Town B team still in the running for league title

13TH OLD BOYS 65(1) LURGAN B 88(6)

LURGAN B team kept in the hunt for the league title by taking six points from this game against the third placed side.

Rivals Warrenpoint gained equal points in their home win against Windsor to maintain their slender two point margin over Lurgan B but the Lurgan team have a match in hand which enhances their chances of taking the league title.

On rink one for Lurgan were Melvyn Hamilton, Derek Henderson, Gordon Bell and Sam Neill (skip) against JJ Hook’s 13th Old Boys’ rink.

Neill’s rink were going well and leading 10-2 after seven ends but were surprised by the home rink taking five shots at the eleventh end. However they restored their composure over the next two ends to take their lead to 14-7 but Hook’s rink kept in touch to reduce the Lurgan men’s lead to four shots.

Neill’s rink maintained their determination to gain a match point but with single shots being traded they had a slender lead of just three shots after the seventeenth end. Keeping their cool, they finished strongly by collecting another six shots from the last three ends to emerge rink winners by 22-14.

On rink two Dan Dempsey, skipping for the first time this season, led his rink, comprising Roy Poots, Rodney McCarthy and Gerry Stewart, to an excellent 31-11 victory over Keith Davey’s home rink.

Having dropped three shots on the first end they soon came to terms with the away green conditions and were only a shot adrift after the fifth end. But they took control of the game from then on and had won most of the ends until the twelfth end by triple and double shots to lead 15-6.

After the home rink took a solitary shot off the next end Dempsey’s rink seized control by collecting a five shot win at the fourteenth end, followed by a devastating four shot on the next end and a single shot on sixteenth to create a virtually unassailable gap of 17 shots. Davey’s rink were demoralised and although they gained single shots on the four remaining ends they could not stop Dempsey’s rink winning 31-11.

Eamonn Quinn was on rink three for Lurgan B along with Vincent Devlin, Charlie Maguire and Wilfie McCullough against Ken Smyth’s 13th Old Boys’ rink.

In response to dropping single shots off the first two ends they raced into a 13-2 lead after the ninth end. Smyth’s rink was not down and out and was the winner by mostly double shots on six of the next eight ends to come within two shots of the Lurgan men. However Quinn’s rink realised the urgency of the situation and that a vital league point was at stake. They finished in typical fashion by winning the remaining four ends, collecting seven shots and emerging deserved rink winners by 24-15.

Bobby Livingstone, Declan McCabrey, Dick McClune and David Millar (skip) on rink four for Lurgan faced a 13th Old Boys’ rink, skipped by Ronnie McKeaveney, who were determined to salvage a point from the match.

Millar’s rink made a confident start. Having won the first three ends to lead 6-0, they remained ahead at 7-2 until after the sixth end. Unfortunately they were on the losing end of a home rink’s bowling onslaught and lost the next nine ends to trail by 22-7. Although the remaining rinks were shared, Millar’s rink uncharacteristically lost 25-11.

Lurgan B should be very pleased to bring six points home and assist in its strive for division six league honours which has eluded them on two occasions in the last four years.

Warrenpoint are feeling the heat at the moment. With both teams involved in their respective league matches next Saturday, and Warrenpoint facing third-placed 13th Old Boys at Musgrave Park, the points gap may well be reduced to only shot difference. However with Lurgan B having a match in hand at Rathfriland on Wednesday, August 22, the scales must be tipping in favour of them winning the league title.