Dunbarton’s Myles Greenfield insists his team have got their ‘hunger back’, reflected in their impressive IBA Senior Cup win over defending champions Coleraine at Lodge Road at the weekend.
The Private Greens League team, who are unbeaten this season, turned in a power-packed display that culminated in a 93-67 victory, to set up a rematch against last season’s beaten finalists, Ballymoney, on June 7.
“We are looking forward to that,” said a delighted Greenfield. “Ballymoney came to us last season and turned us over too easily at Gilford.
“But we are in a better frame of mind this time. We have a new sense of direction . . . a renewed hunger. Everyone one of the boys has shown real commitment this season. We are all pulling together and that’s the way we want it to be for the rest of the campaign.”
Greenfield was thrilled with the the latest success, adding: “The Coleraine green suited us . . . it was pacey and we clicked right from the off.
“We led for 15 or 20 shots for most of the game. Make no mistake about it, they are a good team and are difficult to beat on their own green.
“But we finished with four rinks up, so you can’t ask for any more than that. The Ballymoney game will be another massive test.
“However, we will put that on the back burner for the time being as we have a few crucial games looming . . . away to Belmont in the league on Tuesday night before we face Ballymena in the PGL Cup quarter finals.”
Andy Hughes was Dunbarton’s top performer, skipping his rink to a 25-12 victory over Johnny Calvin.
But it was a splendid team showing with Conor McCartan, DJ Wilson and Greenfield also clocking up wins against Victor Dallas (22-18), Ian Ross (22-17) and Ally Davison (24-20).
Results elsewhere also prompted a great celebtation in the Dunbarton camp with ‘big guns’ Ballymena and Whitehead being dumped out of the tournament by Ballywalter and Larne.
It was Ballywalter’s victory at Ballymena that was the talk off the town -- an incredible result for the little PGL Division Two side.
Even though the Sky Blues were without the influential Jim Baker, they just couldn’t get to grips with their opponents, who led throughout a pulsating tie.
“It’s probably the club’s biggest ever win,” said Ballywalter’s Davy Palmer. “I remember beating them at our place in the league when we were in Division One, but to win on all four rinks at Ballymena in a cup game is unbelievable.
“And, being honest, I don’t think anyone would could say we didn’t deserve it.”
Palmer inflicted most of the damage, skipping his rink to a fabulous 19-11 success against Andy Kyle’s combination that featured Andrew Morrison, Sammy Allan and Stephen Shields.
Eric Lowry also chipped in with an impressive 23-17 win against Andy Duncan, while Gary Robson and Alan Davidson made it a day to remember by beating Nigel Robinson (20-17) and Stephen Coleman (19-18).
Ballywalter will now have home advantage over Portadown in round three on June 7. Palmer added: “We’ll be taking nothing for granted . . . . in fact, we’ll still be underdogs.
“I played for Bangor for 18 years and I know how dangerous Portadown can be. Yes, they may escaped relegation by the skin off ther teeth last season, but we were only one point away from being relegated ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Larne also produced a jaw-dropping perofmrnace to snuff out the threat of Whitehead at Islandmagee Road.Alan McLean was visiting team’s top skip, racking up a 24-12 win over JR Wilson. Paul Robinson also beat Barry Browne 23-19, while Michael Murphy battled out an 18-18 draw with Stephen McKinley.
Marty McHugh salvaged a little bit of pride for Whitehead by beating David McRandal 25-13.
IBA Senior Cup, third round: Ballywalter v Portadown, Old Bleach v Aer Lingus/Rathfriland, Dunbarton v Ballymoney, Divis v Letterkenny, Ewarts v Belmont, Banbridge v Kilrea, Bray v Portglenone, Balmoral v Bangor, Lurgan v Mossley, NICS v Cookstown, Pickie v CYM, Portrush v Musgrave/Dungannon, St James’s Gate v Crumlin/Belfast, Salisbury v Dundonald, Shaftesbury v Lisnagarvey, Larne v Ballycastle.
IBA Junior Cup, third round: BETS v Whitehead, Belmont B v Railway Union/Shankill, Castle/CYM v Antrim, Pickie v Willowfield/Ards, Cloughey v Westmanstown, Coleraine v Ballymoney, Falls v Rathfriland, Dunbarton v Mossley/Newcastle, Dungiven v Divis/Belmont Park, Larne v Cookstown, Limavady v Brooke Park/Clontarf, Lurgan v Donaghadee, Old Bleach v Portadown, Ballymena v Bray, North Down/Banbridge v Lagan Valley, Portstewart/Castlerock v Carrickfergus.