BOWLS; Dunbarton’s title challenge in tatters after disastrous away display

Tony Bell bowling for the Gilford team.  INBL1521-257EB
Tony Bell bowling for the Gilford team. INBL1521-257EB

Dunbarton’s title hopes are already hanging by a thread.

That’s because they produced a woeful performance away at Ulster Transport last week, gaining only one point.

Gary McElroy in action for Dunbarton. INBL1521-263EB

Gary McElroy in action for Dunbarton. INBL1521-263EB

The locals simply could not handle the fast swinging green and succumbed meekly losing by 15 shots. Only DJ Wilson’s four were able to walk off the green with their heads held high as they won by six shots, whilst the other three rinks all fell to defeat.

Marty Trainor’s four led for most of their game only to lose out over the last few ends while the rinks skipped by Conor McCartan and Myles Greenfield trailed from start to finish.

In simple terms, the locals cannot afford many more games like this if they are to retain their Private Greens Senior Division One trophy.

Rink 1 J Moffatt, C Mulholland, P Convery, DJ Wilson up 28-22

Over the first few ends, DJ Wilson and his front three started well and opened up a 7-4 advantage.

This three shot lead was maintained by the halfway mark as the visitors led 11-8. From ends 13-15, however, the Gilford men ruined all their early hard work when they conceded scores of 1,4,2.

To their credit, DJ’s foursome kept their cool and bounced back immediately with a fine count of six on end 16. Three ends later and another count of six was registered and a Dunbarton point was secure. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the only away point on an otherwise miserable afternoon.

Rink 2 D Copeland, J Kelly, M Merritt, M Trainor down 16-20

Over recent weeks, Marty’s men have started slowly and finished strongly but this game was the complete opposite.

After eight ends, the Gilford men had raced into a 10-2 lead and there only looked to be one winner. At the two thirds mark, the away rink were still in command at 15-9 but suddenly things went pear shaped. The loss of scores of 4,2,1,1 and out of the blue, the hosts were 15-17 ahead with three ends to go.

With singles shared on ends 19 and 20, the Gilford rink needed a double or more to stop them from leaving empty handed.

On the final end, third Michael Merritt produced a terrific delivery to turn the jack for two shots and once again Marty’s men were in with a sniff of their point.

The home third had other ideas drawing shot and despite Marty’s efforts their point was gone.

Rink 3 C Trainor, R McElroy, G McElroy, C McCartan down 15-19

Conor’s four have struggled to get going over recent matches and once again it was a poor afternoon for the men in yellow.

Starting sluggishly, the Gilford men trailed 3-5 after the first quarter and things did not improve, trailing 7-10 at the midpoint.

Despite continued efforts to bounce back, Conor’s four could not string together a run of winning ends and the final nail was put in the coffin on end 17 when the locals dropped a count of four. Whilst they fought to the bitter end, winning three of the last four ends, the locals slumped to a four shot defeat.

Rink 4 M Higgins, T Bell, A Hughes, M Greenfield down 9-22

Skip Myles and his team mates had an afternoon to forget as they got off to an awful start and never recovered.

After five ends, they trailed 1-5 and by the midpoint, their deficit had increased to nine shots, 2-11. At the three quarter mark they had still made no dent into the home lead, behind 5-17 and by the close had fallen to a very poor 13 shot reverse.

A forgettable performance by Myles’ men which summed up the efforts of the team.

NEXT UP

This week, the locals will get a welcome break from the league calendar as they are in action in both Cup competitions.

Firstly on Thursday night (18th), they host Second Division side Falls in the quarter-final of the Private Greens Cup and should prove too strong.

On Saturday, the Gilford men then travel to Carrickfergus in the Irish Senior Cup and they know that if they can negotiate a safe passage to the quarter finals, they will have home advantage against either local rivals Lurgan or Dundonald.

In both games, the men in yellow will start as strong favourites but they dare not produce any more performances like last weekend.