Champions are held to a draw in the season opener as Premier League gets underway


Mulhollands A 4

Coach Inn 4

The McLean bookmakers Premier league kicked off on Tuesday night with two time defending champions hosting last year’s Mc Adam Cup winners and the spoils were shared as Mulhollands had to dig deep to save a point.

Wayne Jess got the ball rolling with an impressive display in the opener but the home team were pegged back as Bert levelled the match in the next frame, outstanding talent Gary Crawford picked up where he left off last season to restore the home advantage only for Thomas Moore to grind out victory in the fourth.

Isaac Mulholland showed his own talents were not to be sniffed at as he rolled back the years to once again give the Dromore side a slender advantage, The Coach then took control of the tie as Stephen Docherty won the final singles match and was quickly followed up by Raymie and Mucker in the first doubles and the visitors were 4 - 3 up going into the final frame but Mulhollands showed just why they have won this title in the past two seasons as Gary Crawford and Raymie Jess pulled them out of the fire to secure a point. All and all the Coach were probably the happier side but Mulhollands will also be happy to get this fixture out of the way without a defeat.

O’Reillys A 7

Imperial Inn 1

The travelling willburys’ of the league have now settled in O’Reillys and after the disastrous season of last year playing from The Detroit the former Mc Graths side were determined to start off on a positive note this time around and that they did as the Imperial ran into a steam train on the night as everything went right for the home team.

Seamus Mc Grath got the ball rolling with a well worked out finish despite the worry written all over team captain Liam Gribbens’ face, new signing Michael Ward showed just why he has been regarded as one of the top players in the league for the past decade as he methodically worked his way through his colours to take the frame.

Captain Liam was his normal no mistakes self to open up a three frame lead, frame four was the closest match up of the night and if R Malchomson had have had a small bit of luck the fight back could have been on the cards but it was not to be and O’Reillys’ took another frame.

Mark Kinneen secured the points with a faultless display and the white wash in the singles was completed by the secound new signing Russel Connell.

S Mc Minn and M Johnston brought the loudest cheer of the night as they won their doubles match.

Higgins 6 Castle Bar 2

Once again on paper Higgins’ are many peoples favourites to do great things this season and they got over a potential banana skin in the shape of the Castle Bar on Tuesday night but it did not start off well for the home side as victories for Stephen and Ryan Fitzpatrick in two of the first three frames gave the visitors a 2 - 1 lead with Tony Greenan replying for the home side.

This seemed to kick start the Higgins’ boys and they never looked back after that as Gareth Moody started a five frame winning streak that sends out a positive and fearful message to the rest of the league that they are here to play this season, Brendan Davis and Aaron Buchannon won their singles games and the home side won both doubles matches to secure the points.

Market Bar A 6

Banbridge Legion 2

Another of the favourites had a positive start with victory over a tricky opponent as The Market did not have to come out of second gear with them winning six of the first seven frames, Trevor Ashe and Keiron Mallon took the first two frames, G Steenson put a frame on the board for the Legion but unfortunately it was down hill from there as the home team went on the rampage by winning the next four frames to secure the points.