Belfast Telegraph

Banbridge are swept aside by brilliant display from Leonard

 

Raymond Barr
Raymond Barr

By Alex Mills

Banbridge's Clifford Dennison doffed his cap in the direction of Shane Leonard, admitting his opponent gave an 'exhibition of bowls' in CYM's IBA Senior Cup semi-final win at Blackrock.

The Dublin side will now bid to end a 58-year drought by lifting the famous old trophy - and become the first Bowling League of Ireland team to triumph since Leinster's success back in 1961.

However, Banbridge can certainly feel hard done by because they won on three rinks. It was the exceptional performance of Leonard that turned the tie totally on its head and helped the Dubliners to a 14 shots victory.

"It was as good a skipping performance that I've seen for quite some time," admitted Dennison.

"He gave an exhibition. We didn't play poorly, but Shane was practically unplayable."

CYM now face Belmont in the decider later this month.

Leonard was unstoppable as he racked up a 38-10 win against Dennison. Even though Arran O'Keefe, Kyle Blakely and Gavin Blakely chalked up wins against Derick McCartney (16-15), Ian Gillen (24-16) and Kevin McCarthy (21-16), it still wasn't enough cut the deficit.

Meanwhile, Belmont booked their slot in yet another Senior Cup final by defeating Portrush by 19 shots at Larne.

The Private Greens League club are now on the verge of a 10th cup triumph.

It was the rink skipped by Raymond Barr that snuffed out the Portrush challenge. He roared to a 26-10 win against John Quinn. Roy Battersby was the other Belmont winner, beating Irish international skipper Ian McClure 17-14.

But the two remaining rinks finished level, with Belmont's Stuart Bennett and Simon Martin drawing with Gary McCloy (19-19) and Simon Colvin (16-16).

Results: Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup, semi-finals: Portrush 59 Belmont 78, Banbridge 71 CYM 85.

Irish Bowling Association Junior Cup, semi-finals: BETS 72 Belmont B 83, Willowfield 78 Ballywalter 79.

Irish Bowling Association Junior Cup, semi-finals: Dunbarton B 72 Ballymoney B 71, Coleraine B 119 Greenhills 49.

Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Dunbarton 120 (7) Ballymena B 44 (0), Falls 80 (2) Ballymena 84 (5), Salisbury 109 (7) Salisbury 60 (0).

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Bangor 79 (0) Balmoral 64 (0), Whitehead 117h (7) Sydenham 45 (0), Donaghadee 88 (2) Lurgan 91 (5), Portadown 72 (2) Londonderry Park 78 (5).

Northern Ireland Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Letterkenny 52 (2) Coleraine 64 (5).

NIPBA Senior Piggott Cup: Ballymoney 90 Coleraine 70.

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