BOWLS: Ballymoney suffer cup final heartache

THE Dunbarton are the Irish Senior Cup champions for 2012.

With a tremendous performance, they defeated Ballymoney by 19 shots in a cracking tussle.

Amazingly this was the club’s sixth Irish Senior Cup final and their sixth victory. And what a game it was!

Early on the green was heavy, the conditions were wet and a lot of the Gilford players were struggling.

But this is a team renowned for their character and determination and they showed that in abundance on Saturday afternoon.

At one stage, they were 18 shots adrift and it looked as though there was no chance of the much coveted trophy heading to Gilford.

However, not only is the team littered with young talented players, it is also littered with a lot of experience and players that have “been there and done that”.

None more so than Club President Stevie Adamson who led from the front and despatched Ballymoney’s top rink with relative aplomb.

Whilst some of the other rinks were finding the conditions tough, Stevie’s rink simply applied pressure with every bowl, despite the vocal outbursts from the opposition skip and played terrific bowls.

As Stevie’s rink was going well on one outside rink, Andy Hughes’ foursome on the other outside rink did the same and eventually when Myles Greenfield and DJ Wilson got their rinks up into fifth gear there was no stopping the Dunbarton side.

Myles’ four were behind at 3-13 at 12 ends and struggling to get going.

As their team mates began to hit top form, suddenly the Gilford rink clicked into action and blitzed their opponents winning all of the last nine ends for a marvellous seven shot win. DJ’s rink got off to their usual slow start and trailed 2-10 but as the green dried out, there was only going to be one winner.

As the confidence of the team increased, the performance of this rink improved dramatically, with young Eamonn McElroy coming into his own. They emerged victorious by two shots.

Andy Hughes’ four had a topsy turvy game but always looked as though they would win and they finished ahead by three shots. Second Chris Mulholland now holds an amazing eight Irish Cup winners medals.

Pride of place however goes to Stevie’s rink who had such an influence on their team mates as their inspired performance resulted in an excellent seven shot success.

A wonderful, determined team effort and a glorious finish to what proved to be a wonderful day for the Gilford team.

There was no joy for Letterkenny in the Junior Final either.

The NIPBA club lost out to Ballymena in the first ever final.

The lads from the Braid won three of the four rinks.

D O’Kane jnr drew the remaining rink for Letterkenny against J Millar.