Thrilling draw after keen tussle

Michael Steen, Gerry Stewart (both centre) and Bobby Livingstone extreme right (all studying the head) with Newcastle bowlers looking on.
Michael Steen, Gerry Stewart (both centre) and Bobby Livingstone extreme right (all studying the head) with Newcastle bowlers looking on.

Lurgan B travelled to play top of the NIBA 4th Division, Newcastle with some intrepidation being stuck at the bottom, following their disappointing 17-shot midweek loss at home to Holywood but what a match on a greatly improved green.

Searching for vital points, Lurgan played their hearts out to tie the match at 72 shots each in what was a scintillating performance.

They have shown they still have the ‘never say die’ spirit demonstrated throughout last season.

Will McCullough, skip, Gerry Stewart, Michael Steen and Bobby Livingstone played

a superb game on Rink 1 against D Corrigan’s rink. Leading 10-8 after 10 ends they piled on the pressure to lead 22-6 after 14 ends. Although the opposition struck back McCullough’s rink kept their heads up to finish with an excellent score of 25-11.

On Rink 2 Derek Henderson, skip, Sam Neill, Roy Poots and Mel Hamilton did their best to keep in touch in a tightly fought game with K Rafferty’s rink and were all square at 8-8 after 13 ends. Coming back from 16-10 after 19th end, they perplexed the home rink to claim double shots off the last two ends to hold the home lead to 16-13 and were unfortunate not to win the rink. On the 20th end Neill sent the jack through to the back of the head for his rink to lie four shots but Rafferty drew a great bowl to reduce the end score to two shots.

Peter Dew, skip, Iain Ferguson, Albert Houston and Bobby Jones had a great game against L Fitzpatrick’s rink. After 5 ends they led 6-4 but Fitzpatrick’s took control to lead 14-8 after 12 ends. Jones, as lead, delivered some superb bowls to totally frustrate the opposition throughout the second half. With the rest of the rink supporting well, Dew led his men through to an incredible 23-15 win.

It was tough going for Charlie Maguire, skip, Mike Parr, Tom Connolly and Neil Sloan against a home rink who played a faultless game to frustrate the visitors. From 5-5 after 5 ends, Maguire’s rink were on the losing end of the vast majority of ends to lose 30-11; but on reflection and in the final analysis the 5-shot win on the 3rd end was crucial to Lurgan B’s getting a draw.

Lurgan B have two matches this week: at home to Balmoral B in the quarter-final of the NIBA Junior Challenge Cup (6.30pm start) and at home again versus Cloughey in League Division 4 on Saturday at 2.00pm.