Belfast Telegraph

McCutcheon and his Seasiders are breaking all records

 

By Alex Mills

Rodney McCutcheon's IBA Irish Senior Cup romance hit new heights at Old Glenarm Road, Larne on Saturday.

The Bangor man had tournament officials leafing through the record books as he mounted the podium yet again to pick up his ninth winners' medal following his team's runaway 28 shots victory over Ballymena.

It not only meant that the Seasiders became the most successful team in the game's top knockout competition - they have now lifted the trophy 11 times -but McCutcheon's achievement also puts him in the record books. His cup crusade began back in 1981 and, even though he has now clocked up his ninth win 36 years on, he still may not be finished.

"It was a fantastic team performance," said McCutcheon. "We reckon we are now the most successful side in the history of competition with 11 wins.

"I don't think I've ever played in a team with so much desire and determination to win. We were really up for the final.

"We were disappointed to lose out to Whitehead last week... a defeat that ended our hopes of winning the NIBA Division One title, but this more than makes up for that. I've had a few cup wins, but this ranks as one of the sweetest."

On his own achievement, McCutcheon adds: "I think the jury is still out whether it's an outright record. I know Falls and Belmont have had some great cup runs in past years, but I don't know if any individual has picked up nine winners' medals. It's one for the officials to sort out."

Things started poorly for Ballymena - and got worse. In fact, the game was as good as over at the halfway points as they trailed by 23 shots.

Big Keith Taylor was the tormentor in chief. He skipped his rink to a staggering 24-7 win over the combination skipped by Andy Duncan, the Bangor man reeling in six shots over the last three ends.

Robert Hastings also produced a top notch performance by beating Jim Baker 20-12, while Gary Scott maintained the momentum with a 21-17 win against Nigel Robinson.

It was Stephen Coleman who prevented the Seasiders from clocking up a full house. But his 19-18 victory against Mark Shannon was of little significance... the Bangor celebrations were already under way.

Results

Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup final: Bangor 83 Ballymena 55

Irish Bowling Association Intermediate Cup final: Hilden 71 Ards 81

Irish Bowling Association Junior Cup final: Dunbarton 85 Coleraine 68.

Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Larne 83 (5.5) Pickie 67 (1.5), Belmont 110 (7) Mossley 48 (0).

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Banbridge 97 (6) Balmoral 76 (1), Dungannon 71 (1.5) Whitehead 88 (5.5), Donaghadee 64 (0) Dundonald 84 (7).

Northern Ireland Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Cookstown 89 (6) Letterkenny 63 (1), Portrush 88 (6.5) Dunluce 57 (0.5), City of Derry 63 (1) Ballymoney 96 (6). Scorers: Kostic (62), Tadic (69 pen)

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