Ballymena A continued their league campaign this week when they travelled to Gilford to take on league leaders Dunbarton.
The Braid men settled down quickly and built up a good lead over the opening ends. As expected the home side fought back and one stage they had reduced the arrears to just 3 shots but the Ballymena team rallied over the closing ends and returned home with 6 of the 7 points on offer.
J R Nicholl, George Graham, Alistair Coleman and Steven Coleman were involved in a close game against M Trainor. The home rink made the perfect start when they picked up a count of 4 shots on the first end but the Braid men did not panic and 2 ends later they were back on level terms. As the game continued there was little to choose between the rinks and with 8 ends played the scores were still tied at 8-8. Five ends later there was still noting to choose between the 2 rinks with the score board reading 13-13 and with only 2 ends remaining the scores still tied at 18-18. Coleman’s men picked up 2 shots on the penultimate end and a single on the final end gave the Braid men a hard fought 21-18 victory.
James Gaston, Chris Wilson, Mark Torrington and Jim Baker were involved in a low scoring game against C McCartan. Both rinks won 5 of the opening 10 ends and at this stage of the contest the visitors held a slender 7-6 lead. Four shots over the next 2 ends saw the visitors extend their advantage to 5 shots however the home rink won the next 4 ends to get their noses in front for the first time in the game. Ballymena however were in determined mood and over the remaining ends they outscored the home rink to claim a 16-14 win.
Alan McAuley, Graham Wilson, Steven Falls and Nigel Robinson took on D Wilson and with 5 ends completed the visitors trailed by 5 shots to 2. Two ends later the Braid men had levelled the game and they more than doubled their score on the 8th end when they picked up a count of 6 shots. Five ends later the Ballymena rink still held a healthy advantage but between the 14th and 20th ends Dunbarton outscored the visitors by 12 shots to 1 to lead by 23 shots to 17 however with the overall game quite close the Braid men kept fighting until the finish and 3 shots on the last end closed the gap to 3 shots with the final score 23-20.
Steven Shields, Neal Garrett, Andrew Morrison and Andi Duncan were in dominant form against M Greenfield. The home rink could only win 3 of the opening 12 ends and at this stage of the contest the Braid men lead by 16 shots to 5. The Dunbarton men won the next 4 ends to cut the deficit to 5 shots but this proved to only be a blip on the Ballymena scorecard as the Braid men took control again. With all 4 of the Ballymena players on top of their game they won all but one of the remaining ends to wrap up an excellent 24-12 victory.