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Larne looking ready to mix it with the big boys


By Alex Mills

Larne came within three shots of an opening day shock when they were pipped by Private Greens champions Dunbarton at Gilford on Saturday.

The East Antrim team, with Andy Kyle in their ranks having only recently returned from Commonwealth Games action, will feel hard done by following a battling performance which perhaps is an early indication they are ready to muscle in with the big boys of the division.

It was Conor McCartan's showing against Paul Robinson that helped nudge the home team over the line - the Dunbarton skip racked up a jaw-dropping 20 shots victory (33-13).

Marty Trainor also edged home by only one shot (19-18) against Graham McKee.

Gritty Larne replied through Kyle, and Alan McClean who defeated Andrew Hughes (25-8) and DJ Wilson (18-17).

"It was a close call," suggested McCartan. "Larne left with two points but will probably be thinking they deserved more. On that performance, they'll take points off the other top teams this season."

Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Belmont 86 (6) Pickie 70 (1), Dunbarton 77 (5) Larne 74 (2), Falls 77 (1.5) Ewarts 88 (5.5), Ulster Transport 62 (0) Ballymena 105 (7), Old Bleach 77 (5) Ards 76 (2).

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Bangor 111 (6) Balmoral 68 (1), Lurgan 63 (1) Whitehead 92 (6), Banbridge 95 (7) Lisnagarvey 72 (0), Dundonald 93 (6.5) Divis 51 (0.5), Portadown 54 (0.5) Donaghadee 99 (6.5).

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