DCSIMG

Brilliant Bangor closing in on title success following Whitehead win

Divis v Bangor

Divis v Bangor

  • by Alex Mills
 

The blue and yellow ribbons are ready to be draped on the NIBA Division trophy following Bangor’s win over Whitehead at Islandmagee Road on Sunday.

Only one point is required from their final two games against Donaghadee and Dundonald to bring the famous old piece of silverware back to Ward Park for the 22nd time.

It was a profitable weekend for the Seasiders. They returned from Falls Park on Saturday with a full haul of points from their meeting with Divis and then 24 hours later, pocketed a vital six against their nearest challengers.

They are now within touching distance. With a substantial 13.5 point lead, Bangor will finish the job at home to Donaghadee on Saturday.

Not bad for a team that lost three of their first four matches of the season!

“We were written off early doors, so we had something to prove,” said Bangor’s Mark Shannon. “We won our opening game against Castle, but were then beaten by Portadown, Whitehead and Banbridge. We were lingering in the bottom three or four at the time.

“But that result at Banbridge was our last defeat. We have played consistently well since. There was a certain degree of pressure off us going into the Whitehead game as we had an 8.5 point cushion.

“However, we were determined to maintain our unbeaten run. It will take a collapse of gigantic proportions to prevent us from winning the title. But with no disrespect to either Dundonald or Donaghadee, we want to finish in style.”

The writing was on the wall for Whitehead following their disappointing result at Dundonald on Saturday. Even though they won the game, by only three shots, they crucially dropped two points.

Noel Myles defeated James Caldwell (20-18), while Mark Foster and Colin Orderly forced draws against Barry Browne (19-19) and Stephen McKinley (18-18).

Ireland international Marty McHugh was the only successful Whitehead skip, beating Jim Frazer 22-17.

In contrast, Bangor reeled in a full quota at Divis. Shannon clocked up a 19-12 win against Gerard McGleave, with Gary Scott, Robert Hastings and Simon Martin ensuring their team would remain on title course with wins over Ronan Cregan (22-16), Brendan Power (21-15) and Patrick McCafferty.

The County Down boys maintained that high level of consistency at Whitehead in their rearranged Sunday fixture.

Shannon was once again at the top of his game, skipping his rink to a 25-13 win over Stephen McKinley’s combination. Scott produced a fantastic revival on the last end, picking up a count of six against McHugh to claim a 22-18 success.

Martin also turned in a storming finish, reeling in a four and a two on the last two ends to beat Browne 22-20.

Caldwell helped postpone the Bangor title celebrations for one week at least by edging home (27-25) against Hastings.

Results

PGL Senior Division One: Dunbarton 104 (6) Willowfield 55 (1), Ulster Transport 85 (5) Ballymena 71 (2), Pickie 102 (6) Old Bleach 58 (1), Falls 82 (5) Forth River 76 (1).

Division Two: Ards 76 (5) NICS 73 (2), Balllywalter 84 (7) Comber 57 (0), Salisbury 79 (6) Belmont Park 60 (1), Shorts 66 (1) Mossley 83 (6), Cliftonville 70 (2) Castleton 85 (5).

Division Three: PSNI 73 (7) Knock 38 (0), Ballymena Park 60 (1) Gallaher 72 (6).

Private Greens League Junior Division One: Belmont 73 (1) Larne 97 (6), Old Bleach 86 (5) Pickie 69 (2), Ballymena 113 (7) Ulster Transport 46 (0), Mossley (5) Falls (2).

Division Two: Belmont Park (0) Ewarts (7), Comber (7) Cavehill (0), Castleton 105 (6) Cliftonville 52 (1), Willowfield (5) Ards (2).

NIBA Division One: Whitehead 78 (1) Bangor 94 (6), Castle 80 (5.5) Balmoral 77 (1.5), Lisnagarvey 58 (2) Portadown 79 (5), Donaghadee 71 (1) Banbridge 78 (6), Divis 62 (0) Bangor 88 (7), Dundonald 74 (2) Whitehead 77 (5).

Division Two: Dromore 85 (6) Londonderry Park 59 (1), Newtownabbey 72 (2) Dungannon 75 (5), Balmoral B 100 (7) Rathfriland 62 (0), Whitehead B 81 (4) Lurgan B 78 (3), Sydenham 70 (2) Carrick 74 (5).

Division Three: Carrick B 75 (2) Bessbrook 77 (5), Banbridge B 64 (2.5) Ulster Maple Leaf, 75 (4.5), Cloughey 86 (6) Clarendon 74 (1), Musgrave 70 (5.5) Markethill. 60 (1.5).

Division Four: Queen’s Island 57 (1) Annalong 81 (6), Newcastle 95 (5) North Down 68 (2), Glengormley 64 (1.5) St Stephen’s 84 (5.5), Holywood 79 (5) Lisnagarvey B 71 (2).

Division Five: BETS 84 (5.5) Warrenpoint 62 (1.5), Lagan Valley 78 (6) Newry 75 (1), Rathfriland B 52 (1) 1st Ballymacarrett 99 (6), Portadown B 78 (5) Dromore B 75 (2).

Division Six: McQuistion B 74 (2) Windsor 79 (5), Ballynafeigh 51 (0) 58th Old Boys (94), Musgrave B 63 (1) Castle B 110 (6).

 

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