Impressive start to league for Dunbarton

DJ Wilson helped Dunbarton to a storming opening day victory.
DJ Wilson helped Dunbarton to a storming opening day victory.

Dunbarton got their league campaign off to an impressive start last Saturday, when they travelled to Old Bleach and were victorious by 15 shots (64-79).

Rink wins for Martin Trainor, DJ Wilson and Conor McCartan ensured the locals returned with 6 points.

Both teams started the game sharing shots, with no one taking an early advantage.

The game opened up for the Dunbarton team on end 3, when they scored 10 shots across the four rinks, conceding 1, immediately they were ahead by 8 shots and never looked back.

By the half way mark a 22 shot lead had been established and as has been the case in so many games for Dunbarton, their experience ensured they were never going to let that lead slip.

On rink one, debut’s were handed out to Sean Trainor, Kieran Trainor and Alan Paul, who along with skip Martin Trainor, were in superb form across the 21 ends against Old Bleach skip James Talbot.

After losing the first two ends, Martin attempted a weighted bowl, being fortunate to turn one of his own player’s short bowls into the head and when the bowls had settled, the Gilford men held 3 shots.

By 10 ends they were 11-4 ahead and despite the best efforts of a strong Old Bleach backend they had no answer for the Dunbarton rink that ran out 22-11 winners.

Rink two saw current Irish International DJ Wilson face his old International skip and Commonwealth Games medallist Neil Booth.

By the 6th end they were 6-2 ahead and when they collected a count of 5 on end eight they were in front 11-4.

That lead was short-lived when a loose end saw Old Bleach collect 3 shots (11-7) only for Wilson’s four to surge 23-10 ahead with two ends left.

Booth played four superb bowls across these ends, scoring four shots and slight consolation as DJ’s rink finished 23-14 in front.

Chris Trainor, Chris Mulholland, Gary McElroy and Conor McCartan were drawn on rink three against Jonny Millar. Playing the 3rd end 1-2 behind, the Dunbarton bowlers were lying 3 shots with Old Bleach skip Millar being forced to ‘drive’ with his first bowl.

Despite hitting the target the ‘jack’ bound back up the green to its original position off a back bowl and the Dunbarton rink still held 3 shots.

Dunbarton’s play had an effect on the Old Bleach rink and the locals took full advantage losing only 1 end and were 18-4 up by 11 ends.

But Millar and his rink regrouped and back they came winning the next 6 ends (12-18) and playing the final end found themselves only four adrift (16-20), but the McCartan rink were able to see the last end out, collecting two shots for a 22-16 victory.

Rink four saw Dunbarton’s James Kelly, Tony Bell, Myles Greenfield and Andy Hughes come up against Old Bleach debut skip Neil Mulholland.

The first 9 ends of the game were evenly matched but things changed dramatically over the second half of the game as the Old Bleach rink pressed for a consolation point, with counts of 1-3-1-2-4-1 gave them a 19-7 lead by 15 ends.

Further counts of 2-1-1 on ends 17, 18 and 21 saw them claim their point with a 23-11 win.

This Saturday see’s another big game so early in the season as last year’s third placed team, Larne are the visitors to Gilford.

Another big task awaits the boys in yellow and black, but with morale high among the squad, they should be too much for Larne, but should take nothing for granted.