DCSIMG

BOWLS: Whitehead survive a late scare to maintain impressive record in NIBA Division One

Action from Saturdays game between Divis and Castle at Falls Park in Belfast

Action from Saturdays game between Divis and Castle at Falls Park in Belfast

  • by Alex Mills
 

Whitehead maintained their NIBA Division One unbeaten record away from home – but they were forced to survive a late scare at Banbridge on Saturday.

Irish international Marty McHugh was the toast of the East Antrim club – he reeled in a count of five on the last end to help his club square matters.

It meant that both clubs pocketed three-and-a-half points each and, with Bangor letting two points slip from their grasp at home to Portadown, it wasn’t a total disaster for Whitehead.

“I suppose some people were saying that something must give due to the fact that we hadn’t lost away from home and Banbridge also hadn’t tasted defeat on their home green,” said Whithead’s Stephen Moran.

“But both records are still intact. Banbridge skip Aaron O’Keefe picked up a two on his last end against Stephen McKinley, but Marty then trailed the jack for a five which levelled things.

“It was always going to be a difficult game, so we are not entirely unhappy at sharing the points.”

McHugh, a member of the Ireland team that will contest the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this month, was Whitehead’s top performer, skipping his rink to an impressive 26-12 over Brendan Davis.

McKinley also played a crucial role by beating O’Keefe 21-15. But Banbridge were not for rolling over. They hit back through Ian Gallagher, who racked up an excellent 24-9 success over James Caldwell, while Eddie McCourt defeated Barry Browne 20-15.

Mark Sproule and Dayne Jordan tossed a spanner into Bangor’s aspirations of taking full points from their home clash against Portadown – they enjoyed wins over Gary Scott (29-17) and Simon Martin (22-19) on their visit to Ward Park.

The Seasiders duly claimed an overall 89-72 victory, courtesy of Mark Shannon’s whopping 36-8 win against Peter Hunniford, while Graham McKee beat Aidan Corrigan 18-13.

Meanwhile, Ballymena have it all to do if they are to retain their Private Greens League Division One title after crashing to defeat at Pickie.

It was their third loss of the campaign and they now trail Dunbarton by five points, having played one game more than the Gilford boys

Belmont took over at the top following their win at Old Bleach, but they, crucially, have featured two matches more than Dunbarton, who lifted the trophy on five successive years, from 2006-2010.

They hardened their challenge by reeling in six points from their home clash with Larne.

Even without two of their most experienced skips – Myles Greenfield and DJ Wilson were on holidays – Dunbarton had too much in the locker for the visitors.

Andrew Hughes and Conor McCartan, who made his Ireland debut in last weekend’s Home Internationals at Leamington Spa, were in superb form, skpping their rinks to impressive wins over Noel Todd (29-12) and David McRandal (29-120.

The experienced Stevie Adamson also played a significant part by beating Paul Robinson 24-24.

Michael Muphy prevented the home team from claiming a full houlse by beating GAry McElroy 21-14.

Results

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Banbridge 81 (3.5) Whitehead 81 (3.5), Dundonald 76 (5.5) Balmoral 68 (1.5), Bangor 89 (5) Potadown 68 (2), Donaghadee 89 (6) Lisnagarvey 65 (1), Divis 74 (5.5) Castle 57 (1.5).

Division Two: Whitehead 88 (5) Newtownabbey 73 (2), Carrick 87 (5.5) Dungannon 67 (1.5).

Division Three: Cloughey6 75 (2) Banbridge B 78 (5), Musgrave 91 (5) Carrick B 74 (2), Markethill 98 (6) Ulster Maple Leaf 62 (1).

Division Four: Glengormley 55 (0) Annalong 97 (7), Holywood 82 (6) Newcastle 81 (1), Finaghy 83 (6) North Down 60 (1), Lisnagarvey B 76 (1.5) St Stephen’s 82 (5.5).

Division Five: Lagan Valley 66 (1) Warrenpoint 87 (6), Portadown B 75 (6) BETS 68 (1), 1st Ballymacarrett 84 (5) Newry 63 (2).

Division Six: Castle B 85 (6) Windsor 63 (1), 58th Old Boys 61 (1) Donaghaee 91 (6).

NI Private Greens League Senior Division One: Pickie 85 (5) Ballymena 78 (1), Dunbarton 96 (6) Larne 59 (1), Old Bleach 61 (0.5) Belmont 91 (6.5), Ewarts 89 97) Falls 57 (0).

Division Two: Ards 93 (5) Hilden 69 (2), Salisbury 80 (5) Shorts 65 (2), Comber 87 (5) Belmont Park 59 (0), Ballywalter 95 (7) Castleton 70 (0), NICS 36 Mossley 61 (abandoned at 12 ends due to waterlogged green).

Division Three: Belfast 68 (1.5) Shaftesbury 91 (5.5), PSNI (6) Saintfield (1), Cavehill 84 (6) Gallaher 54 (1), Knock 65 (3) Norrth Belfast 73 (4).

PGL Junior Division One: Mossley 73 (2) Downpatrick 77 (5), Larne 65 (1) Dunbarton 91 (6), Ballymena 73 (2) Pickie 81 (5), Belmont 83 (5) Old Bleach 74 (2).

Division Two: Hilden 75 (1) Ards 82 (6), Belmont Park 56 (2) Comber 65 (5), Castleton (6) Cavehill 1, Forth River (1) Willowfield (6).

NI Provincial Senior League: Portrush 78 (6) Coleraine 62 (1), Ballymoney 106 (7) Dunluce 48 (0), Cookstown 88 (6) Ballycastle 68 (1), Letterkenny 105 (7) Kilrea 52 (0).

 

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