Golf Club were the week’s big movers in the latest round of fixtures in Division One of the Ballymena & District Indoor League.
With the potential title decider between BPFA ‘A’ and Michelin postponed, the Raceview side took the opportunity to slip almost unnoticed into joint leadership of the table, with a whitewash win over JTI.
The golfers were firmly in control by the interval, by which stage Jonny Lynn and Fred Dawson’s rinks already had two points in the bag.
And Golf Club were in no mood to relinquish their grip after the break as Sean McGarry and David McCullough’s rinks completed the rout.
A miserable evening for JTI saw them score just 17 shots and they face a real battle to avoid finishing bottom.
Their cause wasn’t helped by the fact that Old Bleach - the side directly above them in the league table at the start of the week - improved their position by beating BIBC, taking three-and-a-half points in the process.
That outcome had looked unlikely at the interval, by which stage ‘BI’ had claimed one-and-a-half of the two first half points, with just a single shot separating the sides at the break. Roy Torrington’s rink had shaded the verdict over Mervyn McDonald by that slender margin, while J Knox and Andi Duncan couldn’t be separated in a 9-9 tie.
Old Bleach found another gear in the second half, however, and wins from Willie Fullerton and Neil Booth’s rinks saw them home with seven shots to spare overall.
Golf Club 45 (5), JTI 17 (0): J Lynn 7, G Maybin 5; F Dawson 17, T Rock 6; S McGarry 12, H Lynn 1; D McCullough 9, L McIlroy 5.
Old Bleach 38 (3.5), BIBC 31 (1.5): J Knox 9, A Duncan 9; M McDonald 9, R Torrington 10; W Fullerton 10, T Hill 7; N Booth 10, S Shields 5.
Standings: BPFA ‘A’ 6-20; Golf Club 7-20; BIBC 7-17; Michelin 5-16.5; Old Bleach 7-14; JTI 6-7.5.
It’s as you were at the top of the table after the top two sides both won and both picked up four points from this week’s games.
This season’s surprise packages Golf Seniors continue to sail along nicely at the summit of the table after beating bottom side First Ballymena by 15 shots.
The two first half games were won by Golf Seniors, both, remarkably, by the same score as Brian Russell and Ian Lecky celebrated 10-9 successes over the ‘First’ rinks skipped by father and son Lyle and David McQuitty.
John Nichols’ rink’s 19-1 eclipse of Roland Woods put the outcome of the points beyond doubt, meaning that Jonathan Davidson’s win for the church side was little more than mere consolation.
Portglenone Community Centre remain right on Seniors’ heels after they, too, notched four points, against Services ‘A’.
It all started well enough for the Trostan Avenue side with a win for Mal Norton’s rink but none of the other three rinks came close to securing a point as Kevin O’Kane, Joe McErlean and Roy Hunter led the Bannsiders to victory.
The most impressive win of the week came from Antrim IBC, who took all five points from their trip to Glenravel.
Darren McCullough, his father Robert, Tom Evans and Andy Matchett all skipped winning rinks for Antrim, who won’t rule themselves out of the promotion race yet.
In the other game, Harryville Community Centre threw a spanner in the works of BPFA’s promotion bid with victory.
Both sides won two rinks each but the difference came in big winning margins for Harryville’s Harold Smyth and David Wilkinson, compared with one shot wins for BPFA from George Davidson and William Esler.
Golf Seniors 45 (4), First Ballymena 30 (1): B Russell 10, L McQuitty 9; I Lecky 10, D McQuitty 9; J Nichols 19, R Woods 1; C Wade 6, J Davidson 11.
Portglenone Community Centre 46 (4), Services ‘A’ 30 (1): C Jones 4, M Norton 11; K O’Kane 13, P Wilson 5; J McErlean 17, M Shaw 8; R Hunter 12, D McLaughlin 6.
Glenravel 30 (0), Antrim IBC 55 (5): J McKeegan 7, D McCullough 15; D McKeegan 8, R McCullough 17; M McKillop 11, T Evans 13; M O’Neill 4, A Matchett 10.
Harryville Community Centre 56 (3), BPFA ‘B’ 20 (2): G Worthington 6, G Davidson 7; H Smyth 17, A Davidson 3; J Patterson 8, W Esler 9; D Wilkinson 25, N Graham 1.
Standings: Golf Seniors, played 10, points 32.5; Portglenone Community Centre 10-32; BPFA ‘B’ 10-28.5; Harryville Community Centre 10-27.5; Antrim IBC 10-27.5; Services ‘A’ 10-20.5; Glenravel 10-16; First Ballymena 10-15.5.
Moneyglass’s seemingly relentless charge towards the Division Three title suffer a surprising disruption last week.
‘MG’, who have led the division for most of the season, were beaten by Eaton park, whose four-point haul lifts them into second place in the standings.
It was all square at the interval as both first half meetings finished with 13-3 scorelines, with Gary Shaw’s win for the rugby club side cancelled out by Sean McNeilly for Moneyglass.
But it was Eaton Park who finished the stronger in the second half with wins from John Carruthers and Noel Crabbe giving them victory by nine shots overall.
It keeps alive what had seemed a hugely unlikely promotion push for Eaton park, certainly in the early weeks of the season when they were having difficulty fielding a full complement of players.
All Saints returned to action with a victory over Round Tower in Antrim.
It was a classic ‘game of two halves’ with Gilmore Campbell and Helen Totten’s rinks putting Tower very much in the driving seat at the midway mark, albeit by just three shots.
But Saints dominated the second half and wins from Eugene McReynolds and Anthony Mitchell managed to overturn that deficit as Saints ran out winners by three shots.
In the other game, Services ‘B’ ended West Church’s mini revival by taking three-and-a-half points from their meeting.
Eric Smyth and John Smith skipped winning rinks for Services, who also claimed half a point from Roy Dickson’s 8-8 stalemate with Maurice Livingstone.
Annie Erwin’s rink won for the church side.
Standings: Moneyglass 8-27.5; Eaton Park 9-23.5; Maine 8-22; All Saints 7-18.5; Round Tower 9-18; Services ‘B’ 7-18; West Church 9-17.5.