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Lurgan 63 Portadown 35

Lurgan’s Mid-Ulster team had a superb 28-shot win against Portadown in the first leg of the Bobby Neville Cup which will stand them in good stead for the return match in two weeks time.

The home team led all the way and strong finishes on each of three rinks give them the cushion of a good shot difference going to Portadown.

After a cautious start Dick McClune, skip on Rink 1, with Rodney McCarthy, Peter Dew and Michael Steen stormed into a 14-8 lead having shocked Robert Cassells’ rink with a brilliant 6-shot win on the 11th end.

The opposition reduced McClune’s rink’s lead to 14-12 but they were undeterred; claiming the remaining ends for a very good winning score of 22-12.

John Gilliland on Rink 2, ably supported by Tom Connolly, Charlie Maguire and Albert Houston facing Tommy Stephen’s rink were 14-6 ahead at the halfway stage. Although Stephen’s rink responded strongly Gilliland’s rink held their nerve to win 20-14.

Will McCullough, skipping on Rink 3, with Mel Hamilton, Bobby Livingstone and Simon Collins were all square at 7-7 with Noel Quinn’s rink after 7 ends but took the lead at 11-9 after 12 ends. McCullough’s rink controlled the rest of the game, collecting 10 shots off the remaining ends to record a very good 21-9 win.