Bannsiders end outdoor season with cup win

Mark Mason.
Mark Mason.

Coleraine ended the outdoor campaign on a high by defeating Portrush in the final of the Mullan Cup (66-52) at Ballymoney.

The Bannsiders finished runners-up to Ballymoney in the Provincial Senior League and were narrowly beaten by Cookstown in the final of the Piggott Cup - but finally got to pop the champagne with this Mullan victory.

It’s only the second time the Lodge Road club have won the Mullan Cup - their maiden victory was back in 2009 across the ten-man tournament featuring singles, pairs, triples and fours.

Basil Kennedy had a great win over Peter Kennedy in the singles. Although the Portrush man led early on, the experienced Lodge Road player opened up a seven-shot lead before claiming a vital 21-11 win.

In the pairs, Coleraine’s Mark Mason and Ian Ross got off to a great start against Ian McClure, the experienced Ireland international, by moving into a five-shot lead.

As expected, McClure came battling back but Ross reeled in a four and a three in successive ends to record a 17-13 success.

Jordan Dallas, David Gaile and Victor Dallas had their work cut out against the Portrush combination skipped by Gary McCloy in the triples. Trailing by six shots with only five ends remaining, the Coleraine boys dug deep and battled back to within one shot of their opponents going into the last end.

However, it was McCloy who held his nerve to pick up a single to run out a 16-14 winner.

But in the final discipline - the fours - the Coleraine boys again upped the ante when needed. Paul O’Neill, Alan Irwin, Ally Davision and Jonny Calvin had to display all their battling qualities against Jackie Smyth’s rink.

It was the Portrush side that enjoyed a four-shot advantage at the halfway stage. Calvin reduced the deficit to two. And, in a blistering finish, the Coleraine side racked up seven shots in three ends to squeeze over the finish line 14-12 winners.

Results: Rink One: I.Ross 17-13 I.McClure. Rink Two: J.Calvin 14-12 J.Smyth. Rink Three: B.Kennedy 21-11 P.Kennedy. Rink Four: V.Dallas 14-16 G.McCloy

p A limited amount of places are still available for the popular Aughintober Indoor Bowls Club’s (South Tyrone) annual pairs tournament.

The competition will run from September 19-24, with the finals scheduled for Monday, September 26.

Organiser Raymond Wallace states all the midweek sections are filled but there are slots still available on Saturday, September 24 for the afternoon (2pm) and evening sessions (7pm).

Raymond can be contacted on 02887767001.