North Down gatecrashed the IIBA Men’s Inter-zone Championship by claiming a famous win at Foyle to book a semi final spot.
They will travel to Oriel on January 26 in the knowledge that they are the only side in the last four to never have had their hands on the Boomer Cup.
Their opponents lifted the trophy back in 2005, while the other semi final will feature past masters in the form of Armagh and North West.
The big shock of the day was the elimination of holders Mid Ulster, who lost out by only three shots to North West at Limavady.
No such problems for Armagh, who triumphed at West Down, while Oriel enjoyed a home victory over a much fancied Lisburn.
The pleasing aspect of North Down’s success at Foyle was the fact that the team contained five members of the zone’s junior side – Cameron Gaw, Ryan Cavan, Dean Mills and Curtis and Matthew Hastings!
“We are thrilled with the victory, especially with so many kids on board,” said North Down’s Tommy Cheevers.
“We got off to a great start, having built up a 16 shot lead at the interval.
“But everyone knows that can disappear very quickly across three mats. Foyle came out with all guns blazing and reduced the deficit to only five shots at one stage. However, we responded by battling right to the wire.
“It’s great to be in the semi final. We’ll go into the game with Oriel as underdogs but that is nothing new to us.”
Stephen Hedley was North Down’s top performer in the first half, skipping his rink to a 15-7 win over Lorenzo Graham – the visiting skip reeled in counts of six and five on the seventh and 10th ends.
Robert Hastings, with his sons Curtis and Matthew at lead and third, scored a 7-5 result against John Miller, while Neil Belch savoured a six shots win (12-6) against Joe Mullan.
In the second half, Foyle went for broke, with Mark Beattie beating Mark Caughey 13-8. Dermot McCarron set up a thrilling finish with a 12-8 win against Simon Cavan.
However, even though Peter Campbell also suffered a 12-9 defeat against Terence Patton, he did enough to edge North Down over the finishing tape.
Meanwhile, 10 times Boomer Cup winners Mid Ulster suffered an agonising three shots defeat by North West.
Ryan O’Neill was the talisman behind the victory, skipping his rink to a fabulous 19-5 victory over Dayne Jordan in the second half.
Colm McHugh replied for Mid Ulster by beating Leigh Harrison 10-3, while Keith McCullagh and Alan Paul battled out a 9-9 draw.
Mid Ulster dominated the opening session with Mark Wilson turning the screw with an impressive 15-4 win against Richard Service.
Damien McElroy was made to battle for a 9-8 victory against Ryan Rankin, while John Kennedy kept North West in the hunt with an 8-4 success against Sean Quinn.
And, Armagh added to West Down’s woe, having also triumphed in the ladies trounament seven days earlier.
Joe Beattie did the damage with a whopping 20-1 first half win against Gary Chambers. Derek Wright beat DJ Wilson 10-4, but West Down hit back through Allan Johnston, who defeated Alan Roberts 9-6.
West Down restored pride in the second half with Eddie Campbell sealing a 13-5 win against Andrew Leckey. But the two other games finished level – Armagh’s Mark Sproule and Aidan Corrigan sharing the spoils with Richard Martin (10-10) and Jonny Wilson (9-9).
IIBA Men’s Inter-zone quarter finals: Armagh 60 West Down 46; North West 58 Mid Ulster 55; Oriel 57 Lisburn 42, Foyle 55 North Down 59.