Coleraine clinched a thrilling Irish Senior Cup victory away to NIBA Division One side Dundonald last Saturday in sunny East Belfast.
Despite leading by a sizeable margin in the game, the Bannsiders required a tie end to see off the stubborn hosts.
It was a good start to the game for the visitors as they opened up an early nine shot advantage over the Belfast side before they extended the lead to 22 shots at the halfway stage. Coleraine looked to be in complete control of the tie a few ends later as they romped to a 27-shot advantage, however, the complex of the game changed as the Provincial side took their foot off the gas and with a quarter of the tie remaining, their advantage was a mere five shots.
Dundonald took a 10-shot lead of their own as the visitors looked like exiting the competition at an early stage, however, the Bannsiders dug in and with the Dallas rink last on requiring a three to tie the game; they duly did.
Captain Jordan Dallas won the toss and opted to give the jack away in the tie end, giving his four skips the last bowl advantage. The Coleraine side played good bowls in the thrilling shootout and eventually claimed a hard fought four shot victory.
On rink one, Victor Dallas’ four had a very good comeback win against Colin Orderly’s quartet. It was a decent start in the early stages for the home rink as they led by a single shot and they maintained the advantage at the halfway stage following a count of four.
Matthew Steen, Mark Broderick, David Gaile and Victor fell nine shots behind by the 17th end, however, they rolled the sleeves up and reduced the deficit to three shots in regulation time before claiming a superb four in the tie end to clinch a well earned 22-21 victory.
On rink four, Jonny Calvin’s four had a superb victory over the rink of J Frazer. It was a solid start for the visitors as they opened up a four shot lead in the early stages of the game before some fine bowling took them to a 20-3 advantage at the halfway stage.
Paul O’Neill, Philip Stirling, Mark Mason and Jonny saw their lead cut to eight shots with five ends remaining, and it stayed that way after 21 ends before they clinched a vital two shots in the tie end to claim an excellent 25-15 victory.
The rink of Gary Tosh, Stephen Brewster, Alan Irwin and Russell Miller slipped to defeat against M Foster on rink three. It was all square early on in the tie before the Coleraine men took a two shot lead at the halfway stage.
With a quarter of the tie remaining, the home side had levelled the scores once again in a tense matchup, and the Dundonald rink sealed a three shot win in normal time before scoring a single in the tie end as Miller’s rink slipped to a 17-13 defeat.
Over on rink two, Ian Ross’ men had a hard fought battle against N Myles’ quartet. Jordan Dallas, Jimmy O’Neill, Basil Kennedy and Ian were six shots ahead in the early stages of the match following an early count of five and the scores remained the same at the halfway point as Ross’ rink kept pegging away.
The Coleraine lads saw their lead reduced to two shots with five ends remaining before they lost out by two shots in normal time. In the tie end, the Coleraine men lost a single shot to lose out 24-21.
In what was a topsy turvy tie, it was a good result for the Coleraine men as they showed grit and determination to come back from a 10-shot deficit so late in the game, having been 27 shots up at one stage. It was a great watch for the neutral with the Bannsiders holding their nerve in the tie end shootout to claim a four shot victory.
The Bannsiders now face BLI side Blackrock at home in the Irish Cup third round on Saturday 16th June, in yet another tough fixture.
Next up for the Coleraine side is a tricky home tie against Ballymoney on Monday night, as they look to maintain their good league form.