Dunbarton are off to a flying start as they again set sights on PGL title

Dunbarton's Myles Greenfield
Dunbarton's Myles Greenfield

They may have been pipped to the Private Greens League Division One title last season, but Dunbarton are back with a vengeance!

The Gilford boys faced a tricky opening fixture against Old Bleach at Randalstown when the new outdoor term got under way at the weekend -- they passed with flying colours.

When the teams trooped off at the end, they were separated by a whopping 36 shots, which suggested that Dunbarton will again be a forced to be reckoned with.

Although they were on the winners' rostrum in two cup competitions, having lifted the IBA and PGL Senior trophies, Dunbarton were deprived of a record-breaking hat-trick when Belmont nudged over the finish line in one of the tightest finishes to the league campaign in years.

That win by Belfast team helped break an alarming monopoly as only two clubs had their hands on the title over the previous 13 years -- Ballymena and Dunbarton.

The Gilford team appear to be in the mood to address that situation. They certainly set down an early marker with their performance against an Old Bleach side, whose title challenged also fizzed out over the final few weeks of the season.

"It was a solid start . . . just what we were after," said Dunbarton's Myles Greenfield. "It's never an easy venue to visit and I'm sure other teams will leave Randalstown with little satisfaction."

Dunbarton, of course, have strengthened their squad considerably with the inclusion of Ireland international Alan Paul, who moved from Ballymoney. The Trainor brothers -- Sean and Kieran -- have also arrived from NIBA side Portadown, joining their siblings, Marty and Chris, at the club.

Old Bleach approached the match, also with a significant inclusion in the form of Ireland international Neil Mulholland. And, even though he enjoyed a winning start, by beating Andy Hughes (23-12), it wasn't enough to prevent his team from crashing to a shattering defeat.

There was just no stopping Dunbarton on the adjacent rinks with Marty Trainor producing a magical spell to rack up a 22-11 win against James Talbot.

DJ Wilson and Conor McCartan also made a significant contribution by beating Neil Booth (23-14) and Jonathan Millar (22-16).

Meanwhile, title holders Belmont got off to a winning start, but they will be disappointed with the loss of two points at home to Ewarts.

Simon Martin and Roy Battersby helped the home team claim a 18 shots win, but Chris Millen and Colin Magee nicked a couple of points for the visitors.