Not enough points for Lurgan Seniors

Sam McCombes delivering his bowl against Sydenham
Sam McCombes delivering his bowl against Sydenham

Lurgan 88 (2 pts) Sydenham 95 (5 pts)

Needing at least 2.5 points to stay in Division 1 for another season, Lurgan’s Senior team went into the match at home to Sydenham last weekend with high hopes of a

Jeff McCullough in action at home to Sydenham last weekend

Jeff McCullough in action at home to Sydenham last weekend

win to secure their status but they were utterly disappointed not to get that extra half point when Harry Cosgrove delivered his last two bowls.

The Lurgan side started well to claim the first half with a confident 19-shot lead across the rinks after the 13th end and were looking good for a 6-point win but they wilted under intense Sydenham pressure whose evident high spirit helped them to make inroads into the home side’s lead.

Appearing to be in a state of shock at times, the home side’s enthusiasm waned considerably throughout the second half.

Allowing Sydenham to take increasing control, the 15th end was the turning point when the Lurgan side incredibly lost 13 shots across the rinks.

Suddenly the match outcome was in Sydenham’s favour. John Gilliland’s rink started well to be 9 shots ahead after the 13th end.

Holding sternly on to their lead in the second half, they finished 4 shots up to gain a vital league point. On the adjacent rink, Ronan Cregan inspired his men to a 26-8 lead after the 13th end.

In spite of strong attacking play by Lee Carson’s rink, Cregan’s rink never relented and went on to take another point with an excellent 32-22 win.

It wasn’t Alan Roberts’ rink’s day – a rink that was filled with frustration!

At the midpoint they were only 2 shots adrift with the visitors’ leading 8-6 but by the 15th end they were behind by 23-6 having lost heavily on two ends. Roberts’ attempted to raise his men’s spirits but they went on lose 31-12.

Initially Harry Cosgrove’s rink struggled and was 5 shots down after 6 ends but an excellent 6-shot win on the next end gave them a 9-8 lead.

Falling back under the Dawson’s and McDonald’s relentless bowling, the home rink was behind by 6 shots after the 16th end but they regained their spirits to take 4 shots of the next 3 ends. Going in to the last end and last off the green, the Lurgan four needed 3 shots to tie the rink. When Cosgrove went to bowl the home rink was lying shot.

His bowls were in the head but he just missed by a whisker to tie the rink at 23-23 and take the necessary half point to keep the Lurgan team in Division 1 next season.

Mixed fortunes for Lurgan B

It was a week of ups and downs for Lurgan B who started the week with a magnificent 20- shot win at home to Rathfriland B in a rearranged League Division 5 match that kept them enjoined in the battle royal for promotion.

Then on Tuesday evening they had another league match away to Lagan Valley that had been brought forward from last Saturday.

Having toiled away all evening, the Lurgan team to win on just two rinks and to take only two points from the match which they lost by a meagre 4 shots thus denying themselves a 5-point win which would have put them well ahead of Newry in fourth place. John Gilliland’s rink was down 9-2 after 8 ends and looked to be in difficulty against Billy Hobson’s home rink.

Getting to grips with their game the Lurgan four seized control to win nine of the remaining ends to finish 20-12 ahead, aided by a brilliant 6- shot win at the men were victorious on Rink 4 to collect another vital league point.

It was a close encounter all the way with Parr’s rink being hampered by the loss of 6 shots at the midpoint for Jim Kinkead’s four to be ahead 13-12.

Regaining their confidence, Parr’s rink nipped home to win 18-16 to take another league point. Neil Sloan’s rink and Peter Ruffold’s lost on the night by 17-13 and 19-9 respectively.

With other Division 5 matches being played last weekend it remains tight at the top.

Cloughey are ahead with 81 points and looking towards winning league; while Carrickfergus B is second with 77.5, followed by Lurgan B in third with 71 points just ahead of Lagan Valley and Newry both on 70.5.

With the last league matched being played on Saturday it’s going to be close finish for 2nd and 3rd places; especially with Newry at home to Lagan Valley.

Lurgan B is a home to Windsor, hoping for full points to be in the top three for promotion to Division 4.

High hopes for title success

Lurgan Ladies has triple success in what was a very busy week for them with three wins on the trot.

Last Monday week they took 6.5 points off Ballyholme at home in a rearranged league match and then it was to Lisnagarvey the next day where they collected 5.5

valuable points.

On Thursday they headed off in buoyant mood to play neighbours Banbridge and they certainly were not disappointed. Although with two rinks up and the other two

losing it was a hard fight right to the end with the Lurgan side emerging with a slender 1-shot win. They succeeded in taking home five essential league points to

keep them in the league title hunt.

The result secured second place for the time being with Portadown having a match in hand due to them having to postpone their match away to Holywood.

Catherine Beattie, on Rink 1, with Laura Cassells, Norah Johnston and Rosemairie Bingham took the lead after the 1 st end and successfully maintained that for the

remainder of their game to win well by 19-12.

On Rink 2 Eileen Robson, Irene Cunningham, Christine Ruffold and Edith Hobson were not fortunate. They were leading 15-9 after the 14 th end with prospect of a rink

win but a lapse in the final ends cost them a win with the Banbridge four finishing 21-15 up.

Losing 23-8, it was an off-day on Rink 3 for Iris Anderson, Geni Little, Winifred Kirkwood and Gwen Hayes against Chrissie McDermott’s home rink.

Angela Thompson, Doreen Wheelan, Dot McCoy and Mia Patterson dominated all the way to eclipse Elizabeth Dickson’s rink with an excellent 22-7 win to secure another league point on the day.

It’s very tight at the top of the NIWBA Senior League with Portadown 3 points ahead of Lurgan who are 6 points in front of Dungannon and who have the match in hand.

So it’s all to play for in the crucial last-match of the season derby between Lurgan on their home green against old rivals Portadown.

Week of action for Lurgan B

Lurgan Bolts played some great bowls to beat Rathfriland B’s 10-man team in the home leg of the New Division 5 League Cup and won 11-8 on aggregate last

Wednesday evening.

They went on meet the strong Curran Railroaders in the final at Ward Park on a very inclement Friday evening and lost 8-1 with the light fading fast.

Veterans’ into Section Cup Final

Building on their comprehensive 22 shot win away to Dromore in the Quarter-final of Section B4 Knock-out Cup, Lurgan 1 travelled to Newcastle to face Newcastle 2 in

the Semi-final on Monday afternoon.

They did the job again with Alan Briggs’ and Harry Cosgrove’s rinks bowling well to beat Newcastle by 7 shots.

Next Monday they are back to the seaside again to meet Esplanade Utd in the final.

It will be close contest with the Killkeel side having already won the Zone B Section 4 League by 13 points over second-placed Lurgan 1.