Belfast Telegraph

Dunbarton edge closer to retaining league prize

Roll with it: Robert Hastings in action at the weekend
Roll with it: Robert Hastings in action at the weekend

By Roy Harris

Dunbarton roared clear at the top of the table following their win at Belmont on Saturday and are now bang on course to retain the Private Greens League Division One title.

The Gilford boys have now built up an impressive 11-and-a-half points lead over the 2016 winners, so it's going to take a collapse of dramatic proportions over their final seven games to prevent them from holding on to their crown.

Belmont's only consolation is the two points they picked up helped nudge them into second place, only half-a-point above Ballymena.

Even though they were missing four of their most influential players - Ryan McElroy, Chris Trainor, Conor McCartan and Myles Greenfield were all on holiday - the visitors still had too much in the locker for the east Belfast side.

"It was an important win and it helps takes us clear of the chasing pack, but there is still a long way to go," said Dunbarton's Andy Hughes.

"We'll be taking nothing for granted.

"We'll just keep focusing on putting points on the board to were it takes us.

"We are in a good position at this moment in time, but things can change very quickly."

It was the rink skipped by Alan Paul that produced the telling result, having enjoyed a 21-15 win against Simon Cavan.

Marty Trainor's combination also chipped in with a crucial 16-10 success against Roy Battersby.

The home side, who were also missing back-end players, Tony Budde, Stuart Bennett and Ryan Cavan, hit back through Simon Martin and John Boyd, who defeated DJ Wilson (20-19) and Hughes (22-18).

Meanwhile, Gary Scott and Robert Hastings are on a title charge in the popular Bangor Bowls Tournament that got into full swing at Ward Park over the weekend.

Following a successful opening day, both players, who are Bangor team mates, were again in action yesterday, skipping their respective combinations to a place in the quarter-final line-up in the triples.

Scott and Hastings are joined in the last eight by Paul Fitzgerland (Downpatrick), Adam McKeown (Whitehead), Andy Hughes (Dunbarton), Keith Taylor (Bangor), Matthew Crawford (Whitehead) and Thomas Canavan (Bangor).

Hastings, who will tomorrow begin the defence of his singles title, was joined by his wife Elaine in the Mixed Pairs and they have so far made a successful defence of their title, although there are quite a few pitfalls up ahead.

Scott was also on the top of his game in the Open Pairs on Saturday, forging his way through to the latter stages along with Pickie's Jackie Campbell.

Results: Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Larne 91 (7) Falls 77 (0), Belmont 67 (2) Dunbarton 84 (5).

Northern Ireland Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Portrush 76 (6) Cookstown 65 (1), Limavady 87 (6) Coleraine 68 (1), Letterkenny 65 (1) Ballymoney 72 (5).

Belfast Telegraph

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