Mid Antrim men made the long journey south to play Cork in the Inter Zone Shield Competition on Saturday and were rewarded with a well deserved 68-35 win, aided and abetted by a comprehensive team performance.
As with the opening game this season, the selectors had to make a number of enforced changes due to the unavailability of several players. Undaunted by this, the locals set about their task in determined fashion.
On mat 1, John Graham, Alan McCombe, David McCullough and Wesley Caldwell took on the rink skipped by Connor Middleton. Despite dropping a 3 on the 2nd end the Mid Antrim rink recovered to lead 5–3 after five ends.
Neil Booth was assigned the skipping duties on mat 2 and along with Tom Morrison, Stephen Alexander and David Duncan they found themselves in opposition to Con Middleton. An exchange of 1’s and 2’s saw Booth’s charges narrowly ahead, 4–3 after 5 ends.
Mat 3 saw Andrew Morrison’s rink of Andrew Booth, Tommy Lithco and Alastair McCullough were drawn to play M Sisk. The opening 5 ends were keenly contested and saw the Mid Antrim rink lead 5–3 after 5 ends courtesy of a 4 on 3rd end.
This gave the visitors a 14 – 9 lead overall at the mid way point in the first half.
This seemed to deflate the early enthusiasm of the host side and thereafter the Mid Antrim rinks outscored their hosts 27 – 8 over the 3 mats, the highlight of which was Andrew Morrison’s rink lifting a 7 on the final end of their game. Wesley and Neill also guided their rinks to victory.
With a comfortable 41–17 half time lead, Mid Antrim began the second half in confident mood.
Paul Millar, Richard Rodgers, Ivan Craig and Alan Cahoon were drawn to play D Twohie’s four on mat 4. This was a keenly contested game which saw the Mid Antrim rink playing the more consistent bowls throughout. A count of 4 on the last end secured a win by 11 shots to 6.
On mat 5, Graham Maybin, Andrew Bonnar, Mark McCullough and David Morrison completely dominated J Kirby’s rink so much so that they won 9 of the 10 ends played restricting their opponents to a 2 on the 6th end. This yielded a comprehensive 13 – 2 victory.
Mat 6 saw William Morrison’s reshuffled rink of Martin Craig, Andrew Graham and Michael McMaster in opposition to the rink skipped by Irish International A Tanner. This game saw, 1 “no head”, seven single shot ends, one 2 and a count of four, (claimed by the Cork rink on the 5th end) which gave the hosts their only rink victory on the day with a score line of 10 - 3.
This gave Mid Antrim an overall 68 – 35 victory and they can now look forward to hosting near neighbours Mid Ulster early in the new year.