Cookstown and Ballymoney in Provincial Senior League title battle

Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson

The Provincial Senior League is now officially a two horse race between holders Ballymoney and chasing Cookstown.

Only two-and-half points separate the teams at the top of the table with rookie side, Letterkenny, competing in senior bowls for only the second year, primed for their best ever finish - they currenty occupy third spot.

Ballymoney have pocketed an impressive 72-and-a-half points from their 12 starts, having suffered only one defeat, while Cookstown are still unbeaten.

Both teams enjoyed midweek successes at Ballycastle and Kilrea respectively to harden their challenge.

Cookstown reeled in six points, courtesy of rink wins for Mark Wilson, Damien McElroy and Colin Hogg.

But the reigning champions did even better by bagging six-and-a-half, at little Ballycastle.

Portglenone produced the performance of the night by roaring to an 86-72 win over Portrush – without the influential Ian McClure, who is on international duty for Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – by reeling in six-and-a-half points.

Ireland international Gary McCloy prevented the home team from claiming a clean sweep – he ground out a (21-21) draw with Eamon McCann.

Little Letterkenny took the scalp of Coleraine at their Donegal base, clinching an 84-79 win, and picking up a five points haul.

‘Mighty’ John Quinn and James Marshall did the damage with rink wins over Ian Ross (30-15) and Basil Kennedy (254-15).

The Bannsiders hit back through David Gaille and Victor Dallas, who defeated Daniel O’Kane (20-15) and David Crawford (29-15).

“Our aim last season was to retain our senior bowls status, which we achieved,” said Marshall.

“We are now up to third place which is unbelievable. We are thrilled at the progress we have made.”