Donaghadee can hold their heads high

Bangor's Jackie Erskine in action against Donaghadee at The Commons
Bangor's Jackie Erskine in action against Donaghadee at The Commons

Donaghadee returned to the NIBA's Division One with a daunting home fixture against Bangor, but the new boys can certainly feel satisfied with their performance.

Even though they were beaten by 15 shots against a team that normally parades league titles for a hobby, Donaghadee managed to nick a crucial couple of points -- something that other sides just might struggle to do over the course of the campaign.

Robert Hastings and Mark Shannon were in superb form for the Seasiders, who finished runner-up to Whitehead in last season's campaign.

The Ireland international roared to a 27-15 win against former Irish League footballer Darren Erskine, while Shannon defeated Ball 25-14.

But hats off to William Boyd and Chris Dorman, who made sure the home team would have a couple of early points in the kitty by beating Gary Scot (18-16) and Graham McKee (23-17).

"We were happen enough, but was always going to be a difficult start of us," said Donaghadee's Tommy Cheevers. "Bangor have a team that could go the distance in the title race this season.

"Shannon and Hastings were practically unplayable. It will be a tough season, but our aim is to consolidate our place."

Meanwhile, title holders Whitehead also made a solid start by taking six points form the visit of Dromore to Islandmagee Road.

Ireland international Marty McHugh began his campaign in explosive form, racking up a 36-14 win against Gavin Clinghan.

Stephen McKinley and Barry Browne also chipped in by beating Billy Clinghan (28-12) and Tom Haire (26-14). Nathan Haire denied the home team a full house by registering an impressive 23-18 win against James Caldwell.

Up in the Provincial Senior League, champions Ballymoney thrashed Dunluce by over 50 shots at Church Street.

Even though the visitors were were without Ireland international Barry Kane, they were taken apart by a rampant home side, led by Brian McAlary, who racked up a whopping 36-9 win against Uel McKeeman.

Alistair Steele, Willie McCaw and Gary Kelly completed the job with wins against Rodney Kane (27-13), Paul Moore (17-14) and Alistair Kennedy (22-18).