Away day blues for Senior Park

BALLYMENA Senior Park travelled on Hilden in the NIPGL Senior Division 2 on Saturday, having received a bye in the first round of the Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup.

This was always going to be a tough game as Hilden had come down from NIPGL Senior Division 1 last year, and the visitors were only able to return home with a single point after a 111-80 defeat.

On Rink 1 Keith Burnett, Neal Garrett, George Beattie and Don McKee were involved in a very high scoring game against D Harron.

After 11 ends it was the visitors who held a 2 shot lead, but the game changed over the next 6 ends as the Hilden rink scored counts of 3,3,6 and 4 to open up a 10 shot lead.

The Ballymena men reduced the arrears over the final ends, but could not stop the home rink from recording a 31-24 victory.

Andy Hill, John Greer, Gary Shaw and Tommy Hill claimed Ballymena’s only victory of the day when they took on M Kirkwood.

The visitors lead the game for the first 14 ends but when the Hilden rink scored 3 shots on the next end they took the lead for the first time.

Not to be outdone, the Ballymena men replied straight away with a count of 3 shots of their own to reclaim the lead.

Two further counts of 3 shots and a count of 4 shots over the last few ends saw the Braid men run out victors by 24 shots to 14.

There was another high scoring game on rink 3 where Jimmy Shields, Roy Hutchinson, Robert McCready and John Elliott took on the Hilden rink skipped by R Gourlay.

The visitors found themselves 10 shots down after only 4 ends however the Ballymena rink then picked up a count of 6 shots on the next ends to give themselves a glimmer of hope only to concede a similar score two ends later.

The remainder of the match was more even, but it was the home rink who game off the green the happier after recording a 32-20 victory.

Art McAuley, Derek Greer, John Millar and Arnold Kenny made a good start in their game with H McMullan on rink 4 and by the time they had played 16 ends they had built up a comfortable 9 shot lead.

Unfortunately for the visitors the Hilden men collected 10 shots over the next 3 ends to take a two shot lead and with both of the rinks scoring a single on the final 2 ends it left the Braid rink with nothing to show for their endeavours as Hilden claimed victory by 24 shots to 22.

Ballymena Senior Park do not have a Tuesday night match as they were not involved in the first round of the IBA Senior Cup. They also have a bye next Saturday in the NIPGL Senior Division 2 so they are next in action on Saturday 22nd May when they travel to Malone.