Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena still hoping to influence bowls title run-in

By David Mason

Ballymena's Private Greens League Division One title hopes may have already disappeared, but they can still have a big say in where the trophy ends up.

The Sky Blues have endured a traumatic season, highlighted by last weekend's IBA Senior Cup final defeat to Dunbarton.

But as the Gilford boys now embark on a triple trophy bid, approaching their final three games in what has been a fascinating league race, Ballymena could well put the blockers on their record-breaking attempt.

The teams were due to meet on the final week of the campaign, but the game will be rescheduled, possibly for September 8, due to the IBA National Championships at Coleraine.

"We are well out of the title race, but could still hold the key to who will be champions," said Ballymena's Graham Wilson.

"It's now a four-horse race, but our match against Dunbarton may well be the decider."

Although Larne top the division, they have played one game more than Dunbarton - they have also won the PGL Senior Cup ­- and Belmont.

"It looks like it's between Dunbarton and Belmont," added Wilson. "Larne and Old Bleach are still in there, but crucially they have played one game more."

Meanwhile, Ballymoney will get their hands on the Provincial Senior League title for the third successive year should they pick up a point at City of Derry. They hold a six-and-a-half-point advantage over Cookstown.

Fixtures, NI Private Greens League Division One: Dunbarton v Ulster Transport, Pickie v Ballymena, Belmont v Old Bleach, Larne v Ards, Ewarts v Willowfield.

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Divis v Lisnagarvey, Whitehead v Banbridge, Balmoral v Portadown, Lurgan v Carrick, Dundonald v Bangor.

NI Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: City of Derry v Ballymoney, Portglenone v Portrush, Ballycastle v Dunluce, Letterkenny v Limavady, Coleraine v Cookstown.

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