Leaders slip up but stay on top

NEWRY 38(6) LURGAN 1 32(4)

ALTHOUGH they lost league leaders Lurgan Veterans 1 stay on top of the table.

In spite of losing away to Newry last Monday week the Lurgan team got four valuable points to keep them 24 points ahead of Banbridge who have moved into second position in the Zone B Section 4 League.

After five ends the Lurgan 1 team were well ahead at 18-2. However, being more acclimatised to the heavy and tricky green, the home team rink came back well and reduced the visitors’ lead to nine shots at the halfway point.

With Harry Cosgrove’s rink gradually losing ground against the Newry rink’s aggressive straight line bowling the match was all square at 31-31after fifteen ends.

While Eddie McCourt’s rink was losing the other Lurgan rink was trying its best to swing the match in favour of Lurgan 1 but Harry Cosgrove’s rink was fortunate to hold on and eventually win the rink by just one shot. Unfortunately the visitors lost but were able to take home four points.

Vincent Devlin, Bobby Boness, Billy Martin and Eddie McCourt (skip), who were on rink one for Lurgan 1, played a determined Newry rink skipped by J Kimberly.

McCourt’s rink dropped a four on the first end but responded well to square the rink score at 5-5 after five ends. However they gave the home rink space which allowed them to take a 11-5 lead after the eighth end, but McCourt took the initiative and brought the mat up the rink to frustrate the opposition which helped his rink claim three shots off the next three ends and reduce the Newry rink’s lead to three shots. The remaining ends were tight but unfortunately McCourt’s rink narrowly lost out by single shots on most of them and eventually the home rink won 17-10.

Harry Cosgrove on rink two with Melvyn Hamilton, Declan McCabrey and Ivor Mitchell made an impressive start by taking four shots off the first end against M McGuigan’s Newry rink and then taking excellent five and four shots off the fourth and fifth ends and a single shot between the fourth and six ends to take their lead to 14-2.

However they suffered a setback on the next three ends when the home rink claimed seven shots to reduce Cosgrove’s rink’s lead to 14-11. Cosgrove encouraged his rink and they did well to pick up a magnificent six on the twelfth end to extend the Lurgan 1 lead to 20-11. Single shot successes on the next two ends for Lurgan 1 made the rink score 22-11. Things were looking good for McCourt’s rink and they were confident in winning by a wide shot difference to balance out the deficit on McCourt’s rink. Alas it was not to be!

The Lurgan 1 rink was met with stiff opposition from the home rink who were determined to take full points from the league leaders. They never won another end and were fortunate to hold on and eventually win by a slender 22-21.