It was another gut-wrenching defeat in the NIPBA Senior League for Coleraine as they fell to a 12-shot loss against holders, Portrush at Ramore Head on Saturday.
The Bannsiders named an unchanged team from their unfortunate loss to Ballymoney the previous week, whilst Portrush had a number of debutants in their ranks to bolster their championship squad.
Coleraine raced into an early 16 shot lead to take control of the game before the home side fought back and reduced the deficit to 10 shots after seven ends played. The visitors still led at the halfway stage, holding onto a six shot advantage. However, the Portrush men continued their fightback and they opened up a five shot lead with five ends left across the four rinks before they turned the game, totally, in their favour to run out winners by 12 shots.
Ian Ross, along with Mark Mason, Alan Irwin and Ally Davison, had a close encounter with Simon Colvin’s foursome before narrowly losing out. Ross’ men opened up an early 11-3 advantage after five ends of play to take command of their game before extending their lead to 11 shots after seven ends. The home rink cut their opponent’s lead to five shots at the halfway stage before the Coleraine four moved ahead by 21 shots to 15 with five ends remaining.
It wasn’t to be for the visitors as they lost out by 25 shots to 22. Over on rink three, Jonathan Calvin had a tough battle with Jackie Smyth before losing out in the last few ends. Mark Broderick, David Reilly, Stephen Brewster and Jonathan opened up an early three shot lead before extending their lead to six shots after a third of the tie had passed. The Portrush foursome moved in front after the halfway stage, claiming four shots to move ahead by 15 shots to 13. However, the visitors remained resolute and squared the match at 17-17 before losing out over the last few ends as they fell to a 22-19 defeat.
The rink of Jordan Dallas, Basil Kennedy, Joe McCarry and Victor Dallas fell to defeat against Gary McCloy’s foursome. Having found themselves 3-0 down early on, the visitors dug in to take a 4-3 advantage before letting the Portrush men regain their three shot advantage after eight ends played. With eight ends remaining, Dallas’ men trailed by two shots and despite some good foundations, the Coleraine men couldn’t take advantage as McCloy led his rink to a six shot advantage with three ends remaining. Despite a late revival, the visiting foursome fell to a 19-15 loss to the Ramore Head men.
On rink six, David Gaile had a ding-dong battle with Ian McClure before succumbing to a slender loss. Shots were traded early on before Gaile’s men moved 10-3 in front after a third of the game had passed, however, McClure fought back and squared the match at 10-10 a few ends later. The Portrush men claimed an advantage as they gained a four shot lead with seven ends remaining. Paul O’Neill, Jim Duncan, Richard McDermott and David dug in and they went into the last end one shot down before losing a further shot to slip to a paltry 20-18 loss.
It was a kick in the teeth for the Coleraine team to lose all seven points when the game could have easily went the other way, however, spirits are still high amongst the Lodge Road men and they will feel their just rewards can’t be far away. Portglenone are the visitors to Coleraine this Saturday, with the Bannsiders looking to get a win under their belt to kick start their league campaign.
Elsewhere Dunluce bounced back from their defeat to Letterkenny last week as they recorded a 21-shot win over Brooke Park, picking up six points along the way.
Barry Kane was their top performer as he beat Micky Fahy by 12 shots. Mervyn McKeeman beat Jimmy Hagan by seven and Uel McKeeman sealed the bonus point with a three shot win over Jimmy Cuthbert.
J Doherty grabbed a point for the visitors after a ding dong battle with Rodney Kane.
Ballymoney made it back to back wins as they travelled to City of Derry. The boys from the Toon picked up five points following their 14-shot win.
Alastair Steele did the damage with an excellent 24-shot win over Ken McConomy. Brian McAlary had a tough battle with R Kinkaid before he sealed a three shot win. Lorenzo Graham and D Kinkaid replied for the hosts but it wasn’t enough to deny Ballymoney.
Letterkenny were unable to follow up last week’s heroics against Dunluce as they slipped to a 16-shot defeat away at Cookstown.
In the Junior Leagues there were wins for Coleraine B and Culrathain.