Coleraine claimed six of the seven points on offer after a superb 20-shot victory against neighbours Portrush on Saturday afternoon at a mild Lodge Road.
The Bannsiders were going into the match off the back of a 41-shot victory over newcomers, Kilrea and would be out to continue their good start.
Portrush went into the game having defeated City of Derry in their first league game of the season.
It was the home side who started the brighter of the two sides as they opened up an early 15-shot advantage over the visitors before they extended the gap to 17 shots at the halfway stage of the match. Coleraine now had the game by the scruff of the neck and they pulled 30 shots clear of the Ramore Head side with five ends remaining before the hosts sealed an excellent 20-shot victory.
On rink three, Ian Ross’ four had a superb win over Jackie Smyth’s men. It was nip and tuck early on as the home quartet led by a single shot after five ends of play, and it was a similar story at the halfway stage as they led by the slender margin of two shots. Mark Mason, Joe McCarry, David Gaile and Ian stepped up a gear and built good heads as they widened the gap to nine shots with five ends remaining and there was no let up from the Coleraine rink as they continued to play good bowls and sealed an excellent 26-13 victory to lay a solid foundation for the team. The rink of Jordan Dallas, Mark Broderick, Russell Miller and Victor Dallas had a tough afternoon on rink one against Gary McCloy’s quartet. Dallas’ men led by three shots in the early stages of the game before the Portrush rink took a three shot lead of their own at the halfway stage. McCloy extended his lead to eight shots before Dallas and his men reduced the deficit to three shots with seven ends remaining. However, it wasn’t to be for the home rink as they fell away over the latter stages of the game and lost out 26-16.
Over on rink two, Ally Davison’s men had a very good victory against Ian McClure’s Portrush four. Paul O’Neill, Trevor Steele, Alan Irwin and Ally opened up an early four shot lead before counts of five and three on the 9th and 10th ends left them 11 shots clear of their opponents. McClure and his men reduced the arrears to seven shots after 15 ends played, however, Davison played some big bowls along with his rink to eventually claim an excellent 22-15 victory over the visiting rink and further enhance the points total for the home side. The rink of Matthew Steen, Basil Kennedy, Stephen Brewster and Jonathan Calvin had a great win over Eddie Curran on rink four. It was a great start to the game for Calvin’s men as they opened up an early 8-1 lead before they maintained their lead at the halfway stage. The Coleraine rink continued to play good bowls as they extended their advantage to 12 shots with five ends remaining before they sealed an excellent 21-11 result to claim six points for the Bannsiders.
It was an enthralling contest and one that Coleraine fully deserved to win against a very good Portrush side. The Ramore Head team had already defeated City of Derry in the league and Dunluce in the Piggot Cup before travelling to Lodge Road. The Bannsiders still remain in second spot in the NIPBA Senior League, with 13 out of 14 points, a mere half point off leaders Ballymoney. It was a good performance from the Coleraine side as they sealed a 20-shot victory and six of the seven points on offer, showing tremendous team spirit. The Lodge Road men now play Letterkenny at home on Monday 12th May in the league before travelling to the County Donegal side in the Piggot Cup quarter final on Thursday 15th May.
Meanwhile before Saturday’s game, Jordan Dallas, Senior team captain and club secretary, presented the Dickey family with a cheque for £220 on behalf of Coleraine Bowling Club for the ‘Help Wee Oliver Walk’ campaign. Oliver also got his hands on the Irish Senior Cup, which the team won last season.
Rink One: V.Dallas 16-26 G.McCloy. Rink Two: A.Davison 22-15 I.McClure. Rink Three: I.Ross 26-13 J.Smyth. Rink Four: J.Calvin 21-11 E.Curran.