Dunbarton lose unbeaten record after hard fought encounter with Old Bleach

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OLD BLEACH A 83 (5pts) v DUNBARTON A 74 (2pts)

The Dunbarton A team lost their unbeaten record on Saturday when they lost a hard fought tussle away to Old Bleach in Randalstown. All three of Dunbarton’s opening three matches have been tough games that could have swung either way and unfortunately the locals were unable to maintain their record of winning very close games. With just two rinks left on and two shots separating the sides, if the rinks skipped by Conor McCartan and DJ Wilson could have gained three shots between them, they would have recorded another win. Luck however deserted the Gilford men as firstly DJ attempted to trail the jack to lie three shots, only for the jack to lock on an Old Bleach bowl and eventually a count of five was conceded. With the very next bowl on the green, Conor tried to ditch the jack to lie two shots and missed the jack by a whisker. And the tough matches come thick and fast with Pickie at home on Saturday in the first round of the Irish Cup followed by Ballymena away in the league the following Tuesday night!

Rink 1

E McElroy, P Convery, G Moore, S Adamson up 21-20

This was a game that swung to and fro and it was no surprise that it was decided on the last end. The first end set the scene as the Gilford men built up a superb head and skip Stevie had an opportunity to turn a bowl out for a count of six. Stevie narrowly missed and then to his horror had to watch as his opposite number produced a magnificent delivery to trail the jack for a six himself. On the second end, the Dunbarton bowlers bounced straight back and lifted a fine count of five. Over the next ten ends, the teams cancelled each other out but suddenly the hosts put their foot on the accelerator and opened up a seven shot advantage with just five ends remaining. Unpeturbed however, the locals hit back and with scores of 4,2,1,1, left the scores tied going into the final end. Sure enough it was left to Dunbarton legend Stevie Adamson to deliver the knock out blow and with two magnificent deliveries was able to score that all important shot for a very hard fought victory.

Rink 2

S Trainor, D Dennison, G McElroy, C McCartan down 13-17

This was the lowest scoring game game of the day and the locals will be really disappointed not to have won their tussle with top international skip Neil Booth. The Gilford men started brightly and by the midpoint had opened up a 10-5 advantage. Unfortunately the loss of a 3 on end 11 and a 4 on end 13 and all their good work had been ruined as the hosts moved ahead 11-12. Over the remaining ends, it was nip and tuck and with just one end remaining, the home side led by two shots. Despite a superb effort by skip Conor, the locals were unable to score the two shots they needed and had to settle for a disappointing four shot loss.

Rink 3

M Higgins, J Magennis, M Merritt, A Hughes up 21-15

Andy’s foursome started off horribly with the loss of a four on the first end but soon narrowed the deficit. By the end of the first third the locals had moved in front and skip Andy was leading the charge with some superb deliveries. His opposition skip was also in terrific form and whilst the Gilford men maintained their narrow lead they were unable to pull away. A super count of four on end 18 effectively guaranteed their point but their efforts were all in vein as their team mates were unable to help the team win overall. A fine effort nonetheless from all four bowlers.

Rink 4

D Copeland, K Conlon, T Bell, DJ Wilson down 17-29

For three quarters of this match, the outcome was very much in the balance but a strong finish by the home rink inflicted a crushing defeat on DJ’s four. A disappointing count of six on the fourth end saw the locals trail early, but they soon bounced back and after 10 ends had moved ahead 12-10. End 15 was probably the turning point. With the hosts leading 15-18, DJ was lying shot and had an opportunity to turn out the only opposition bowl in the head for a count of five. Whilst it was dangerous, the Gilford skip took a chance and unfortunately caught the wrong side of the bowl and gave the shot away. Buoyed by this, the Randalstown rink pushed on and DJ’s luck was summed by that last end when he looked to have played the perfect bowl, only to end up losing a five. Second Keith Conlon had a fine game, though a very disapopointing reverse for the usually reliable Dunbarton rink.


The Dunbarton A team cruised into the second round of the Private Greens Senior Cup with an easier than expected win away to Ards last Thursday night. With a number of players missing, midweek bowlers John Cunningham and Eugene Byrne were drafted in and both made excellent contributions to their rinks as the game finished early with the hosts quitting with a number of ends remaining. Effectively the game was pretty much over after just two ends as the hosts roared ahead and never looked back. Conor McCartan’s rink started 4,4 whilst Myles Greenfield’s rink started 2,3. Andy Hughes scored a 4 and lost a single as did DJ Wilson’s four and already the visitors were nineteen shots in front.

Conor’s four continued to have a field day and scored 22 unanswered shots before finally conceding their first single. They eventually eased home by 21 shots. Andy Hughes’ four built up a 16-1 advantage, before winning by 14 while Myles’s four cruised to a 9 shot success. DJ’s foursome were involved in the closest game of the evening against former international D Gardiner and eventually won by 6. An impressive performance and the locals will need to continue this form as they have been handed a tough second round draw, at home to Ulster Transport.

Rink 1 S Trainor, E Byrne, G McElroy, C McCartan up 27-6

Rink 2 E McElroy, J Magennis, S Adamson, A Hughes up 18-4

Rink 3 J Cunningham, M Higgins, M Merritt, M Greenfield up 20-11

Rink 4 D Copeland, K Conlon, G Moore, DJ Wilson up 14-8

DUNBARTON B 94 (7pts) v OLD BLEACH 63 (0pts)

The Dunbarton B team maintained their terrific start to the season with a superb maximum point haul at home to Old Bleach. Despite a slow start, the locals soon got into gear and cruised to victory. Both Fergie Larkin and Clifford Dennison led their rinks to narrow victories while James Kelly finished with a flourish to win by 14 and Robbie Gough’s four eased to a 12 shot success. The hosts will be full of confidence going into their battle royale with old rivals Ballymena in their next game.

Rink 1

J Gray, F Doyle, M Adamson, R Gough up 28-16

The first third of this game was high scoring and it was the visitors who edged ahead 8-9. However it was the middle ends of this game that Robbie’s four guaranteed their point scoring thirteen shots whilst only conceding a single. The final few ends were seen out without any trouble and a very confident twelve shot success.

Rink 2

G Magennis, N Cunningham, T Gray, F Larkin up 24-20

Fergie’s four were involved in a titanic battle with their Randalstown rivals and it was no surprise this went to the wire. The locals started badly and slumped to an early 3-11 deficit. Slowly, however the hosts got back into the game and the deficit was narrowed to four shots at the two thirds mark. With just one end remaining, the away side still had their noses in front, but only just, 17-18. Thankfully the locals held their nerve to score an all important double and a crucial one shot win.

Rink 3

A Magennis, R McElroy, M McInerney, C Dennison up 17-13

Clifford’s four started brightly and moved into an early 10-4 lead. The next seven ends produced just seven shots and the hosts still led by five. By the close, the home lead had been narrowed to four shots but another excellent point was garnered.

Rink 4

K Kelly, L Magennis, N Wilson, J Kelly up 30-16

No one would have predicted the final outcome of this game having watched the first seven ends. It was the visitors that had taken control and opened up a 4-11 lead. The next two thirds saw a remarkable turnaround of fortunes for James’ quartet. Outscoring their opponents 13-2 over the next third and the hosts were in command. And to round off a marvellous performance, the locals finished off with 12 unanswered shots to romp to a 30-16 win.