DCSIMG

Bangor off to flying start in NIBA title defence with win over neighbours

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division 1 match between Bangor and Castle

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division 1 match between Bangor and Castle

Bangor may have won the Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One title with practically the last bowl last season, but they put down an early marker in the new campaign with a thumping win over their newly promoted Ward Park neighbours Castle at the weekend.

The Seasiders pipped Whitehead to the title last September in a thrilling finale, earning them the trophy for the 21st time, which is an incredible feat.

Even though they will certainly face tougher challenges up ahead, Bangor were happy to bank six points on the opening day.

“It’s vital to get early points on the board,” said Bangor’s Mark Shannon. “Castle are back in the top flight after quite a few years, so we didn’t know what to expect.

“It would have been nice to picked up a full house, but six points is a solid start.”

It was Shannon who did most of the damage in the 31 shots overall victory by beating Alan Neill 32-14.

Robert Hastings and Gary Scott piled on the agony with wins against Matt Stevenson (17-15) and Bangor old boy Maurice McKeown (25-12).

Henry McFarland earned Castle their first point in the top flight by beating Ireland international Graham McKee 17-15.

“It was probably the toughest start for us,” said Castle’s Matt Stevenson. “We were hoping to catch Bangor cold as it was the opening match of the term, but it just didn’t happen.

“We’ve prepared well, having competed in four friendly games. It’s great for the club to be back in the top division, but we are under no illusions. It’s going to be a difficult season.

“Our ultimate aim is to regain our first division status, first and foremost.”

Whitehead, still smarting from that final day trauma last season, also made a positive start by reeling in six points from their visit to 2012 champions Balmoral.

Ireland regular Barry Browne was the top performer, skipping his rink to an impressive 27-13 win over his international colleague Clifford Craig.

Steven McKinley and JR Wilson also played a crucial part by claiming wins over Mat Reid (23-20) and Annesley Harrison (20-19).

Whitehead just failed to make it a full house with Balmoral’s Drew Donaghy edging home against Marty McHugh by only one shot (20-19).

Meanwhile, Old Bleach slumped to a shock home defeat to Larne in their opening match in Division One of the Private Greens League.

The Randalstown boys, without the influential JamesTalbot, buckled on a green they performed so well last season.

Former Ireland international David McRandal was in cracking form for the visitors, skipping his rink to a 25-11 win over Neil Booth.

Paul Robinson and Alan McClean added to the home side’s with wins over Sammy Hall (22-16) and Jonathan Millar -- skipping in place of Talbot -- (23-16)

Bit Michael Nutt earned Old Bleach their only point with an impressive 24-14 success against Michael Murphy.

With champions Ballymena not in action until next Saturday, Belmont took advantage by pocketing five-and-a-half points from their visit to nearby Willowfield.

Roy Battersby was Belmont’s top performer, skipping his rink to a whopping 38-9 win over Mark Leckey. Brendan Thompson also made a significant contribution by beating Jim Frazer by one shot (17-16).

Ken Drew got the home team on the scoreboard by beating Stuart Bennett 23-20, while John Moore battled out a 22-22 result against Robin Horner.

Results

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Balmoral 75 (1) Whitehead 92 (6), Bangor 91 (6) Castle 60 (1), Banbridge 89 (7) Portadown 62 (0), Divis 81 (5.5) Lisnagarvey 70 (1.5), Donaghadee 71 (5.5) Dundonald 65 (1.5).

Division Two: Whitehead B 97 (6) Balmoral B 64 (1), Sydenham 81 (5) Newtownabbey 70 (2), Carrick 85 (5.5) Dromore 69 (1.5), Lurgan 95 (6) Dungannon 71 (1).

Divison Three: Musgrave 79 (7) Banbridge B 53 (0), Markethill 72 (5) Carrick B 61 (2), Clarendon 110 (7) Ulster Maple Leaf 59 (0), Bessbrook 92 (6) Ormeau (66 (1).

Division Four: Holywood 101 (5) Glengormley 58 (2), Antrim 110 (7) Newcastle 67 (0), Finaghy 84 (5) Queen’s Island 78 (2), Lisnagarvey B 80 (7) North Down 47 (0), Annalong 64 (2) St Stephen’s 82 (5).

Division Five: Portadown B 61 (2) Lurgan B 64 (5), 1st Ballymacarrett (5) Divis B (2), Warrenpoint 81 (5) Newry 77.

Division Six: Musgrave 82 (4.5) B McQuiston Memorial (69 (2.5), Castle 93 (6) 9th Old Boys 75 (1).

Private Greens League Senior Division One: Dunbarton 113 (6) Falls 48 (1), Ewarts 81 (1) Forth River 86 (6), Old Bleach 67 (1) Larne 84 (6), Pickie 81 (5) Ulster Transport 77 (2), Willowfield 70 (1.5) Belmont 97 (5.5).

Division Two: Salisbury 94 (5) Mossley 91 (2), Ballywalter (5) Cliftonville (2), NICS 76 (1) Belmont Park 80 (6), Comber 87 (7) Hilden 53 (0), Ards 107 (7) Shorts 45 (0).

Division Three: Cavehill (5) Ballymena Park (2), Belfast 64 (1) North Belfast 88 (6), Knock 75 (5) Malone 65 (2), Albert Foundry 76 (2) Saintfield 81 (5).

Private Greens League Junior Division One: Mossley 46 (0) Ballymena 102 (7), Ulster Rransport 53 (0) Pickie 97 (7), Belmont 71 (2) Downpatrick 81 (5), Larne 63 (1) Old Bleach 77 (6), Falls (1.5) Dunbarton (5.5).

Division Two: Forth River 59 (1) Ewarts 87 (6), Hilden 80 (5.5) Comber 74 (1.5), Shaftesbury 63 (1) Ards 103 (6).

Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Ballymoney 81 (7) Portglenone 57 (0), Cookstown 82 (5.5) Dunluce 62 (1.5), City of Derry 60 (1) Portrush 89 (6), Coleraine 96 (7) Kilrea 57 (0), Letterkenny 84 (6.5) Ballycastle 74 (0.5).

 

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