Rangers turn up the power!

THERE was a certain sense of inevitability about Clough Rangers' visit to West Church in last week's round of second division fixtures.

And by the end of it, both sides emerged with their 100 per cent records intact - Clough on the back of a fifth straight win, while 'West's less enviable run of successive defeats had stretched to four.

The church side at least had the consolation of taking a first half point thanks to Tommy Wilson's 8-6 win over Andy Armstrong, but the warning signs were there as Dennis McClurkin's rink cantered to a 13-4 over Joe Harris.

Clough moved seamlessly through the gears after the break as Stephen Shields eclipsed Maurice Livingstone 19-2, while Raymond Aitcheson also had plenty to spare against Jim Rainey, to leave West Church with just two points from their opening four games.

With Harryville Community Centre on their 'bye' week, they might well be surprised to see themselves still in second place when they look at the league tables elsewhere on this page.

The reason for that is that two of their closest rivals dropped points in fairly unexpected fashions.

Moneyglass, at least, won their game but could only manage three-and-a-half points from their home game with Maine.

All of the winning rinks in this game were by runaway margins with John Heffron's 13-4 success for Maine more than negated by Brendan McCusker's 16-5 win over Patsy O'Neill.

That theme continued in the second half as Tommy Magee cruised to a 16-3 win over Laurence McQuillan but Maine rallied in the last game and earned half a point from Patsy Kerr's 7-7 tie with Henry Marron.

There was worse news for another of the would-be promotion challengers, JTI, whose unbeaten record went down the tubes in a six-shot defeat by Services 'A', from which the Lisnafillan side claimed just a point.

JTI were actually ahead by a shot at the tea break with Willie Russell's 9-5 win over Mark Shaw slightly better than George Beattie's 9-6 Services win over Billy Lynn.

But Services held sway in the second period as wins for home rinks skipped by Billy Scullion and Bill Kitson dealt JTI a potential blow in their hopes of reclaiming their top-flight status at the first attempt, in what is a hugely competitive division.

The other game saw the two sides promoted from Division Three last season in competition and the result appeared to back up the findings of the league table, that Dunclug PTA are coping with the rigours of this division much better than Services 'B'.

A landslide 58-24 win for the school side was underpinned by a 24-4 romp for Noel Clarke against Sheila Smith, backed up with convincing wins for George Davidson and Chris Ramsey.

Only Eric Smyth, who restricted the Dunclug rink skipped by Bertie Dunlop to an 8-6 scoreline, came close to salvaging anything for a well-beaten Services side.