Dunbarton are once again through to the final of the Irish Senior Cup.
With a stunning performance last Saturday at Pickie Bowling Club, the Gilford men despatched their Bangor rivals by a massive 41 shots to set up a final against old rivals Ballymena.
Pride of place must go to the rink of James Kelly, Jack Moffatt, Pete Convery and DJ Wilson who produced once of the most complete rink performances ever seen in an Irish Cup semi final.
Facing a rink skipped by Irish International skip Robert Hastings, the locals produced an amazing performance to defeat their opposition 40-4 in an incredibly one-sided contest.
It was quite an astonishing effort by DJ’s men who raced into a 23-0 lead and whilst most observers expected a Bangor fight-back, it simply never materialised as the Gilford foursome kept their foot on the throttle throughout.
Huge credit must also be given to the other three Dunbarton rinks who battled well throughout, two coming out victorious. Conor McCartan’s four lifted a last end treble for a four shot win while Myles Greenfield and his front three also edged an epic tussle to win by three shots. Only Marty Trainor’s four suffered defeat, albeit the final two ends of this game were not played as the Bangor rink decided to quit.
Overall, it was an excellent team performance and now lying in wait in a repeat of the 2002 final are Ballymena. This game will be played at the Old Bleach club, Randalstown on Saturday 22nd August. Could this be another historic year for Dunbarton?
Rink 1 D Copeland, J Magennis, M Merritt, M Trainor down 17-19
The early stages of this game were nip and tuck as the Gilford four held a narrow 5-4 lead after the first quarter.
By the half-way mark it was the men from North Down who had edged ahead at 7-9. The loss of counts of four on ends 11 and 15 saw the Bangor rink extend their lead. By end 19 however, this lead had been cut to two shots when the two rinks shook hands with two ends remaining. Skip Marty in particular had an excellent game with some vital strikes when he looked in danger of losing a large count.
Rink 2 M Higgins, T Bell, A Hughes, M Greenfield up 20-17
Skip Myles and his four started slowly losing 3,1,2 over the first three ends but hit straight back on end four with a fine count of five.
From ends 11-14, the North Down rink seized the initiative with two trebles to lead 10-16 only for Myles’ men to bounce straight back with a run of 1,1,2,3,1 and any chance of Bangor fighting back across the green disappeared. Leading by one shot going into the final end, the locals garnered a double to win by three shots.
Rink 3 C Trainor, C Mulholland, G McElroy, C McCartan up 21-17
Conor’s four started well and led 4-1 after four ends but the loss of counts of four on ends 5 and 8 saw them trail 5-11.
From end 13, Conor’s four hit a purple patch and scores of 1,1,2,3 moved them 16-13 ahead with five to play. Going into the last end the Dunbarton lead was reduced to just one shot but fittingly the Gilford boys finished in style scoring a treble for a four shot success.
Rink 4 J Kelly, J Moffatt, P Convery, DJ Wilson up 40-4
DJ’s rink hammered their opposition rink skipped by Irish skip R Hastings.
Right from the off, the Gilford rink hit top form with James Kelly giving an exhibition at lead and Jack Moffatt rolling them in at second. This solid platform gave the back end of Pete and DJ a free reign as they were never under pressure.
DJ’s four started with a bang counting a score of five shots and followed it with scores of 1,1,3,1,1,4,2,4,1 to build up a remarkable 23-0 lead at the midpoint.
On end 11, the North Down rink finally scored a shot but there was simply no let up in the Dunbarton onslaught. A four on end 12, a two on 14 and a three on end 16 and their lead was now 32-3.
And the juggernaut continued with further scores of 1,2,5 from ends 18-20. With an end remaining, the despondent Bangor rink shook hands. A remarkable 36 shot victory.