The line-up for the Ballymena & District Indoor Bowling League two end-of-season knockout competitions is now known.
Old Bleach and First Ballymena will contest the final of the League Plate on Monday, March 14, at Eaton Park.
It will be followed, two nights later, by the league’s showpiece event, the Knockout Cup final, between Golf Club and Portglenone Community Centre, again at the rugby club venue.
Both those side managed to maintain healthy first leg leads in last week’s second leg.
Golf Club, who had produced one of the season’s stand-out results in that first instalment, lost their second leg to BPFA ‘A’ but only by a five-shot margin, meaning the Raceview side triumphed by 13 shots overall.
Broughshane knew they had to come out all guns blazing and after first half rink wins from Alan Cahoon and Ivan Craig, they had reduced the arrears to just four shots.
But just when it looked as though the momentum might be with BPFA, the golfers found a new lease of life after the break, with Johnny Lynn’s rink particularly impressive in their win over William Morrison, while Fred Dawson’s foursome also helped guide Golf Club into the final.
Portglenone had no such nerve-wracking moments as they followed up their first leg win over BPFA ‘B’ by also winning the second leg, as they cruised into the final with almost 30 shots to spare.
Already facing a 22-shot deficit from the first meeting, the game was up for Broughshane by the interval, by which stage wins from Joe McErlean and Roy Hunter had added to the Bannsiders’ lead.
In the second half, Joe Moore’s rink also won for Portglenone with William Esler’s win proving scant consolation for Broughshane.
BPFA ‘B’ 32, Portglenone Community Centre 38: A Davidson 10, J McErlean 11; G Davidson 5, R Hunter 11; N Graham 6, J Moore 7; W Esler 11, K O’Kane 9. Aggregate: BPFA 62, Portglenone 90.
Golf Club 35, BPFA ‘A’ 40: D McCullough 8, A Cahoon 10; S McGarry 4, I Craig 16; J Lynn 12, W Morrison 4; F Dawson 11, D Morrison 10. Aggregate: Golf Club 78, BPFA 65.
First Ballymena produced an excellent display to beat Moneyglass and reach the final.
‘MG’ riding high at the top of Division Three, had been fancied by many observers to knock out the second division strugglers - especially with the aid of a 10-shot handicap.
But ‘First’ defied the odds to win by four shots overall.
The basis for their victory was a strong first half performance that saw the rinks skipped by father and son Lyle and David McQuitty established a 36-7 lead.
Moneyglass tried hard to get back in the game after the break with wins from Tommy Magee and W Evans but the came up just short.
The other semi-final was a much more clear-cut affair as first division Old Bleach proved too strong for third division All Saints, with all four rinks - skipped by Alan Scott, Nigel McNally, Jonathan Millar and Mervyn McDonald - recording comprehensive wins.
Old Bleach 59, All Saints (+20) 36: A Scott 18, S Haveron 2; N McNally 16, N Mitchell 4; J Millar 14, E McReynolds 7; M McDonald 11, A Mitchell 3.
First Ballymena 44, Moneyglass (+10) 40: L McQuitty 16, S Kerr 4; D McQuitty 20, S McNeilly 3; J Davison 4, T Magee 15; R Woods 4, W Evans 8.
There was a key fixture in the race for the Division One title last week as BPFA ‘A’ took another big step towards reclaiming the crown by winning at champions Michelin.
With Michelin needing to win the game to have any realistic chance of retaining their crown, the Woodside Road side made a good start with an impressive 14-2 win for Grant Robinson over Ivan Craig, but Alan Cahoon’s Broughshane rink responded by beating Wesley Caldwell.
David Elliott’s rink earned Michelin a second point but David Morrison’s 12-shot win over Graham Wilson enabled Broughshane to nick the point for overall shots total by just two shots.
Portglenone Community Centre moved closer to the second division title - despite losing at Harryville Community Centre in a game brought forward from the final week of the season.
Tom McCart and Jim Gaul’s rinks won for the Bannsiders but it was Harryville who shaded the verdict by a shot, thanks to wins from Harold Smyth and Joe Patterson.
Maine and All Saints shared the points, in a fixture brought forward from the penultimate week of the campaign.