Irish call-ups for DJ and Conor

Dunbarton bowlers DJ Wilson and Conor McCartan have once again been chosen to represent Ireland at the British Isles Championships in Llandidrod Wells, Wales at the end of this month. DJ (pictured) will play second to Neil Booth for the ninth year in succession whilst Conor has been chosen as one of two reserves.

This is a tremendous accolade for both bowlers and also for the Dunbarton club to have 2 players involved in the 26 man squad. The Gilford club would like to wish their bowlers “every Success” and hope that they will do their club and country proud.

Dunbarton bowlers Michael Higgins, Conor McCartan, DJ Wilson, Myles Greenfield and Andy Hughes were part of the successful Senior Private Greens Team that regained the Inter Association Series over the weekend.

After the late withdrawal of Gary McElroy, clubmate Andy Hughes was given a much deserved chance and he showed that he was very comfortable at this level.

The Series started on a high when the Private Greens thumped the NIBA on the Friday night at Jordanstown. Myles was the star of the show as he led his rink to a superb 35-12 success. Michael and Andy teamed up with International skip Neil Booth and they won by four, Conor played third to Robin Horner and won by twelve, whilst DJ played third to Brendan Thompson and won by two.

On the Saturday morning, things did not go so well for the Private Greens as they lost by 18 shots to the Proincial Towns. Dj’s rink drew their game whilst the other four Dunbarton bowlers suffered defeat. With other results working in their favour, the Private Greens still held onto top spot going into the afternoon encounter with the Bowling League of Ireland.

Dj’s rink took pride of place as they rounded off an unbeaten series with a 17 shot defeat of their Southern opponents. Mick and Andy also tasted victory with a seven shot success and these two wins were enough to guide their team mates across the line to a five shot overall success and more importantly, the Senior Inter Association title! Despite a terrific individual performance, Myles endured the agony of losing on the last bowl for a one shot defeat, while Conor and his rink had a miserable afternoon, finishing in arrears by seventeen.

DUNBARTON A 81 (5pts) v LARNE A 71 (2pts)

The Dunbarton A team continued their winning streak but had to fight hard to overcome a tough obstacle in Larne in Gilford last Tuesday night. As usual, the Gilford bowlers are very difficult to beat at home but the visitors certainly put up a determined performance and ended up with two points for their efforts.

The hosts however will be disappointed that they did not garner at least six points in a game they led pretty much from start to finish. Both Andy Hughes and Conor McCartan led their rinks into early 11-2 leads and with the other two rinks close, the locals had built up a quick 15-20 shot lead which remained constant throughout. Over the final few ends both DJ Wilson and Conor McCartan tried in vain to win their points and it was left to the rinks skipped by Myles Greenfield and Andy Hughes to bring home the bacon and a well earned five points.

Rink 1 D Copeland, K Conlon, T Bell, DJ Wilson down 17-25

DJ’s rink started badly and trailed 0-5 after two ends before slowly steadying the ship to level the scores at 6-6 after seven ends. The next four ends proved disastrous for the locals however as scores of 2,5,2,2 were conceded and in truth, the Gilford men never recovered.

Despite the best efforts of third Tony Bell in particular, the locals tried in vain to rescue their point and over the final few ends luck deserted them and the loss of a final end double, condemned them to a disappointing eight shot defeat.

Rink 2 J Moffatt, P Convery, S Adamson, A Hughes up 25-13

Andy and his superb front three got off to a magnificent start and effectively guaranteed the lion’s share of the points for their teammates. A run of 20 shots without reply from ends 3-10 which included a massive count of seven on end six, put the Gilford four out of sight at 21-2 up. To their credit, the Co Antrim bowlers did fight back to win the majority of the second half ends but Andy’s men were in cruise control throughout. The front end of Jack Moffatt and Peter Convery in particular were outstanding.

Rink 3 E McElroy, G Moore, G McElroy, C McCartan down 16-21

Conor’s rink got off to a flyer and opened up an early 11-2 advantage over the first half of the game. At this stage, the locals were dominant but inspired by the away skip, the Larne men fought back. With three ends remaining, the scores were level at 16 shots apiece but it was the visitors who had momentum. Scores of 1,3,1 were conceded by Conor’s four and a disappointing five shot defeat. The locals will be kicking themseles at losing this point.

Rink 4 S Trainor, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Greenfield up 23-12

Early on there was little to separate the opposing rinks and Myles’ four had a narrow one shot advantage at 6-5 after the first third. As the game progressed however, the hosts built a lead and never looked back. With the ever consistant John Magennis in top form the locals opened up a double figure lead and cruised a fine, and very important, twelve shot win.

This week the locals are back in cup competition as they firstly try to overcome old rivals Belmont in the Private Greens Senior Cup quarter final in Belfast on Thursday night before a third round Irish Senior Cup trip to Hilden on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Dunbarton B team are also in cup action. On Thursday, the Gilford men host Downpatrick in the Private Greens Junior Cup and then two days later the locals face the arduous trp to Brook Park in the Irish Junior Cup.

DUNBARTON B 70 (1pt) v PICKIE B 90 (6pts)

The Dunbarton Juniors lost their unbeaten record when they very surprisingly lost at home to Pickie in the league on Saturday. The locals finished well beaten by 20 shots and only gained one point in a very disappointing performance. Indiviudual scores not to hand.