BANBRIDGE B took on Bessbrook for the first time recently.
As Banbridge had won promotion in 2011 they had been playing against teams who were an unknown quantity but being at home would be an advantage as Bessbrook’s green is considerably slower than their own.
RINK 1: This game was closely contested and at 10 ends the score was tied at eight shots each. Bann lost just one end from the next five and established a lead of seven shots (16-9) after 15 ends. By losing six shots on the following end and then a single they were all square once again on 16-16. The locals scores 5,2,3 to win by nine shots (26-17).
RINK 2: Again another close game. At five ends it was three shots each, after 12 ends they were still locked together at nine shots each. By the 15th end Bann were behind by five shots (10-15) before scoring four on the 17th and a single to leave them one shot behind with three ends to play. Bessbrook got a single on the next end but Bann won the last two ends to finish all square at 17-17.
RINK 3: At five ends the locals led by a shot (6-5) but by winning six out of the next seven ends Bann increased their lead to 11 shots. Over the next four ends Bann lost eight shots and were now three shots in front (18-15) after 16 ends. Again Bann got into the driving seat by winning four of the final five ends to win by six shots (24-18).
RINK 4: In keeping with the trend this was also an evenly matched game. After five ends Bann were one shot down (5-6). In the 10th end Banbridge took the lead by two shots – a difference which remained until the 15th end (13-11). In the next two ends Bann lost a three, then a two. They were now three adrift – both sides won two ends each off the last four played by a single shot.
CARRICK and Banbridge renewed their friendship after the hosts had been promoted to this league a few years ago – although the sides had met in the NIBA Cup.
It was a bit surprising to find that Carrick had only scored seven points from five games – and Banbridge piled on more misery by taking six of the seven on offer, with the locals having just one losing rink.
RINK 1: After five ends Bann were behind by seven shots (3-10) and by the 10th that had slipped to another shot (6-14). Things didn’t improve when the 16th end was finished as they trailed by nine shots (10-19). The Bann rink was beaten by 17 shots (11-28) – a disappointing result for Jim Hamilton’ rink.
RINK 2: Scoring a five on the second end helped Bann obtain a three-shot lead at the fifth end (6-3). Getting four on the ninth end gave Bann an eight shot advantage (14-6), they failed to score over the following four ends and were now a shot behind (14-15).Fortune turned in Bann’s favour as they scored a 1,2,3 to lead 20-15. Again Bann failed to score for three ends and when the scores were all square a four and a two gave the rink a six shot victory (26-20).
RINK 3: Bann never trailed in this game. Derek Moles and David Thompson had the upper hand over the experienced Carrick front end of Pat Moran and Dave Brown with Clive Bingham finding his weight and green perfectly. At five ends the locals led by five shots (6-1); a difference which remained at the 10th but increased by the 15th to six shots (16-10) and went on to win 24-15.
RINK 4: W Sneddon, P Magill, W Steenson and J Scott are proving to be a formidable combination. After five ends Bann led 9-1 and only lost two ends from the first 11. Bann had a 13 shot advantage on the 11th end and while by the 15th end the quartet’s lead was reduced to 12 they still managed to retain that 13 shot lead at the end, winning 24-11.
This was a one-sided affair in the quarter final of the NIBA Junior Cup with the locals notching up a 45-point win.
They will now play Whitehead in the semi-final at the Gilnahirk Green. Bann B beat Whitehead, who lead Division Two, at the same last season but the locals have a lot of new players who lack experience and could struggle in this tie.
In the first end across the green Bann led by three shots (6-3) and after 10 they were in front by 14 shots (24-10). That increased to 52-19 and then 64-34 by the end of the 15th end. They went on to win by 45 shots.
There are no games scheduled for the A or B teams this Saturday as both their scheduled opponents are playing in the Irish Cups. These games are scheduled for Tuesday evening.
Bann A are away to Lurgan and the B team are at home to Musgrave A, who lead Division Three. This will be an interesting fixture as the B tam have played and beaten the two previous league leaders, Rathfriland A and Bessbrook.