the game on the final end but they had to settle for a draw, however the Ballymena men claimed most of the points as they finished ahead on 3 of the 4 rinks.
Leslie Jackson, Roy Kernohan, Robert Mark and Liam Lyness did not have the best of nights against J Graham. The Braid men actually started quite well and with 6 ends played they lead by 6 shots to 3 but unfortunately it was all downhill from then on. The visitors took a grip of the game when they won the next 9 ends during which they scored a total of 19 shots. This left the Ballymena rink 16 shots down and this was still the margin at the conclusion of the game with the final score 25-9.
With 9 ends played there was nothing to separate Keith Burnett, Gary Shaw, Paul Davidson and Derek Greer and the visiting rink skipped by T Watson. At that stage of the game the scoreboard read 7-7 but that however was as good as it got for the visitors as the Ballymena men found another gear. They actually won all but 2 of the remaining ends and they finished off a very competent performance in style when they picked up a count of 5 shots on the final end to claim victory by 21 shots to 10.
There was a very close game as Willie McNabb, John Montgomery, Artie McAuley and Alex Wilson took on W Thompson. With 7 ends played the visitors lead by a single shot and 7 ends later that was still the gap with only 4 ends remaining. The Braid men however had obviously held something in reserve and they won 3 of the final 4 ends to win the game by 18 shots to 15.
Jimmy Shields, Jimmy Gage, William Crawford and John Elliott were never behind in their game against M Hedley. The Braid rink started off proceedings when they picked up 3 shots on the 1st end. This was still the margin 9 ends later but the Ballymena men trebled their advantage on the next end when they picked up a count of 6. The visitors had the better of the remaining ends but the Braid men had done the damage in the earlier part of the game and they went on the record a 18-16 victory.
Ballymena C 68, Larne B 83: Last Saturday the Ballymena men travelled to Larne and for the most of the game there was little to choose between the two teams, however the home rinks finished the stronger to claim the majority of the points.
Jimmy Shields, John Montgomery, Bertie Thompson and Jimmy Gage were drawn against A McCord. The Ballymena men were very competitive over the first two thirds of the game and with 14 ends the scores were level at 10-10. Unfortunately for the Braid rink they were only able to score two more singles and in the end they went down by 20 shots to 12.
Leslie Jackson, Roy Kernohan, Dessie Shaw and Robert McCready had the better of the opening exchanges against L King and with the help of 3 counts of 3 shots over the opening 10 ends they found themselves leading the contest by 12 shots to 8. Four ends later the margin was still 4 shots however the game changed on the 14th end when the Braid men conceded a count of 8 shots. The Ballymena men never really recovered from this set back and at the end of the game 4 shots was still the margin with the home rink claiming victory by 24 shots to 20.
Keith Burnett, Gary Shaw, Andy Hill and Derek Greer got off to a bad start against H Russell and with 5 ends played the visitors had failed to open their account with the score board reading 9-0. Three shots on the 6th end got the Ballymena men up and running and over the next 13 ends Greer’s men fought back to lead by 2 shots with only 2 ends to play. The home rink scored 2 shots on the penultimate ends to set up an exciting finish and unfortunately for the Ballymena men they could not complete the fight back as the Larne men picked up 3 shots on the last end to win the game by 21 shots to 18.
Willie McNabb, Artie McAuley, Alan O’Loan and Alex Wilson found themselves 3 shots in arrears after 10 ends against D Snoddy. Over the next 5 ends the home rink extended their advantage to 10 shots and appeared to be well on their way to victory. The Ballymena men however had other ideas and 8 shots over the next 3 ends gave them some hope. The home rink picked up a single on the 19th end to leave them 3 shots up with only 2 ends to play but Wilson’s men were in determined mood and 2 shots on the 20th end and a single shot on the final end saw them level the game with the final score 18-18.