Cup holders Bangor face Belmont hurdle in trophy defence
Holders Bangor marched unceremoniously into round three of the IBA Senior Cup on Saturday, but now face the ultimate test against PGL kingpins Belmont on June 16!
The Seasiders swept away the challenge of Portadown at sunny Ward Park, roaring to 38 shot victory. They'll find Belmont will not be in such a charitable mood when the teams lock horns in East Belfast in a few weeks' time.
"It's probably the draw that both sides didn't want at this stage of the tournament," said Bangor's Keith Taylor. "But it is what it is - you have to take what you are given in the cup.
"We're the trophy holders and will do everything we can to retain the cup, so we will go there with a positive approach."
Bangor were simply too hot to handle for Portadown with Robert Hastings the tormentor in chief. He skipped his rink to a whopping 35-14 win against Peter Hunniford.
Mark Shannon and Gary Scott piled on the agony by beating Mark Sproule (25-13) and Davy Pedan (18-14), while Thomas McClean completed the rout with a hard-fought 17-16 victory over Dayne Jordan.
Whitehead also turned in a blistering performance to send high-flying Dunbarton spinning through the exit door at Islandmagee Road, winning 88-65.
The PGL boys arrived with an unblemished record, but they had just no answer to a side that was oozing with confidence.
James Caldwell was instrumental for NIBA side, skipping his rink to a 27-14 victory over Conor McCartan.
Ireland international Martin McHugh also made a significant contribution by beating Marty Trainor (24-20), while Stephen McKinley picked up a three on the last end to earn him a 19-13 win against DJ Wilson.
Andy Hughes prevented the home side from winning on all four rinks, battling out a creditable 18-18 draw with Barry Browne. Whitehead will now be at home to Dunluce next time out.
NIBA side Banbridge crashed to their first defeat of the season, losing by 14 shots at Belmont.
It was Simon Martin's 27-15 success against Brendan Davis that laid the foundation for the victory. Simon Cavan and Roy Battersby chipped in with crucial wins over Aaron O'Keefe (19-12) and Geoff Blakely (20-17).
Clifford Dennison deprived the home team from completing a clean sweep by beating Stuart Bennett 21-13.
Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup, second round: Old Bleach 61 Larne 83, Divis 60 Dun Laogharie 69, Bangor 95 Portadown 57, Ulster Transport 68 Salisbury 84, Carrickfergus 68 Blackrock 75, Whitehead 88 Dunbarton 65, Pickie 106 Clarendon 59, Portglenone 63 Lisnagarvey 88, Dundonald 77 Coleraine 81 (after extra end), Lurgan 67 Cookstown 86, Dunluce 83 Portrush 72, Belmont 79 Banbridge 65, Leinster 71 Balmoral 88, Falls 96 Limavady 71 Ards 63 Ballymena 91.
Irish Bowling Association Intermediate Cup, second round: Dungiven 103 Mossley 97 (after extra end), Ballycastle 85 Cavehill 62, Ballywalter 84 Holywood 66, Rathfriland 77 Dungannon 79, Kilrea 97 Comber 71, Castle 58 Forth River 95, Annalong 91 CI-Knock 67, Londonderry Park 95 Cliftonville 69, North Down 82 NICS. 73
Irish Bowling Association Junior Cup, second round: Portrush B 64 Pickie B 81, Lisnagarvey B 84 Balmoral B 54, Castleton 70.25 Donaghadee B 78, Dunbarton B 72 Ulster Transport B 59, Whitehead B 115 Crumlin B 84.