The Dunbarton A team started their most important week of the season with a confidence boosting 93-62 victory away to Ewarts in North Belfast on Tuesday night.
More importantly, the locals chalked up six of the seven league points on offer to move 6.5 points clear at the top of the table with just three games remaining.
In truth, there was only one team that looked like winning as the visitors flew out of the blocks, opening up a double figure lead after just three ends and after the first quarter led by 19 shots.
By the halfway mark the Gilford lead had been increased to 23 shots and the game as a contest was all over bar the shouting.
Over the second half the locals cruised to a comfortable 31 shot success with strong wins for Conor McCartan, DJ Wilson and Myles Greenfield.
Only Andy Hughes’ four tasted defeat but six points nonetheless was a fine result. With three league matches remaining and the Dunbarton side effectively seven points clear (due to their much superior shot difference), two wins from their final three games should be enough to seal a first title since 2010.
Rink 1 C Mulholland, J Magennis, M Trainor, M Greenfield up 23-15
Myles and his front three started slowly and trailed 3-4 after five ends but as they got to grips with their rink, soon got their noses in front, 10-5 at halfway. Whilst the hosts tried to narrow their deficit during the second half, Myles’ men always seemed to have their opponents at arm’s length and cruised to a fine eight shot success.
Rink 2 G Magennis, M Merritt, P Convery, DJ Wilson up 27-13
An early count of five on the fourth end got DJ’s men up and running and they never looked back.
Inspired by a tremendous performance by second Michael Merritt, they managed to open up a seven shot advantage at the midpoint, 14-7 and this was increased to twelve shots at the three quarters mark, 21-9.
The final few ends saw the men in yellow ease to a fine 14 shot victory.
Rink 3 C Trainor, G Moore, G McElroy, C McCartan up 27-9
Conor’s rink have gelled perfectly in recent weeks with all four bowlers playing with tremendous confidence and this was demonstrated by a fantastic start at Ewarts.
Scores of 4,1,3,2,1,3 saw the locals storm ahead 14-0 and this point was already assured. Over the remaining fifteen ends, the Gilford men never looked in any danger as they outbowled their rivals, eventually winning by 18 shots.
Another very impressive performance by this in form rink.
Rink 4 R McElroy, T Bell, S Adamson, A Hughes down 16-25
Skip Andy and his front three got off to a very bright start and after the first quarter led 7-2.
nfortunately this was as good as it got for the Gilford foursome. The loss of a count of five on end eight saw the locals fall behind and by the ten ends mark, the home rink led by one shot, 10-11.
From ends 11-14 the hosts put their foot on the accelerator and scores of 1,2,2,3 left Andy’s four struggling at 10-19. Despite their best efforts over the final third, the Gilford rink were unable to bounce back and lost by nine shots.
Overall a good start to the week.