Title holders Whitehead return to top spot after success over Bangor

Action from the NIBA Division One game between Portadown and Dromore
Action from the NIBA Division One game between Portadown and Dromore

Champions Whitehead took over at the top of the NIBA's table following their hard-fought win over nearest challengers Bangor at Islandmagee Road.

Even though they were missing the Beggs brothers -- Stephen and Nigel -- who were away to cheer on Northern Ireland in the 2016 Euro Championships, the east Antrim boys still had too much in the locker for their opponents.

The victory, which propelled them one-and-a-half points clear, suggested they are in no mood to surrender their crown without a fight

Although Bangor approached the game boasting the only unbeaten record in the division, it is anticipated that both clubs will be in the shake-up when title is decided later in the season.

Stephen McKinley’s rink tilted the tie in favour of the home team by racking up an impressive 22-12 win against Mark Shannon. James Caldwell made a significant contribution by beating Gary Scott (25-19).

But the Seasiders pocketed a couple of points, courtesy of Graham McKee and Robert Hastings, who battled out narrow victories against Barry Browne (19-17) and McHugh (18-17).

Meanwhile, Balmoral got back to winning ways when the reeled in seven points from their home game against Dundonald.

Having survived relegation by skin of their teeth last season, the Belvoir Drive boys are slowly but surely inching away from drop zone.

“We don’t want to through that (relegation threat) again,” said Balmoral’s Clifford Craig. “It was a nightmare. The pressure that comes from pushing for the title is nothing compared to what we endured.

“It’s important to pick up home points, so the seven we got against Dundonald were crucial. More importantly edges us further away form the teams at the bottom. We had a few wee slip-ups in recent weeks, so it was good to get back on track.”

Annesley Harrison was Balmoral’s top performer, skipping his rink to an impressive 33-17 win against Noel Myles.

Craig, Matt Reid and Drew Donaghy also made a significant impact by beating Mark Foster (18-15), Jim Frazer (18-16) and Colin Orderly (27-14).

Meanwhile, Dunbarton retained their five point lead at the top of the PGL Division One table. The Gilford lads returned from rock bottom Ulster Transport with six points following their 20 shots victory. at Jordanstown.

Ballymena and Belmont remain hot on the Dunbarton's tail after wins against basement sides NICS and Mossley.

The Sky Blues will be disappointed to lost a point at home to NICS, while Mossley also picked up a point at Belmont.