Stunning Plate victory for Mid-Antrim ladies

Eva Gage delivers a bowls for Mid-Antrim in Saturday's Plate win over Mid-Ulster in Maghera.
Eva Gage delivers a bowls for Mid-Antrim in Saturday's Plate win over Mid-Ulster in Maghera.

Mid Antrim ladies zone team produced one of their best ever performances on Saturday to reach the semi-final of the Plate competition.

Victory over Mid-Ulster Zone in Maghera was all the more remarkable given that the selectors were forced to reshuffle the team due to the unavailability of SEVEN players from the original selection.

Undaunted, the Mid Antrim ladies defied the odds, playing with tremendous spirit, in the process eliminating the hosts by 22 shots.

Mat 1 saw Margaret Simms, Sheila Kleinman, Pearl Peacock and skip Ann Bacon drawn against E Wrights four. Both rinks exchanged a series of 1’s and 2’s which saw the visitors lead 5 – 4 after six ends. Over the closing ends, Mid Antrim seized the initiative outscoring their hosts 6 shots to 1 for deserved 11 – 5 win.

Jennifer Wilson’s rink of Helen Maybin, Yvonne Hall and Kathleen McKelvey drew K McKenna’s rink on mat 2. Mid Ulster opened with a count of 3 on the first end. That however was to be their only scoring end as Jennifer’s rink proceeded to dominate the game, reeling off nine consecutive ends to record a thoroughly deserved 13 – 3 win.

Mid Antrim made a flying start on mat 3 with Delores Scullion, Eilish McNeill , Rosalind Gordon and skip Eva Gage surging into a 6 -0 lead against D Young’s foursome. They maintained their advantage throughout the game and although the hosts came back to trail by 1 shot with one end to play, the visitors secured victory with a single on the final end to win 9 – 7.

Agnes Lynn, Barbara Laverty, Molly Turtle and Helen Lynn found themselves in opposition to Moira Rock’s rink. There was little separating both rinks over the opening five ends which saw the host rink ahead 4 – 2. A “3” on the 6th end put Mid Ulster 7 – 2 ahead. However, Helens rink battled their way back into the game and with nine ends completed the score line was 8 – 8. On the final end, Mid Antrim lay 5 shots when the host skip “burnt” the end. With the game at that stage beyond Mid Ulster, both rinks settled for a draw.

Megan Wilson’s four of Maria Millar, Barbara Burnett and Irene McCullough took on Sheila Anderson’s rink. This was a closely contested game throughout with the score just in favour of the hosts who led 5 – 4 after six ends. A “4” on the 7th end gave Sheila’s rink a 9 – 4 lead. However, the Mid Antrim ladies responded with a 1, 4 and 2 to secure a hard earned 11 - 9 win.

The final game saw Mid Antrim’s rink of Roberta Morrison, Briege Marron, Jenny Kirk and skip Anne Agnew in opposition to Bridget Davidson’s strong host rink. Anne’s rink established early control to lead 5 -2 after five ends. Mid Ulster then won 4 successive ends to lead 8 – 5 with one end to play but the visitors replied with a closing count of “5” to claim a win by 10 shots to 8.