Michelin strengthen District League title credentials

Michelin strengthened their Ballymena & District League title credentials by heaping more misery upon out-of-sorts Clough Rangers.

Rodney Gourley delivers a wood during the Services "A" v Golf Seniors bowls match. INBT 05-805H

The 2012 champions maintained their lead at the top of Division One by taking all five points from their visit to the Springmount Road clubrooms.

It was Clough’s third successive ‘whitewash’ in league games and, after a promising start to their campaign, they haven’t picked up a point in the league since the end of November.

They rarely looked like altering that statistic against Michelin, with the highest-scoring Clough rink managing just six shots.

Michelin didn’t produce any runaway victories of their own but they still had plenty to spare with wins from Grant Robinson, Wesley Caldwell, Matthew Boyd and Graham Wilson.

The importance of that result for Michelin was underlined just a couple of nights later, as title rivals Broughshane Playing Fields Association ‘A’ produced a ‘full house’ of their own against Old Bleach, another side enduring a desperately hit-and-miss campaign.

Nigel McNally’s Bleach rink ran David Morrison close in the first half - their match decided by a one-shot margin - but the Randalstown side’s challenge faded after that, with Alan Cahoon, William Morrison and David Morrison easing to victories for Broughshane.

But BIBC ‘A’ lost ground in the title race when they surprisingly dropped two points at JTI.

Brian Russell and Graham Maybin produced outstanding victories for the Lisnafillan side but James Gaston and Stephen Shields’ wins were enough to see BIBC ‘A’ home by eight shots overall.

BIBC have had a tough re-introduction to life in the top flight but they managed their second win at the expense of Golf Club, another side whose fortunes have dipped after a bright opening to the season.

David Torrington’s rink were the heroes for the Old Ballymoney Road side with a 14-3 win over Jonny Lynn - arguably the Raceview side’s most consistent rink this season - which enabled ‘BI’ to squeeze home by two shots overall.

David’s father Roy had skipped the other winning BIBC rink, while the golfers’ brace of points were earned by Sean McGarry and David McCullough.

Clough Rangers 17 (0), Michelin 46 (5): J Gilchrist 6, G Robinson 11; A Armstrong 5, W Caldwell 14; R Aitcheson 4, M Boyd 10; W Patton 2, G Wilson 11.

BPFA ‘A’ 56 (5), Old Bleach 22 (0): A Morrison 9, N McNally 8; A Cahoon 16, A Chesney 6; W Morrison 17, B Scott 3; D Morrison 14, M McDonald 5.

BIBC 33 (3), Golf Club 31 (2): R Torrington 6, J Jamieson 5; J Coulter 9, S McGarry 12; N Robinson 4, D McCullough 11; D Torrington 14, J Lynn 3.

JTI 28 (2), BIBC ‘A’ 35 (3): T Rock 5, J Gaston 13; B Russell 11, A Duncan 9; G Maybin 10, B Magrath 4; B Lynn 2, S Shields 9.

DIVISION TWO

Portglenone Community Centre took another big step towards an instant return to Division One as they claimed four points from their visit to bottom side Antrim Indoor Bowling Club.

In a game of hefty winning margins on all four rinks, Gerry McLarnon, Joe McErlean and Eamon Cassley grabbed the Bannsiders’ points, with Darren McCullough’s win a mere consolation for Antrim.

BPFA ‘B’ eased into joint second position after taking full points from their home game against Services ‘B’.

It was effectively over as a contest by the half-time interval, by which stage the Broughshane rinks skipped by Noel Graham and James Wasson had rampaged into a 38-8 lead.

Services, to their credit, tried hard to rectify some of the damage in the second half but they couldn’t make any impact as BPFA added to their tally with further rink wins from David Kernohan and Joe Campbell.

Broughshane share second spot in the table with Services ‘A’ who continued their unbeaten start to 2013 by halting Golf Seniors’ recent revival.

It was a game, however, which could have been a lot closer but for last end contributions in the second half from Bill Kitson, for whom a ‘2’ earned a two-shot win over John Nichols, and Mark Shaw, who notched a single on the final end to earn a share of the spoils with Donald Smyth.

That was the second game to end all square in the match as, earlier, Golf Seniors’ Ivan McMaster had finished 1,2,1 to secure a 7-7 stalemate with Joe Stevenson.

The decisive rink score in the match had also come in the first half when Des McNeill’s foursome had seen off GB McCrea by 11 shots to put Services in the driving seat.

The match between Moneyglass and Harryville Community Centre was postponed due to the death of Harryville member Billy Greer and the league extends sympathy to Billy’s family circle.

BPFA ‘B’ 58 (5), Services ‘B’ 19 (0): N Graham 14, E Smyth 3; J Wasson 20, G Coulter 5; D Kernohan 12, B Parkhill 7; J Campbell 12, S Smith 4.

Services ‘A’ 37 (4), Golf Seniors 24 (1): D McNeill 15, G McCrea 4; J Stevenson 7, I McMaster 7; B Kitson 9, J Nichols 7; M Shaw 6, D Smyth 6.

Antrim IBC 1, Portglenone Community Centre 4: J Logan 6, G McLarnon 18; D McCullough 18, J Gaul 2; R McCullough 5, J McErlean 13; T Evans 5, E Cassley 14..

Postponed: Moneyglass v Harryville Community Centre.

DIVISION THREE

The new year has certainly brought about a change in fortunes for Eaton Park.

The rugby club side had spent the first half of the season marooned at the foot of the table but they followed up their win over Maine with another impressive victory, this time over West Church.

It was a blistering first half from Eaton Park and after Gary Shaw and Bonar Hill’s rinks had established a 37-11 win at the break, the destination of the point for overall shots total was all but decided.

With little to lose, West Church made a better fist of it after the tea break and Tommy Wilson got them on the board, while Maurice Livingstone’s rink earned a half-point from a 7-7 draw with John Carruthers.

With leaders All Saints on the ‘bye’ week, Maine took full advantage to leapfrog the Ballymena side at the summit with an impressive win at Glenravel - a venue where visiting teams traditionally have to work hard for any gain.

John Heffron and Pat Kerr’s rinks had given the Randalstown side a solid first half platform and although Martin McKillop’s rink gave Glenravel some hope of a comeback, that was quickly snuffed out by Laurence McQuillan’s win for Maine.

Round Tower 37 (1), First Ballymena 43 (4): M Murphy 10, L McQuitty 12; H Totten 11, D McQuitty 16; J O’Neill 10, R Woods 7; M Teer 6, J Lilley 8.

Eaton Park 49 (3.5), West Church 31 (1.5): G Shaw 18, J Rainey 7; B Hill 19, V Mahon 6; G Reid 5, T Wilson 11; J Carruthers 7, M Livingstone 7.

Glenravel 26 (1), Maine 43 (4): S Kleinman 4, J Heffron 16; V Bryson 4, P Kerr 9; M McKillop 11, P Reeves 8; M O’Neill 7, L McQuillan 10.