Belfast Telegraph

Ports on the rise as 12 points from two games eases relegation fears

BOWLS

By Alex Mills

Portadown heaved a sigh of relief after their crucial win over Divis on Saturday which helped nudge them out of the bottom two in the Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One table.

The victory came hot on the heels of another important six points picked up against neighbours Lurgan only three days earlier.

It means the Ports have catapulted into eighth place - and are now 11 points ahead of basement side Divis who, even at this early stage in the campaign, are already heavily into a battle to avoid relegation.

"It's been a good few days for the club," said Portadown's Mark Sproule.

"We've picked up 12 points from our last two games which is a massive lift for everyone at the club.

"We still have a big fight on our hands to get away from the basement area, but if we keep taking points off the teams in and around us in the table, we'll be ok."

It was Sproule's impressive performance that laid the foundation for the win, skipping his rink to a 28-16 victory over Paddy Rooney.

Davy Pedan and Billy Martin also made a significant impact by beating Brendan Power (19-14) and Paddy McCafferty (22-20).

But Gerard McGleave, who is due to make his international debut in the British Home Championships at Leamington Spa later this month, ensured the game was on a knife edge right to the last end by racking up an astonishing 37-12 success against Peter Hunniford.

Meanwhile, Dunbarton recovered from their midweek slip-up at Ballymena to pocket all seven points from their game against Ewarts at Gilford.

Northern Ireland Private Greens League Division One: Pickie 67 (1) Larne 84 (6), Belmont 107 (6.5) Ards 62 (0.5), Dunbarton 107 (7) Ewarts 62 (0), Old Bleach 67 (1) Ballymena 80 (6), Falls 93 (5) Ulster Transport 70 (2).

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Portadown 91 (6) Divis 87 (1), Lurgan 69 (2) Dundonald 81 (5), Bangor 90 (6) Donaghadee 62 (1), Lisnagarvey 59 (0) Balmoral 80 (7).

Northern Ireland Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Dunluce 81 (6) Cookstown 72 (1), Portglenone 61 (2) Portrush 71 (5), Letterkenny 79 (1) Coleraine 89 (6) Ballymoney 93 (7) Limavady 64 (0).

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