It was finals day at Ballymena Bowling Club last Saturday and the conditions were perfect for the competitors.
LADIES’ PAIRS (McKEOWN CUP)
Eva Ferguson and Jean Rainey took on Jennie McCready and Marie Houston and although the McCready / Houston combination won 4 of the first 5 ends a count of 6 shots on the 2nd end made sure that the game remained level with the score board reading 6-6. Three ends later the scores were still level at 8-8 but a second count of 6 shots on the 10th end made sure that the Ferguson / Rainey pair would win the cup with the final score 21-9.
MEN’S INVITATION PAIRS
Geoff Pagett and Jimmy Larkin took on Neal Garrett and Roy Torrington. Padgett / Larkin scored a single on the first end but Garrett / Torrington picked up a count of 5 shots on the next end to set the tone for the rest of the game. Over the next 6 ends the Garrett / Torrington pairing took control of the game when they added another 9 shots to their total. Padgett / Larkin scored 2 shots on the next end but two 2’s and two 4’s to the Garrett / Torrington combination over the next 4 ends meant that there would only be one winner in this game. The next few ends were closer but a count of 6 shots on the 18th end gave Garrett / Torrington victory by 34-11.
MEN’S HANDICAP PAIRS
Derek Greer and Danny McCullough made a good start against William Crawford and Graham Wilson and with 5 ends played had opened up a 7-0 advantage. Seven ends later however Crawford / Wilson were back on level terms at 9-9. Two singles gave the Crawford / Wilson pair the lead for the first time and a count of 5 shots on the 15th end saw the momentum change in their favour. The remainder of the game was evenly contested and in the end Crawford / Wilson ran out 22-16 winners.
MEN’S SENIOR SINGLES
Unfortunately this final turned out to be very much a one sided affair. Steven Shields opened up with 3 singles while Alan McAuley got on to the score board on the 4th end when he too scored a single shot. Over the next 6 ends Shields outscored McAuley by 8 shots to 2 and with Shields now dominating proceedings McAuley was unable to score again with the final score 21-3.
MEN’S TWO-BOWL SINGLES
Steven Shields took on Andrew Morrison who settled quickly and 3 consecutive singles got him up and running. Shields picked up a single on the 4th end to open his account but Morrison scored 3 shots over the next 2 ends to lead by 6 shots to 1. Shields doubled his score on the 7th end but this would be the last time that he would get on the scoreboard as Morrison dominated the remainder of the contest to win 15-2.
LADIES’ TWO-BOWL SINGLES
Barbara Cameron took on Eva Ferguson and it was Cameron who took the game by the scruff of the neck as she won 7 of the first 8 ends to open up a 9-1 lead. Ferguson rallied briefly over the next 4 ends as she reduced the arrears to 6 shots but Cameron scored 4 shots over the next 3 ends to ensure a 15-6 victory.
MEN’S SENIOR CITIZENS’ SINGLES
Jim Cameron took on Bertie Thompson. Cameron scored a single on the first end and then he followed this up with a full count of 4 shots to make the best possible start. Three ends later Thompson had cut the deficit to a single shot however over the next 7 ends Cameron extended his advantage to 6 shots. Thompson fought back again and by the time the game had reached the 19th end he had drawn level at 16-16. A single on the next end gave Thompson the lead for the first time but any thoughts of victory quickly evaporated as Cameron scored consecutive 2’s and a single to claim hard fought 21-17 win.
Andrea McKeown, Jennie McCready and Barbara Burnett took control of the triples final against Jean Rainey, Marie Houston and Jackie Hogg when they picked up three counts of 3 shots over the first 7 ends to open up a 10-3 advantage. Over the next 5 ends the Hogg triple reduced the arrears to only 3 shots, however 9 shots between the 13th and 15th ends ensured that the title would go to the McKeown / McCready / Burnett triple with the final score 20-9.
LADIES’ SINGLES (LORIMER CUP)
Probably the best game of the day as Linda McCullough took on Barbara Cameron. McCullough made the early running and after 5 ends she lead by 7 shots to 2. Five ends later the scores were level at 8-8 and a single on the 11th end gave Cameron the lead for the first time. McCullough hit back and 6 shots over the next 3 ends put her back in front however 5 ends later Cameron levelled the game again with the score 16-16.
Four shots over the next 3 ends meant that McCullough required only 1 shot to win the game but back came Cameron and 2 ends later she trailed 20-19. On the next end Cameron lay the 2 shots she needed for victory however McCullough came down with her final delivery to trail the jack for shot and claim victory by 21 shots to 19.
MEN’S HANDICAP SINGLES
Steven Shields locked horns with Neal Garrett in this final. Both players won 1 of the first 2 ends but Shields took the initiative when he picked up a full count of 4 shots on the next end. With 10 ends played 4 shots was still the difference between the 2 players but Shields picked up 2 more singles over the next 2 ends to extend his lead to 6 shots. Garrett replied with a single on the 13th end to cut the arrears to 5 shots but he was unable to add to his score for the remainder of the contest as Shields took charge. A count of 3 shots on the 15th end and another count of 4 shots on the 18th end eventually saw Shields home 25-7.
There was a strange game as Michael Wilson, Graham Wilson and John Coulter took on John McFall, Neal Garrett and George Graham. The Coulter triple started off like a house on fire and with 5 ends played they lead by 13 shots to 1. Coulter’s men got stuck on ‘13’ and over the next 6 ends Graham’s triple picked up 12 shots to level the game at 13-13. It was then the turn of the Graham triple to get stuck on ‘13’ and they were unable to score again as Coulter’s triple scored 9 shots over the next 6 ends to win 22-13.
LADIES’ HANDICAP SINGLES (HOLDEN CUP)
Barbara Cameron was quickly in to the groove against Eva Ferguson and with 7 ends played Cameron led 11-1. Ferguson then began to settle down and 8 ends later she had reduced the deficit to 6 shots but Cameron moved up a gear over the closing ends and with the help of a count of 3 shots on the 17th end and 4 shots on the 19th ends she wrapped up a 25-15 victory.
LADIES’ PAIRS (O’KANE CUP)
The opening ends between Eva Ferguson / Jackie Hogg and Jennie McCready / Marie Houston were well contested and with 5 ends played McCready / Houston held a slender 1 shot lead. The game continued to be close but as the game progressed the McCready/Houston pair edged ahead to win 19-17.