Golf Club continue to 'drive' forward

IT'S probably a fair bet to suggest that if you had asked a cross-section of people within the Ballymena and District League who they thought would be leading Division One at the end of October, very few would have put forward the name of Golf Club.

But the Raceview men are the surprise pacesetters in a division which is becomingly increasingly difficult to predict as the weeks go on.

A week after their eclipse of BPFA ‘A’, the golfers took out another of the top-flight ‘big-hitters’ as they claimed three points from a narrow one-shot win over Michelin, whose title hopes already look to be in tatters with three defeats in their opening five games.

They had a bold stab at claiming the win at Raceview but had left themselves too much to do after trailing by seven shots at the interval, with wins from John Jamieson and David McCullough putting the home side in control.

Golf Club must have thought they were on for a third point as Johnny Lynn’s rink led Matthew Boyd 8-3 with two ends remaining, but Boyd’s foursome produced a hammer blow with a count of ‘5’ on the penultimate end and then added insult to injury with a one-shot gain on the last end to nick the point 9-8.

The other winning Michelin rink, skipped by Tom Lithco, had less drama in a 9-4 win over Kevin McGarry.

Elsewhere, Old Bleach kept up their title push with one of those curious situations where they won on only one rink on their visit to BPFA’ A’, yet still emerged with a share of the points!

They had a lot to thank Mervyn McDonald’s rink for, as their 19-8 win over Jonathan Reid was enough to tilt the balance of the overall shots total in the Randalstown side’s favour.

In the first half, the teams could scarcely be separated with Tom Morrison’s Broughshane rink edging past Neil Booth 7-6, while Alan Cahoon and Sammy Hall’s foursomes shared 20 shots evenly between them.

Broughshane’s other winning rink was skipped by Ivan Craig, but a 10-8 win over Brian Trimble was never going to be enough to turn the shots total around and the match finished with both sides claiming two-and-a-half points each.

In the battle of the bottom two, Portglenone Community Centre claimed their first win of the season with a seven-shot success over fellow top-flight new boys BPFA ‘B’.

Kevin O’Kane put the Bannsiders ahead with an 11-6 success over Terry McClintock, but Noel Graham’s 11-8 win over Jim Gaul ensured Broughshane were well in touch at the interval.

And it was a point apiece once again in the second half, although a greater winning margin for Dermot McCann’s rink than Joe Campbell’s successful foursome could manage for Broughshane meant that the overall shots total point went Portglenone’s way, 40-33.

The Bannsiders remain bottom, however, as BPFA ‘B’ claimed another brace of points from a game against Michelin brought forward from early November.

Again it was the case that the winning Broughshane rinks did so narrowly, while the ones who lost were well adrift of their opponents, meaning that Michelin claimed the point for overall shots total by some 17 shots.

Wes Caldwell’s rink were the pick of the bunch for Michelin with a 16-3 win over Terry McClintock, while Grant Robinson also ‘pointed’ for the Woodside Road outfit. Broughshane’s points came from Alan McCombe and Joe Campbell.