BOWLS: Coleraine win derby clash

Coleraine continued their fine start to the season after taking the bragging rights in the Coleraine derby on Saturday, after their excellent 6-1 win over rivals, Brookgreen at the Lodge Road.

Coleraine had just the one change from their midweek cup win over Portglenone, as Tony Blair came back in for Keith McGillivray. Brookgreen would be out to make amends for their disappointing start to the season after home defeats to Portglenone and Limavady.

The Bannsiders made a great start to the game when they opened up a 22 shot lead over the visitors, however, a couple of bad ends across the green had Brookgreen back in the game. Coleraine, having done so throughout the early season, showed their new found ability to dig in when required and they pulled away from the Brook Street side to complete a comfortable 20 shot victory.

The rink of Paul O’Neill, Peter Irwin, Alan Irwin and Ally Davison took command of their game with Ian Ross’ four early on and they never looked like giving away their advantage as they ran out 28-15 winners. On rink two, Victor Dallas’ four fell to their first defeat of the season as they had an off day against David Gaile’s rink. Jordan Dallas, Jim Duncan, David Reilly and Victor fell behind early on before gaining a six to tie the game with seven ends to go, however, the Coleraine rink never got going and fell to a 27-16 defeat.

Jonathan Calvin led his rink of Mark Mason, Tony Blair and Stephen Brewster to the biggest win of the day. Jonny’s rink opened up an early lead before Joe Moore pulled back the deficit before the Coleraine rink stepped up a gear and finished up 27-12 winners. On rink four, Hugh McCallum, Jimmy O’Neill, Basil Kennedy and Richard McDermott had a tough battle with Allister Calvin’s Brookgreen rink. The game ebbed and flowed before Richard’s rink clinched an 18-15 win to seal the six points for the home side.

Coleraine remain 2.5 points behind leaders Portrush as they move up to third in the NIPBA Senior League table. A tough encounter away to Limavady lies in wait on Saturday for the Bannsiders as they look to continue their fine start to the season.

This week Brookgreen take on Ards in the IBA Senior Cup. Portrush and Cookstown are also in cup action as they entertain Ballymena Park and Hilden respectively.

There are nine NIPBA clubs in Junior Cup action with Coleraine taking on Portrush and City of Derry facing Letterkenny in two local derbies.