McVeigh relieved to progress after Pickie are forced to go extra mile
Pickie held their nerve to pinch an Irish Senior Cup first round win against gutsy Balmoral at Belvoir Drive on Saturday.
The teams finished level at 81-81 after 21 gruelling ends, but the Private Greens League boys managed to pocket two shots on the extra end to edge into the next round - they will again be on their travels as they are now due to face Bray on Saturday, June 8.
It was tough luck on the home side, who won on two rinks.
Even though Annesley Harrison racked up an impressive 10-shot victory against Paul McVeigh and Clifford Craig enjoyed a tense one-shot success against Billy Angus, it still wasn't enough to prevent the NIBA side slipping out of the tournament.
Pickie hit back through Neil Belch and Jamie Watson, who chalked up crucial wins against Mitchell Albert (25-19) and David Nixon (20-12).
Pickie's McVeigh said: "It was a tight finish. It's a pity there had to be a loser, but at least we live to fight another day. Balmoral is never an easy place to go, we knew it would be a battle. They pushed us right to the wire.
"We'll need a similar performance when we go to Bray."
There was a bizarre incident before a bowl could even be delivered at Lurgan Park.
Visitors Rathfriland B arrived with two ladies in their team for the Irish Cup first round tie against Lurgan B. Even though females are now permitted in NIBA and PGL league games, IBA rules state that tournaments that come under their banner are strictly for male competitors.
Rathfriland were offered the opportunity to play with only 14 players. However, they decided to concede the game.
The visitors said it was an "innocent basic error". The teams did, however, feature in a friendly - with the ladies on board - which was won by Lurgan.
Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup first round: Ballymoney 85 Lurgan 63, Balmoral 82 Pickie 85, Lisnagarvey 73 Dundonald 81, Divis 68 Portadown 97 Bray 99 Letterkenny 36, Railway Union 56 Cookstown 82, Londonderry Park 65 Dun Laogharie 74.
Irish Bowling Association Intermediate Cup first round: Kilrea 116 Antrim Lawn 61, Cliftonville 79 Warrenpoint 72, Dromore 71 BETS 94, Ballycastle 70 Comber 85, NICS 87 Annalong 64, Newcastle 75 Dungannon 78, Ballywalter 112 Cavehill 54, Belmont B 101 Musgrave 53, Ards 104 Castle 64.
Irish Bowling Association Junior Cup first round: Whitehead B 101 Castleton 54, Falls B 63 Larne B 84.
Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Old Bleach 90 (6) Falls 56 (1), Ewarts 74 (1.5) Salisbury 81 (5.5), Dunbarton 107 (7) Pickie 51 (0).
Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Donaghadee 63 (0) Whitehead 91 (6).