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O’Keefe, however, had other ideas and produced a magnificent draw to score shot and only one shot separated the triples with four to play.
Similarly to end nine, end 15 was the game changer as Banbridge lay one shot with just DJ’s final delivery to come.
This time it was DJ’s turn to step into the limelight as playing with two yards of weight, the Dunbarton Irish international, planted his bowl onto the shot bowl for a crucial count of five shots and suddenly the Gilford men had daylight at 18-12 with three to play.
It was then the turn of Dunbarton’s Conor McCartan to get in on the act and three terrific deliveries built a strong head for his team mates, eventually resulting in a count of three and the game was pretty much won.
Credit to skip O’Keefe again who did not give up and produced yet another fine delivery on the penultimate end to score a three and take the game to the last end, 21-15 with one to play.
Dunbarton lead David Copeland, who was in oustanding form all day, produced another fine three bowls and the Private Greens champions never liked losing six shots or more.
Despite another accurate strike by O’Keefe with his bowl, the Gilford men scored one shot and scenes of jubilation erupted.
A terrific effort by the three Dunbarton bowlers who paid credit to the Banbridge triple for giving them such a close battle and at the same time, playing the game in the spirit that bowls should be played.
It’s off to Leamington Spa, next June when David, Conor and DJ will try to pull off a feat that no Dunbarton bowler has ever done – namely bring back a British Isles title to Dunbarton.