Dunbarton wash Old Bleach out of NIPGL Cup

Martin Trainor helped rink two to a 19-13 victory. Pic: Presseye
Martin Trainor helped rink two to a 19-13 victory. Pic: Presseye

Current holders Dunbarton turned in an impressive performance and on Thursday evening to skip into another final.

They defeated Old Bleach to reach their second successive NIPGL Senior Cup decider.

Played at Falls Bowling Club, Belfast, the Gilford side beat Old Bleach for the third time this season, as all four rinks won in an overall 27 shot victory (88-61).

Waiting in the final will be Ballymena. This will be the third meeting in the season between the two clubs, with a fourth to come on the final day of the campaign.

Ballymena have won both encounters so far in the Irish Cup and League and the Gilford side will need to be on top form if they have any intention of retaining the cup.

On rink one for Dunbarton, Chris Mulholland, Michael Merritt, Andy Hughes and Myles Greenfield were involved in a battle against an Old Bleach rink skipped by former Ireland international Neil Booth.

At five ends, Greenfield’s rink led by one shot (5-4) and by 10 ends, were still in front by four shots (12-8).

By 15 ends the Old Bleach rink had clawed themselves back to 14-14, but with the Dunbarton rink winning four of the last six ends, they were to finish with a winning score of 18-16.

Sean Trainor, Kieran Trainor, Alan Paul and Martin Trainor on rink two started their game in positive form against skip Neil Mulholland. Scores of 3,2,1,3,1 had them 10-3 ahead by the seventh end which they maintained for the remainder of their match.

By ten ends they were 13-5 ahead and at the three quarter stage 15 ends, the score-line was 17-10 in their favour. They eventually won 19-13.

On rink three, David Copeland, Jack Moffett, Pete Convery and Derick Wilson played young Irish international Stephen Kirkwood. The Dunbarton four dominated from the start, with the only black mark coming from them in the 13th end when they lost a count of six shots which closed the gap to 15-10.

Before that, the Gilford men were 6-2 ahead at five ends and 10-4 in the lead at ten ends.

That dropped count of six did not upset the rhythm of Wilson’s rink as they immediately replied with a count of five shots in the following end. They finished the game with an impressive 27-15 victory.

Chris Trainor, Tony Thompson, Gary McElroy and Conor McCartan on rink four were involved in another close game against skip Michael Nutt, which they finally overcame in the last few for victory.

At five ends they trailed 6-7 and the scores were tied at 10-10 by the tenth end. The Dunbarton rink fell behind again by the 15th end (14-16), but scores of 3,3,2,2 from end 17 to 21 gave them a winning score of 24-17.