Dunbarton bounce back from midweek defeat

DUNBARTON Bowling Club would like to offer it’s sympathies to club secretary Andrew Hughes who lost his young 19 year old nephew last week due to illness.

The thoughts of all club members are with Andrew and the McMaster family at this tragic time.

THE Dunbarton A team travelled to old rivals and early pacesetters Ballymena last Tuesday night

but finished on the end of a hammering.

On many occasions over the past few years, the locals have defeated the Braidmen in close battles, winning trophies as a result, however the hosts well and truly got their own back.

The locals were missing influential players Greg Moore and Andrew Hughes and this certainly cost them, although all credit should be given to a fine Ballymena side. Few teams if any would have lived with Ballymena on Tuesday night.

For the first half of the game there was not a lot separating the sides and after nine ends, just seven shots was the difference, in favour of the homesters. End ten proved pivotal however as the hosts seized control of the game across the green. All four home rinks scored, chalking up ten shots without reply and from thereonin there was only going to be one winner.

DJ Wilson’s four fought well throughout and thanks to two superb bowls on the final end by third Tony Bell, managed to gain the away side’s only point of the night. Stevie Adamson can count himself very unlucky not to have led his rink to victory as they lost eight shots over their final three ends to lose a game that could have gone either way. Unfortunately the rinks skipped by Myles Greenfield and Conor McCartan had nights to forget as the rinks against them simply played magnificent bowls.

Rink 1: S Trainor, R McElroy, G McElroy, C McCartan - down 12-29: This game was very similar to rink three as the first nine ends were closely fought but then the home side put their foot on the accelerator. Trailing by just two shots at 6-8, the locals conceded 14 shots whilst ony scoring two and at the three quarters mark, trailed 8-22. Effectively their point was gone and by the close, Conor’s four had to settle for a very disappointing seventeen shot defeat. This was a very tough baptism for young Ryan McElroy who came in at short notice to play second and is showing great potential for the future.

Rink 2: M Higgins, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Greenfield - down 13-35: For nine ends of this game there was little to separate the sides as both rinks played some tremendous bowls. The loss of an early count of five was quickly balanced by a superb final bowl by skip Myles on end seven to get their five shots back. From ends 10-13 this game was lost. Some inspired deliveries by home skip McHugh resulted in counts of 5 on end 10, 5 on end 12 and 4 on end 13 and the game was well and truly over as a contest. After this period of play the Gilford heads did go down and the locals succumbed to a very heavy 22 shot reverse. |

Rink 3: E McElroy, C Mulholland, P Convery S Adamson - down 13-23: Stevie’s four were the one home rink that started very brighly and for two thirds of their game looked favourites to be the only Dunbarton rink going to gain their point. A treble on the first end helped the locals move into a 5-2 lead after five ends, albeit the hosts did narrow this to just one shot at the ten ends mark, 7-6. At this stage Stevie was having a tremendous tussle with opposite skip Ireland team manager Jim Baker and it was too close to call as to who would emerge victorious. With three ends remaining, the hosts had poked their noses in front, 15-13 but the rub of the green deserted Stevie’s men over the final three ends. The loss of a double on end 19 increased the arrears to four shots but a superb bowl by Stevie on end 20 looked to be turning the jack for a treble or even a count of four, only for the jack to bounce sidewards and the loss of a treble and their point was gone. A final score of 13-23 certainly did not reflect a very close game.

Rink 4: D Copeland, K Conlon, T Bell, DJ Wilson - up 18-15: DJ’s four looked to have gotten off to a great start when they lay four shots with one bowl remaining on the opening end, only for the home skip to edge off a short bowl for shot and already the signs were ominous! The loss of a count of five on the fourth end also did not help and the away rink found themselves seven shots adrift at the midpoint, 4-11. Slowly however, DJ’s men battled back and by the three quarters mark, the deficit had been narrowed to two shots and it was all to play for. Over the final few ends, it was clear that the Gilford men had momentum and end after end they put the hosts under pressure. A fine last bowl from DJ on the penultimate end left his rink two shots up going into the last end, however it was his third Tony Bell that took all the plaudits with two great drawing bowls to ensure the locals scored that all important shot and a hard fought three shot success.

This week the locals are back in Cup action as they firstly host Ulster Transport in the Senior Private Greens Cup and then travel to Comber in the second round of the Irish Senior Cup two days later. With Ballymena currently looking unstoppable in the league, the cups may be the locals best chance of silverware this season.

The sign of a good team is how they bounce back from adversity, and after Tuesday night’s mauling, the Gilford men bounced back in style with a magnificent 64 shot thrashing of Falls on their own green on Saturday.

Last year, the locals lost narrowly at home to their West Belfast opponents and it was obvious that revenge was in the air. With DJ Wilson and Myles Greenfield both leading their rinks into large early leads the result of the overall game was never in doubt.

During the second half Conor McCartan’s rink roared ahead to guarantee the sixth point and it was left to Dunbarton legend Stevie Adamson to guide his rink to victory and put the icing on the cake. This was a magnificent performance by the away side and showed a lot of character.

Rink 1: M Higgins, M Adamson, M Merritt, M Greenfield - up 24-6: The four “m”s gelled superbly as a rink and managed to restrict their rivals to a paltry six shots on their own green. Right from the off, the visiting rink put the hosts under pressure and they simply couldn’t respond. By the midpoint, Myles’ men had roared ahead 12-2 and they continued in the same vein over the second half to run out very comfortable 18 shot winners. Star of the show was undoubtedly Matthew Adamson who had played junior bowls up until Saturday but looked perfectly at ease despite playing at a much higher level. He is already showing similar characteristics to that of his father Stevie and if he turns into half the bowler of his father, the Gilford club are in for a treat.

Rink 2: D Copeland, K Conlon, T Bell, DJ Wilson - up 40-11: Buoyed from their hard earned point at Ballymena on Tuesday, DJ’s quartet were in sensational form against the shellshocked home rink. Third Tony Bell was celebrating his birthday on Saturday and he certainly celebrated in style with a magnificent perormance. End after end, Tony produced some superb drawing deliveries and from ends 3-9, he helped his team mates to a magnificent run of 1,6,2,1,5,4,1 to romp ahead 21-2. And the prolific scoring did not stop there, leading 27-11 after sixteen ends, DJ’s men plundered further scores of 5,2,1,2,3 for a massive 29 shot success.

Rink 3: E McElroy, G Moore, G McElroy, C McCartan - up 27-12: Conor’s four did not have things their own way early as the home rink battled hard and the lead swung to and fro. After ten ends, the visitors were two shots ahead but two successive trebles on the following two ends and the Dunbarton four were in control. Over the remaining ends, the locals continued to keep their foot on the accelerator and cruised to a facile 15 shot win by the close. Second Greg Moore continued with his 100% winning record since he rejoined the club this year.

Rink 4: J Moffatt, C Mulholland, P Convery, S Adamson - up 23-20: This was the closest game of the day as Stevie’s four had to work extremely hard to get the seventh and final point. After ten ends, the scores were tied at 8-8 but the turning point of this game came on ends 14 and 15. Two excellent heads resulted in scores of 5 and 3 and Stevie’s four moved 17-12 in front. A further count of four on end 18 cemented their point and the locals were able to concede a single and double over the last two ends to win by three shots. Second Chris Mulholland was outstanding.