THE first round of fixtures for the 2012 Private Greens season proved very successful for Dunbarton Bowling Club as both the A team and B team registered excellent results against Ulster Transport.
In a very close match, the senior team managed to win on all four rinks for a magnificent maximum point haul against a team that finished above them last season. The B led from start to finish in their game and six points in their first game was a fine result for them also.
For almost the entire game, there was little to separate the two sides and it was only over the final three ends of the match that Dunbarton took control. A count of five for Myles Greenfield’s four supplemented by a four from Andrew Hughes and finally the overall result was put to bed. Equally important however was the final end on the rinks skipped by Conor McCartan and DJ Wilson who both scored the required shots to win both of their games by the narrowest of margins – one shot! A magnificent result for a much changed team from last season.
Rink 1: M Higgins, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Greenfield up 26-21 - Myles’s four were involved in the highest scoring game of the day. An early 6-2 advantage was quickly cancelled out by the loss of counts of 3 and 4, only to bounce back with a four themselves! However, all their hard work that end was quickly ruined by the loss of a five and the Gilford men were struggling, four shots behind. Slowly Myles’ four got their noses in front, though with three ends remaining the game was all square again at 20-20. End 19 proved to be the match winning end as excellent bowls from all four Gilford men resulted in a count of five and their point was almost guaranteed. Singles were swapped on the final two ends for a hard fought victory. Debutant Michael Merritt was the pick of the away four.
Rink 2: D Copeland, K Conlon, P Convery, DJ Wilson up 22-21: DJ’s new look rink got off to a bad start, trailing 1-8 after just four ends but soon recovered their composure to lead 11-10 at the midpoint. With five ends remaining, the away rink looked favourites to gain their point as they led 17-13 but on ends 17 and 18 things went horribly wrong with the loss of a three and a four on successive ends. Another concession of a single on the next end and the point looked gone, but the Gilford rink had other ideas. A fine last delivery on end 20 by skip DJ resulted in a count of four and suddenly the scores were level. And on the final end, lead David Copeland took the honours with a superb second bowl and another hard fought point was gained.
Rink 3: E McElroy, C Mulholland, S Adamson, A Hughes up 18-12 - Andy’s four were involved in the lowest scoring game of the day and battled very well as a foursome. After the first quarter, the Gilford men moved a couple of shots ahead and maintained this lead throughout. Whilst never able to put clear water between themselves and their opponents, importantly, Andy’s quartet always stayed ahead and their point was confirmed with a count of four on end 19 and an excellent 6 shot victory by the close. Second Chris Mulholland showed great consistancy throughout.
Rink 4: S Trainor, G Moore, G McElroy, C McCartan up 16-15 - This was another incredibly tight game with little to separate the sides throughout the whole twenty one ends. At halfway the hosts led by two shots at 7-5 and with one end remaining, it was a similar story and Conor’s four needed a treble or more to gain their point. Onthe last end, second Greg drew shot with his second bowl and then third Gary added another to put the pressure on the home skip. His first bowl was well offline and when Conor delivered a superb first bowl to lie three shots, the pressure was exacerbated. And it took it’s toll as again, his bowl was well offline, leaving Conor not needing to throw his last bowl and the seventh and final point gained.
This win will give the Seniors a massive boost going into this weekend’s titanic clash with old rivals Belmont at Gilford. With Greg, Michael, Keith, Pete and Eamonn all new to the squad this year, all five bowlers looked comfortable and fitted in superbly. And with the ever consistant Tony Bell hopefully available within one week, the future looks bright for the Dunbarton Seniors. This Saturday however will prove to be a real test.