The big game in the first division was at Broughshane Playing Fields Association where the ‘A’ team had title holders Michelin as opposition.
It was an early season clash of the two sides most likely to compete for the championship and it was Michelin who laid down an early marker of their title credentials with an eight shot victory, which was enough to earn three points for the champions.
Alan Cahoon’s Broughshane rink edged past Wesley Caldwell by three shots while David Morrison guided his BPFA foursome to a four shot win against Matthew Boyd.
Broughshane were in control from the start of this game and opened up a 5-0 lead after four ends.
BPFA led by seven shots at one stage but Boyd’s rink won the final two ends to reduce the deficit and this played an important part in the overall shots total.
Michelin’s response was led by Grant Robinson, who led his rink to an eight shot success over Ivan Craig, with the Broughshane quartet restricted to just three singles.
The overall result was secured in the Woodside Road team’s favour by Graham Wilson’s rink of Alistair Gilmore, Chris Wilson and James McWhirter, who saw off William Morrison’s quartet by seven shots.
It means that BPFA - in many observes’ eyes the only team capable of sustaining a realistic challenge to Michelin over the course of a league campaign - are already playing catch-up to their rivals, who continue to dominate in both the league and knockout competitions.
Elsewhere, Old Bleach suffered a real trouncing as they lost by almost 40 shots at newly-promoted Ballymena Indoor Bowling Club.
For ‘BI’, Tommy Hill’s rink won by 14 shots against Willie Scott, while David Duncan had 12 shots to spare over Neil Booth and Nigel Robinson’s rink had a 14-shot winning margin against Mervyn McDonald.
The Randalstown side ensured they didn;t return home empty-handed, as Nigel McNally’s rink had a single shot win over Roy Torrington.
BPFA ‘A’ 31 (2), Michelin 39 (3): I Craig 3, G Robinson 11; A Cahoon 10, W Caldwell 7; W Morrison 8, G Wilson 15; D Morrison 10, M Boyd 6.
BIBC 63 (4), Old Bleach 24 (1): R Torrington 11, N McNally 12; T Hill 16, W Scott 2; D Duncan 17, N Booth 5; N Robinson 19, M McDonald 5.