Dunbarton cruise into the last 16 of Irish Senior Cup

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THE Dunbarton senior team cruised into the last 16 of the Irish Senior Cup with a comfortable win away to fellow Private Greens side Hilden in Lisburn on Saturday.

The locals were firm favourites to progress against the closest Private Greens team to Gilford and sure enough the short journey down the A1 did not prove too troublesome.

The visitors started with a bang by scoring on all four rinks on the first end and from thereonin never looked back. Whilst the hosts did battle hard, they were unable to repeat their first round heroics when they surprisingly defeated much fancied Cookstown, the Gilford men were simply a class apart.

As the game progressed, there was only ever going to be one winner and by the close the away side had eased to a 33 shot win.

Pride of place was Andy Hughes’ four who won by 12 whilst Myles Greenfield led his rink to a nine-shot win. Good friend DJ Wilson was one shot behind Myles, winning by eight and Conor McCartan made it a full house of victories with a four-shot victory.

The locals now host Provincial Towns side Ballycastle in the last sixteen and will be firm favourites to progress to the quarter finals.

Rink 1: E McElroy, G Moore, G McElroy, C McCartan - up 19-15: Conor’s men endured the toughest game of the afternoon of the four Dunbarton rinks, but battled well to finish ahead. Early on there was little to separate the sides and after seven ends, the scores were locked at 5-5. Over the next third however, things began to go wrong for the Gilford rink and before they knew it, they trailed 6-14. However, the locals did not let their heads get down and quickly bounced back. Conor’s quartet produced a superb run of 1,1,2,7,1 to storm ahead 14-18 with two ends to play. Singles were shared over the last two ends and Conor’s four recorded a well earned four shot win.

Rink 2: J Moffatt, P Convery, S Adamson, A Hughes - up 26-14: Andy and his front three continued from where they left off last week against Larne to storm into a 10-0 lead after just five ends and this gave their teammates a massive lift. Despite the loss of a count of five on end six, the locals were largely untroubled and continually played the better bowls, drawing close to the jack. A fine 12 shot success was recorded by the close.

Rink 3: D Copeland, M Higgins, T Bell, DJ Wilson - up 25-17: DJ’s rink started with a treble, only to concede a treble on the second end and the loss of the next three ends saw them in arrears 3-7. After eight ends the home four held a 7-10 lead but for the remaining 13 ends, DJ’s men moved up the gears and took the game by the scruff of the neck. A superb count of five on end 11 and a four on end 14 and the destiny of this game was decided. The locals could afford to lose a last end treble and still notch up a convincing eight shot win.

Rink 4: S Trainor, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Greenfield - up 22-13: Similarly to rink two Myles’ four got off to a flyer and after the first third had opened up a 10-1 advantage. To their credit, the home foursome did show their grit and determination and scores of 2,1,1,1,1 saw Myles’ lead cut to two shots. As the game progressed it was hard to call who would emerge victorious, however the Gilford men finished in style. Two counts of four on the final two ends saw the Division one rink win by 9 shots.

- Meanwhile the Dunbarton juniors also made it through to the last sixteen of the Irish Junior Cup when they overcame a potential banana skin away to Brooke Park at Londonderry.

The locals had crashed out of the cup at the same venue a few years ago, however there was no repeat last weekend. Having lost their unbeaten record at home to Pickie last week, the locals bounced back with a great win.

Robbie Gough’s rink was the star rink on show and their 21 shot win guided their team mates to victory. Clifford Dennison’s four bounced back from their nightmare v Pickie to win narrowly whilst Fergie Larkin and James Kelly were both defeated but both by single figures.

Overall, the visitors won by a comfortable 17 shots and booked a last 16 tie away to Falls in a fortnight’s time. Having thumped Falls by 70 shots a few weeks ago, this is a fantastic draw for the Gilford men.