Dunbarton dump Larne in Gilford

Bowling for Dunbarton at the weekend.
Bowling for Dunbarton at the weekend.

Dunbarton maintained their unbeaten start to their season with an 89-64 home victory over Larne on Saturday.

The Gilford side went into the fixture on the back of an impressive opening day victory over Old Bleach.

Certainly Dunbarton were quick out of the blocks and by the fifth end, they had already established that 25 shot lead. It was never squandered across the course of the afternoon and a six points haul duly followed.

On rink one, Chris Trainor, Chris Mulholland, Gary McElroy and Conor McCartan were up against experienced Larne skip and former Ireland International David McRandall.

This game was always close with either rink never more than three shots behind the other until the final score. At end five, Conor’s four found themselves 5-4 ahead and had stretched that to 9-6 by 10 ends. At the three quarter mark, Larne’s four had clawed their way back to 11-11 only for the locals to go ahead 14-12 on the 18th end.

Unfortunately for Conor, that was to be the last time ahead as McRandall scored 4-1-1 on the final three ends and secured a consolation point for Larne (14-18).

It was almost much different for Conor’s rink as they were unfortunate not to collect five on the final end. After playing with weight, Conor halved the jack into a part of the rink where Dunbarton’s bowls lay, but the jack did not remain on the rink by the finest of margins and the end was replayed.

Rink two had Martin Trainor and his front three of Sean Trainor, Michael Merritt and Alan Paul in opposition against Alan McLean. This was a change to last week’s rink at Old Bleach, which saw Michael Merritt make his first senior start of the campaign.

That made no difference as again they gave an impressive performance. Always in control of their rink, they had opened up a nine shot lead (11-2) by the fifth end and remained 16-9 ahead despite losing a count of four on the tenth end.

This was soon put behind them as by 15 ends they were 22-11 in front. They will be slightly disappointed at winning only one of the remaining six ends, but still ran out comfortable 24-17 winners.

For the second week running, DJ Wilson’s four could make an argument of being handed the toughest draw.

This week, David Copeland, Jack Moffett and Peter Convey had to put their game to the test against a experienced Larne rink skipped by recent World Cup Indoor Singles Runner-Up Andy Kyle.

For the first half, it was all Dunbarton. At five ends, they lead 7-2 and by ten ends remained five in front (10-5). Playing the 13th end they were 14-5 ahead and seemingly heading for another victory, but that was soon to change.

A loss of two shots on that end cut the deficit and on the next one, a loose end from all four Gilford men, left an opportunity for Kyle to trail the jack for a count of six. He didn’t miss. Suddenly, Wilson’s four had to fight.

They fell behind for the first time in their game on end 16 (14-15) but immediately hit back with a count of three to go 17-15 ahead. But Kyle led his rink ahead again when he ditched the jack for two shots on the 19th end (17-18).

In the 20th end, DJ, playing his last bowl with shot against and his point almost gone, played a perfect bowl to move the jack for another count of three and put them ahead to win 20-19.

The rink of Michael Higgins, James Kelly, Myles Greenfield and Andy Hughes were the stand out performers for Dunbarton, with a 31-10 victory over Michael Murphy.

It was very pleasing to see Michael Higgins back on the green for Dunbarton after missing the Old Bleach game and his experience at lead would have been a massive plus to this rink.

After conceding three shots in the first end, it was one way traffic for Andy and his rink. By end five, Larne had failed to score again and Dunbarton were 13-3 ahead.

A further loss of two shots on end eight didn’t affect Hughes’ men as by end 10 the score read 21-5. The trend continued for the rest of the game as they ran out with a comfortable 21 shot win.

Particularly impressive was Myles Greenfield, who despite starting this year at third, showed he is still very much a quality player and one who will give his all for his club.