Belfast Telegraph

Ballymoney have had a solid start but it will be very tight trophy race, warns McCaw

 

'Ballymoney were still too hot to handle for a Coleraine side that were in action for the first time this season' (stock photo)
'Ballymoney were still too hot to handle for a Coleraine side that were in action for the first time this season' (stock photo)

By Alex Mills

Provincial Senior League title holders Ballymoney sent out a message of intent with an impressive 88-69 home derby win over Coleraine on Saturday.

Having won the trophy seven times since 2010, they already have their sights set on another victory parade come August.

Even without the influential Gary Kelly, who is taking a year out in Australia - he will be back for the Home International Series - Ballymoney were still too hot to handle for a Coleraine side that were in action for the first time this season.

In contrast, Ballymoney roared to their second win of the campaign.

'Money's Willie McCaw said: "It's been a solid enough start, especially as we haven't got Gary in the side this season.

"We've performed well for a number of years, but it's a very tight division.

"Portrush have improved their squad, Limavady have quite a young side, Cookstown and Dunluce are never far away, while Coleraine pushed us all the way last season, so we expect it will be another close-fought race."

It was McCaw's impressive 28-10 victory over Jim Calvin that helped his team pocket five of the seven points on offer.

Bryan Smyth also made a significant contribution by beating Ian Ross 20-13.

The Bannsiders hit back through Russell Miller and Victor Dallas, who racked up victories against Alistair Steele (23-21) and Brian McAlary (23-19).

Meanwhile, it was business as usual for Dunbarton in Division One of the Private Greens League.

The Gilford boys extended their lead at the top with a thumping seven-point (114-50) win at home to Ewarts.

The unbeaten Belmont also picked up their third win of the campaign against Pickie (77-63), but will be disappointed to drop two and a half points at home.

At Old Ballymoney Road, Ballymoney B suffered their first defeat since their promotion when they were soundly beaten 109-46 by club colleagues, Ballymena A.

Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Belmont 77 (4.5) Pickie 63 (2.5), Ballymena B 46 (0) Ballymena A 109 (7), Salisbury 80 (5) Falls 77 (2), Dunbarton 114 (7) Ewarts 50 (0).

Northern Ireland Bowling Association: Bangor 103 (7) Donaghadee, 52 (0) Portadown 68 (1) Lurgan 99 (6), Banbridge v Sydenham, Londonderry Park 78 (1) Balmoral 93 (6), Dundonald 70 (1.5) Whitehead 75 (5.5).

Northern Ireland Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Ballymoney 88 (5) Coleraine 69 (2), Letterkenny 78 (2) Dunluce 84 (5), Limavady 69 (2) Portrush 79 (5).

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