How Dunbarton won the Irish Cup

HERE is how each of the rinks faired as Dunbarton beat Ballymoney to lift the Irish Senior Cup:

Rink 1 J Moffatt, C Mulholland, G McElroy, A Hughes up 22-19: Andy’s four got off to the most perfect start when the front end of Jack Moffett and Chris Mulholland put their four bowls inside a foot of the jack which resulted in a fabulous count of five.

However, this joy was shortlived as their opponents bounced straight back with scores of 3,2,2 and the Gilford four were behind. A great bowl by skip Andy enabled a count of three on the following end and they were back ahead again.

The topsy turvy game continued until the locals put their foot on the accelerator with a count of four on end 10 plus further scores of 1,2,1 from ends 12-14 to open up a healthy five shot lead.

From thereonin, the locals managed to maintain their lead and led by six shots with one end remaining and could afford the luxury of dropping a last end treble with the joy of having already won and the celebrations started.

A proud moment for 20 year old Jack in his biggest ever game, a remarkable eighth Irish Senior Cup winning medal for Chris, a third winners medal for Club Chairman Gary and a second one for Club Secretary Andy Hughes.

Rink 2 S Trainor, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Greenfield up 20-13: If ever this was a game of two halves this was it. Early on in the wet conditions, this well blended rink struggled to hit their normal form and whilst never losing any counts, just couldn’t get going as a foursome.

A 1-5 deficit after the first quarter worsened due to the loss of six consecutive ends from 7-12 and suddenly Myles’ four were in arrears by double figures at 3-13.

However, the Gilford team across the green were starting to play with a lot of confidence and none more so than Myles’ men who moved up the gears.

With a stunning performance, the locals scored 2,4,2,1,2,1,2,2,1 to turn a 10 shot deficit into a remarkable seven shot success.

This was a huge reason why the Gilford side won the cup and the back end of Michael and Myles were able to boast the proud record of having won all seven games on the road to Irish Cup glory.

A superb achievement. Credit must also be given to Sean and John who have formed an excellent front end partnership and managed to win their first ever Irish Senior Cup medals. This has become a very difficult rink to beat.

Rink 3 M Higgins, E McElroy, T Bell, DJ Wilson up 19-17: Throughout the season, DJ’s four have had the knack of starting badly but finishing strongly and winning games that early on they looked like losing.

The Irish Cup final was no different! Similarly to the other middle rink, DJ’s quartet did not adapt well to the heavy green and fell behind 0-7 after just four ends and 2-10 after eight ends.

At the three quarter mark, the deficit had been reduced to four shots but more importantly, the locals were now playing extremely well and putting the opposition four under a lot of pressure.

Eventually, the pressure paid off and scores of two on end 17, four on end 19 and a single on end 20 saw the Dunbarton men move in front for the first time in the entire game.

And a fitting end saw skip DJ trail the jack into the ditch with his first bowl to guarantee shot and ensure a hard fought two shot victory. 17 year old Eamonn McElroy can hold his head high by producing an outstanding second half performance and winning his first Irish Cup medal.

His rink mates Michael, Tony and DJ are now old hands at Irish Cup finals having all won three finals in 2002, 2009 and now 2012! This is a rink that never knows when it is beaten, always shows fight, grit and determination and this was proven once again on Saturday.

Rink 4 D Copeland, G Moore, P Convery, S Adamson up 21-14: When the draw was made, Stevie’s men were drawn against unquestionably Ballymoney’s best rink skipped by Commonwealth Games medallist Gary Kelly.

However, whilst Kelly is a very vocal skip who can put players off by his antics on the green, one player that would simply let it brush over him, is Dunbarton legend Stevie Adamson.

Once again, Stevie showed why he has played at the very highest level and won medals at that level. His cool, calm presence on the rink simply gelled perfectly with his excellent front three of Davy Copeland, Greg Moore and Pete Convery.

The early ends saw the Ballymoney rink on top and a 2-6 lead after the first quarter. But any worries about a defeat for this Dunbarton rink were quickly dispelled as four trebles on ends 10,12,15 and 16 put them ahead by eight and gave the Dunbarton team a massive lift.

With the two middle rinks fighting back strongly, Stevie’s men were able to cruise to a seven shot success knowing that all the hard work was done and the trophy was coming home to Gilford.

This was a sweet moment for Davy and Greg who both won their first ever Irish Cup while it was Pete’s second winner’s medal and Stevie’s third.

This was a tremendous performance by the Gilford side who showed their experience by not panicking early when things were going against them. It was only a matter of time before the green quickened up and the locals moved up the gears, a trait that the locals have showed many times over the past few trophy laden years.

When the Dunbarton A team get the bit between their teeth and play with full confidence, they are like an unstoppable juggernaut. In the middle of the game, the juggernaut arrived and there was little that Ballymoney could do to stop it. And then the party started..