Last Tuesday night the Dunbarton A team avoided a potential banana skin when they defeated Pickie in Gilford by 19 shots in the league.
Their North Down visitors had already caused an upset two weeks ago when they took 4.5 points off Belmont so were not underestimated by the locals.
In truth the home side never looked like losing this game but at the halfway mark looked odds on for six points, only for the away side to bounce back on the two middle rinks and suddenly five points was a real possibility.
Marty Trainor’s rink led the way with a fine 14 shot win, while Myles Greenfield and his four were always in control of their contest, eventually winning by six shots.
Rink 1 D Copeland, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Trainor up 30-14
Over the first half of the game there was only one side in it as the visitors took control from the off. By the midpoint, they led by ten shots, 4-14 and a home win looked very unlikely. Amazingly however, within three ends, Marty’s four were all square thanks to scores of 4,1,5. At the three quarters mark, the hosts had edged ahead 17-15 and now there was only one winner. Having moved up through the gears, Marty’s four chalked up further scores of 1,2,1,6,3 from ends 16-20 and by the close they had stormed to a very impressive 14 shot success.
Rink 2 R McElroy, G Moore, G McElroy, C McCartan down 21-22
Conor’s four got off to a strong start and led 8-1 after the first quarter. By halfway, they were still in control at 14-6 but the next four ends saw this lead disappear as scores of 1,3,3,4 were lost. With three ends remaining, Conor’s four had bounced back and held a three shot lead at 20-17 and looked odds on for their point.
On end 19 the locals were left cursing their luck as the Pickie skip played weight with his final bowl but was well off target, only to rub off a short bowl and turn the jack for a very undeserved four shots.
On the final end Conor’s rink trailed by two shots and with just one bowl remaining the locals were convinced they were lying shot.
With an excellent drawing delivery, Conor’s bowl finished beside the jack only for their disappointment to be complete when they lost the measure for the second shot and fell to a one shot defeat.
Rink 3 J Moffatt, C Mulholland, P Convery, DJ Wilson 20-20
This game was nearly a carbon copy of rink 2 as DJ’s men started with a bang and looked like they were going to run away with the game as they led 13-3 after ten ends.
Over the third quarter, the visitors began to fight back and their deficit was reduced to six shots at 15-9.
End 16 proved disastrous for the locals when they lost an unfortunate five shots and suddenly their point looked in real jeopardy. On the penultimate end things went from bad to worse as a treble was conceded and the locals were three down with one end left.
However, the home rink showed their character to lie three shots with just one bowl remaining from both of the skips. To his credit, the away skip produced a cracking draw shot to get in for second shot and the home rink now looked odds on to lose their point.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and it was left to home skip DJ to produce a telling delivery to turn the jack for three shots and half a point.
Rink 4 J Kelly, T Bell, A Hughes, M Greenfield up 22-16
Skip Myles and his foursome started well and never looked in trouble throughout. An early three shot lead after the first quarter, 5-2 was quickly extended to five shots at the midpoint, 13-8. The locals continued to show their supremacy over the second half and with just two ends remaining had raced into an excellent 22-10 lead. With the game over as a contest, the hosts could afford to lose a sloppy five followed by a single to win by just six shots.
This Saturday the Dunbarton A team travel to Jordanstown to face Ulster Transport.
This is quite a tricky tie on paper and thoughts will turn to last year’s game.
This will not be an easy game but if the locals are to retain their league title, this is a must win game.