Lurgan 75 (5) Bangor 67 (2)
LURGAN’S A team recorded a brilliant win against a strong Bangor side who are the current NIBA Division One title holders.
It was a game of ‘nip and tuck’ and one that could have gone any way until the home side produced a strong finish to emerge deserved winners by eight shots.
Lurgan A led 19-17 after the fifth end and were one shot behind after the tenth. It was still extremely close with all to play for after the fifteenth end by which time the Lurgan side had regained the lead, the score being 52–50.
However Alan Roberts’ and Eddie McCourt’s rinks finished well to take their side to a memorable win.
Lurgan’s Harry Cosgrove (skip), Kristofor Matchett, Alan Briggs and Ivor Mitchell on Rink One against Gary Scott’s Bangor rink were all square at 4-4 after the fifth end.
They were out-bowled by the strong visiting rink over the next four ends. The home rink fought back by winning the tenth, eleventh and thirteenth all by two shots thus reducing the Bangor rink’s lead to five shots after the fifteenth end.
However they dropped another three shots on the sixteenth and seventeenth ends but fought back well by collecting crucial single shot wins on eighteenth and ninteenth ends and a great three shot win on the penultimate end, eventually losing by just five shots (21 -16) to the visitors.
Eddie McCourt (skip), Seamus Skelton, Billy Martin and Bobby Boness were on Rink Two for Lurgan against the visitors’ skipped by Mark Shannon.
McCourt’s rink was unfortunate to lose a six shot on the second end but recovered well to be all square at 7–7 after the sixth end having collected a valuable six shots between the fourth and sixth ends.
This was followed by another great run by winning the next four ends to take a six shot lead after the tenth end, the score now being 13-7 in favour of the home rink.
Some under par bowling allowed Shannon’s rink to respond but McCourt inspired his colleagues to raise their game successfully to win the next three ends and to take the lead again by 18–14.
The Lurgan rink won three of the ends and produced a rink-winning finish by gaining five shots against the Bangor rink’s three. Eddie McCourt’s emerged with a winning score of 23-17 and in doing so collected a valuable point.
On Rink Three for Lurgan were Alan Roberts (skip), Bobby Ruddell, Peter McGrail and Gareth Bunting who faced a Bangor rink skipped by Simon Martin.
Roberts’ rink had the best rink match-winning performance of the evening, eventually producing an unassailable win by 28 shots to nine.
Roberts’ lead seven shots after the seventh end at 10–3, aided by an excellent four shot in the third end.
The home rink continued at a pace to which the visitors had no answer with Roberts’ rink winning five of the next ends.
This gave the home rink a much-extended lead by 22-6 after the sixteenth end. Lurgan recorded an excellent match-winning performance, the rink score being a tremendous 28–9.
On Rink Four were David Beattie (skip), Mansel Montgomery, Reece Millar and Stephen Poots against a strong Bangor rink skipped by Robert Hastings.
Unfortunately the home rink were unfortunate to lose by single shots during each of the first five ends to trail 5–0.
By then they were 15-6 down and consequently winning the rink was a remote prospect.
Overall this was a great performance by the Lurgan team and it’s a win on which they can build their confidence to win league matches against equally difficult opposition which will help them to finish well up Division One at the end of the season.